BEGINNING A JOURNEY OF PRAYING FOR THE HARVEST
January 7, 2011
By Clyde Hodson
I am beginning a journey as I enter 2011. My journey is to grow in a lifestyle of prayer evangelism where I am watching family, neighbors and new friends become followers of Jesus. I believer 2011 is going to be a year of harvest.
In 2010 I heard first hand stories from church planters and missionaries about the harvest that is taking place in Central and East Asia. At one gathering I met three generations of church planters who are all pastoring House Churches in three different cities. Their stories are amazing. Especially hearing them as an American where we are seeing very little harvest in the states. I believe that Christianity will be known as an Asian religion in twenty years.
As a conservative evangelical who loves Jesus and believes in the power of God, I have been dismayed with the spiritual condition of the United States. David Olson, a researcher with the Evangelical Covenant Church says that numbers from actual counts of people in Orthodox Christian Churches (Catholic, mainline and evangelical) show that in 2004, 17.7% of the population attends a Christian Church on any given Sunday. That number was 24% in Arlington, TX in 1994. My observation is that many conservative evangelicals like me are putting our confidence in the political Republican Party to turn our nation back to its Judeo/Christian roots. Frankly, that is not the agenda of the Republican Party and its not working!
The Lord is breathing within me a new passion for evangelism. I live in a Christian world. I mentor fifteen pastors, Christian business owners and leaders of Christian non-profit organizations. I lead prayer efforts and personal prayer ministry times with Christians who are hurting. What I am coming to realize is that I have to be intentional if I am going to see harvest within my community. This will mean a change in lifestyle. I am stepping out on two different paths. The first is following the Church Planting Movement model within my neighborhood in Pantego, TX. The second is following the model of Houses Of Prayer Everywhere (HOPE) and Lighthouses of Prayer. My hope is to partner with my adult on-campus small group at Fielder Road Baptist Church. Luke 10 is the Biblical foundation upon which both models operate. I feel as though this is going to be more than working through a check list of activity. I have a suspicion that I will need new paradigms of thinking about people who need Jesus. I will need new attitudes and behaviors towards those who don’t know Jesus.
So this past week I began prayer walking through my neighborhood, asking the Father to give me a man of peace to befriend, minister to and share the gospel with. On Sunday, I will teach a three week series from Luke 10 to my on-campus small group. The leadership of the class and I will be inviting our members to pray with their family for three unchurched households for first six months of 2011. I am also reading two different books Unchristian and A Reason For God to try to understand the mindset of secular progressive people.
I will be sharing with you the things the Spirit is teaching me in this journey about the harvest for the next six months. (back to 'Weekly Blog' page)