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Thinking the Faith, Praying the Faith, Living the Faith is written by the PC(USA) Office of Theology and Worship.

Thinking, praying, and living the faith is at the core of ministry in the Office of Theology and Worship. In the following videos, learn more about what thinking, praying, and living the faith means to the leadership of the Office of Theology and Worship. Discover why it matters and what difference it makes in our lives, work, and worship.  

Charles Wiley  
Barry Ensign-George
David Gambrell
Christine Hong 
Karen Russell

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August 21, 2012

Why Church Plants Fail

I came across an interesting article the other day that pertains to the work I do.  A Vineyard church planter confesses that one of his church plants failed to thrive because he did not center his work in prayer and attention to the gospel.    Check out this autopsy of a church.  


The Prayer of Jesus by Jacek Andrzej Rossakiewicz

I remember going to the church office the day after I was ordained, sitting down at my big new desk, and wondering what in the world I was supposed to do now.  Sure, there was always a sermon to work on, the next worship service to plan, people to call and see.   I needed to learn how dire our financial situation was.  

But I sensed that the responsibility of my call I felt laid on me the day before would need more than my own efforts.  

So I spent the whole day in prayer.  I went to the sanctuary and sat in each pew, praying for the church and those who normally sat in that area during worship.  I prayed for the community, for those who would come asking for help, for future visitors.   I read the Bible.  I sang.   I thanked God for the faithful ancestors of the past who'd built the church.  I prayed for my own discernment and faithfulness.  I didn't really know what else to do, to be honest, so I prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed.

By some people's estimation, I was wasting precious time.  Looking back, it was one of the wisest things I've ever done because the Lord did speak, and I was still enough to listen.     

If you'd like to be encouraged to be more engaged in prayer and attentiveness to scripture, consider becoming a part of the Company of Pastors.  Check out a Presbyterian pastoral rule.  

But first, just pray, study, praise.   Finances have a way of working out when we attend to the most crucial things.   Not to insult anyone, but to borrow from an old election slogan, it's not the economy, stupid.  It's God.  

Tags: church growth, economic crisis, gospel, prayer