The Model Prayer

By Paul Wilkinson

In keeping with last week’s post about soul care being one of our challenges for 2017-18, I wanted to offer you a helpful tool I use to support my prayer life. I take this diagram from Mike Breen in Building a Discipling Culture, the Lord’s Prayer Hexagon:

Breen breaks the Lord’s Prayer into the 6 categories seen above. If this is the model for how Jesus’ disciples are to pray, then we can trust that utilizing these categories will give us great spiritual assurance, power, and insights. Here are three ways the hexagon might be used:

  • The Categories Birth our Prayers: Use the categories, beginning with any of them and working through all the others, to guide prayer. As you meditate and reflect on the category, the Spirit will bring to mind all sorts of people, events, behaviors, and attitudes for which you should be praying.
  • Our Prayer Filtered through the Categories: Take an issue that is particularly in your focus and pray for it through each category. For instance, say one wants to pray for their finances. Pray: Lord, you provide for your people daily. I can trust that you will provide for my financial distress. Lord, forgive me for focusing more on the issue at hand than your grace and your holiness. Forgive my lack of trust which has resulted in worry. Etc.
  • A Category a Day: Since there are six categories, you could take one per day to cover Monday through Saturday. Meditate on that category throughout the day praying specifics each time you reflect. Then, on Sunday, pray with the corporate body. Rest and reflect on the week of prayer. [Of course, if your corporate gathering is on Tuesday night, then one would just shift the 6-day pattern]

If you are up for a fun, little read, then check out Luther’s thoughts on prayer written to his barber in the midst of tragedy.

 

 

2017-2018 Challenges

By Paul Wilkinson

We are about to embark on another exciting season of group leadership and discipleship. We want to set before you a few of the challenges that we, as group leaders, are being called to engage. We will be praying and encouraging you toward these biblical principles throughout the year.

• Internalize and Articulate the BBC Discipleship Strategy

 You will hear a lot about a new (though ancient) discipleship strategy that seeks to unify our mission as the Brentwood Baptist family of campuses in the elevation of kingdom living (WORSHIP) and kingdom expansion (EVANGELISM).
Matthew 4:19 (cf. Mark 1:17) reads Follow me . . . and I will make you fish for people.
From this simple statement we can derive three categories for what a disciple is: know and follow Jesus, being changed by Jesus, and on mission with Jesus. People modeling their lives after those categories are the individuals, groups, and churches that we are trying to develop. These categories will become the primary filters for our work and lives. And we will fulfill the great commission of disciple-making (Matthew 28:19) through ongoing conversations, ongoing learning, and ongoing engagement. Much more to come!

• Reproduce Yourself

John 15:8 reads My Father is glorified by this: that you produce much fruit and prove to be my disciples. Invite one or two members of your group into your study habits, prep time, and debrief. Have them make outlines and give them insights on those outlines. Let them teach regularly and offer feedback. Debrief with them your take on how some of your teaching went. Be vulnerable in your shortcomings and accessible with your efforts. In this way, your faith will grow as a leader and you will be discipling others into leadership roles. New leaders generate new groups which facilitates more inreach (MINISTRY) to our unconnected members and more outreach (EVANGELISM) to the lost and searching of Middle Tennessee.

• Soul Care

It is so difficult to, as it would be said in SC, give what you ain’t got. Moreover, we genuinely care about your health: physical, mental, and spiritual. We never want leading the people of God to become drudgery to you; it is a noble calling full of life and wonder. To that end, we encourage you to remain diligent in silence and solitude, in study and worship, and in prayer. We are here to walk with you in your life, both in terms of personal ministry and in terms of your ministry to others. NEVER hesitate to reach out for conversation and ALWAYS request resources that you think will help you toward an actualized healthy soul.

 

These challenges in no way are an indictment against work you have done, nor are they necessarily lacking in your current ministry. However, we want to encourage an intentional focus on these principles because we truly believe that they will catalyze our kingdom work to new heights.