Thursday, August 15, 2013

Promotion Sunday and Week of Prayer

This Sunday in our Children and Student Ministries we will be promoting our classes.  But this year’s Promotion Sunday is much more than just another move to another grade.

In our Children’s Ministry we will be building on the excitement that began last year in the TreeHouse and on the Playground.  Watch for more fun and more adventures as we love, laugh and learn together.  And 4th and 5th graders, we have some special events ahead this year just for you!  It’s “hats off” or more specifically “hats on” day in Children’s Ministry.  Wear your favorite (and craziest) hat to join in the fun.

For Middle School and High School we start the year in new environments with new faces.  Both will meet in our newly designated Student Life Center (and wait till you see the plans we are making to transform this space for students).  Middle School meets during the 9:30 hour and High School at 11:15.  Both hours will include awesome worship led by Cole Forehand and at 11:15 you can meet our new High School Pastor, Chris Conner.  At 12:30 parents are invited to join us for a Meet and Greet with Chris.  That’s a great chance to welcome him to Mountaintop and hear more about where we are heading this year.

And then on Monday, students are back in school!  This week our staff has been praying for students, parents, teachers, administrators and schools as the new school year begins.  And we will continue to pray for our children and students throughout the year.

One of my favorite images on prayer comes from the theologian Karl Barth:

To clasp the hands in prayer is the beginning 
of an uprising against the disorder of the world.  

As we head into the fall of 2013 and a new program year for Mountaintop we are designating August 19–26 as a Week of Prayer and setting a time each day to pray together for the ministries of Mountaintop.  Whenever I talk about prayer I often repeat the following from Jim Cymbala’s book Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire because it so perfectly captures the importance of prayer:

If we call upon the Lord, He has promised in His Word to answer, to bring the unsaved to Himself, to pour out His Spirit among us.  If we don’t call upon the Lord, He has promised nothing – nothing at all. It’s as simple as that.  No matter what I preach or what we claim to believe in our heads, the future will depend upon our times of prayer.  This is the engine that will drive the church.

Prayer is the engine that will drive the church.

If our future is dependent on prayer - and I am convinced it is - then it’s essential that we begin this fall praying.  That’s easy to say but over the years I’ve discovered that it’s not easy to do, and it seems especially difficult to gather together and pray as a church – but it’s essential.

For the week Monday, August 19 – Saturday, August 24 we will gather for prayer each morning in the Sanctuary from 6:00 to 7:00am. You might need to rearrange your morning routine and you might have to set the alarm a little earlier.  I know that for many of us this is the first week back to school but I really hope that some of us can come every morning, some of us will make as many as we can, and all of us – whether we are in the Sanctuary, at home or on our way to school or work – will begin each morning next week praying together for Mountaintop.

All that we will do in what is shaping up to be an incredible fall begins with prayer, so I challenge you (invite, encourage, implore, beseech, dare you – whatever it takes) to join us as we clasp hands and continue an uprising against the disorder of the world.

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