Thursday, March 4, 2010

A Special Time Each Week

I have always enjoyed the company of fellow pastors. Coming together for fellowship, sharing a meal, swapping stories, and encouraging one other has a therapeutic effect. Even though we are individually different in personality, gifts and style, we share the common bond of being the under shepherd of a local flock of believers.

For the past several years, a number of pastors from our local association of Baptist churches have gotten together for a monthly lunch. It is usually a time of good food, funny stories, good natured ribbing, and general R & R. I look forward to it each month.

However, over the past 5 or 6 weeks, a new dimension has been added to our relationship.

A couple of months ago, one of our younger pastors privately shared with me a great burden for the spiritual strength of our brethren. He was looking for something more than "just a time of lunch and fellowship". I agreed that I needed that, myself, and we decided to invite our fellow Baptist pastors to come together for a time of serious prayer and sharing. We determined that it should not be a "programmed" kind of thing, nor that is should be a publicized "event". The word went out through our association office, inviting any interested pastor to attend, and a new fellowship was born, meeting at 1:00 on Thursday afternoons.

To date, eight pastors have regularly been in attendance. Now, some of our pastors are bi- vocational, and are simply not able to attend a daytime prayer meeting. A couple of them serve churches that are an hour or two away, and it is very difficult for them to come to Huntington for a sixty minute get together. Perhaps they may be so inclined to schedule a prayer time for pastors in their geographical areas, or those who are on the same work schedule, but that would be their own choice. Those of us who have chosen to attend these Thursday prayer meetings have been blessed and encouraged through our time together, being united in prayer.

By the very nature of our jobs, other ministry responsibilities might keep one or two of us away from time to time, but the eight of us who have been attending are building a stronger bond between us, than we have ever had before. The ones who are taking part have consciously chosen to be there, and no one is "in charge". We share scripture, we do a little singing, and we pray - a lot. It has become one of the most important hours of the week to me. I am experiencing true refreshing, and these moments of corporate prayer with my brothers have helped strengthen me in some of my own personal struggles.

I pray that this sense of revival and awakening will spread from the pulpit to the pews of our respective churches. I would love to see more of our evangelical pastors (not necessarily just Baptists) join this fellowship. It would be great to see the number grow to the point where we would have to find a larger place to meet. But no matter what the number of participants may be, the purpose will remain the same, and God will continue to meet with us as long as that is our desire.


Barbara Lynn Spurlock said...

Just read your blog with interest. It is nice to know that 8 preachers can enjoy fellowship and walk together in the bond of being of one accord! Please call out the names of my two boys...Ryan David Spurlock (the tatoo kid) and his wife Jennifer...The other one is Christopher Matthew (the neat freak) and his wife Samalin and their 3 chldren. Felishia, Robbie and Brooke, for salvation and safety until the shackles fall off and the blinders come down. Ryan is 26 and Chris is 40...To me they are still my little boys even though they look like men! Much appreciated! God be with you all and you in particular C.J. until we meet again or meet at the feet of Jesus! Your Sister In Christ Jesus OUR LORD!

Anonymous said...

I didn't understand the concluding part of your article, could you please explain it more?

C.J. Adkins said...

Thanks for visiting the blog and leaving your comment.
I thought it was pretty self explanatory. It would be nice if we could be joined in prayer by other evangelical pastors. This is not just a "Baptist" meeting, (although right now it is basically 8 Baptist pastors) it is a personal prayer time for pastors. No lunch involved. Not just a fellowship. Serious sharing of the Word, and worship, and a time of joint prayer. I was speaking for myself, but I would think that any like minded pastor would be welcome to attend.