Several years back we did a sermon series based from a book entitled, “The Circle Maker” by Mark Batterson. Mark tells the story of the legend of Honi, the circle maker. Honi was a man with deep faith in God. A faith that led him to pray fervently, passionately, and consistently. Batterson uses this story to challenge Christians to be prayers that “Dream Big”, “Pray Hard”, and “Think Long”. Honi’s example teaches us to develop a pattern of “circling” in prayer. It is a pattern for a life of prayer that believes in great things from a great God.
This Sunday, October 21, is an important day in the life of this church family. As we gather as covenant members of ECOB we will be placing a vote on whether or not to move forward as a congregation in the withdrawal process from the Church of the Brethren denomination. This first vote is a decision to move forward with exploring the process of withdrawal. It is a decision that will determine our next steps with the Southern Ohio & Kentucky district as we enter conversation with them to understand and agree upon the terms of a peaceful parting. A final second vote, to officially leave the denomination, will come at least three months or more down the road in 2019.
In these final days leading up to this vote I call upon you to join me, and your elders in circling this decision with prayers like Honi, the circle maker:
- Dream Big – Pray in such a way that shows our dependence on a great, mighty, and majestic God that calls His people to carry out the great commission in a spirit-filled unique way here at ECOB.
- Pray Hard – Pray fervently, with specificity, and with focus about our obedience to God in this season.
- Think Long – Pray, that we would embrace our identity as followers of Christ, to grow in Him so that we might bring the hope of Jesus Christ to broken lives in our community. Passing on a spiritual inheritance to future generations.
There has been much thought, much discussion, and much prayer leading up to this first vote on Sunday. Your elders have worked prayerfully and diligently to prepare us for this weekend’s vote. It is our responsibility to not simply cast a vote, but to seek God, listen to His voice, and walk in obedience. I believe the outcome of this dedicated time of prayer will bring more than a voting result. It will bring us together in unity and bring clarity in our mission of “Sharing Life, Sharing Christ”. Let’s devote our knees to prayer.
Praying with you and for you,