Thy Kingdom Come is a global movement of prayer that invites us to pray for people to come to know God. This year it seems all the more timely as we seek to come out of lockdown and start to physically come together as church once more.
I was challenged recently by someone who asked this question of the Church and its mission. “When was the last time you had an adult baptism in your church?” I found it challenging because in this one question it acknowledged that there are fewer children in our churches and that if we grow our congregations, we are increasingly growing them with adults.
It was a good friend of mine that told me there are three ways the Church grows:
1) Biologically. Families in churches have more children.
2) By transfer – people who are already churchgoers move into the area, or decide for a variety of reasons to change church. But this moving around of churchgoers is not actually an increase in the number of disciples.
3) We help new people to come to faith. We teach and nurture them in the ways of Christ and Christlike living.
It was this last point that perhaps led to the question, “When did you last have an adult baptism in your church?” There remains a great deal of openness in Abingdon for people to hear about our faith stories and learn of God. Yet, how do we reach these people?
Well, the Thy Kingdom Come initiative suggests that first of all, we need to pray to God regularly for people to come to know him. So this particular challenge is to pray for 5 named people each day between Ascension and Pentecost. There is no doubt that prayer is one of the greatest gifts we have that can draw people towards God. As we pray for our 5 people, so we pray that God will create opportunities for us to be open about our faith and our faith stories – and that we will be brave enough to share them.
There are two resources to help us: some small Prayer Cards, and a leather band to tie five knots in. Both of these are to act as reminders of who we are praying for.
The other main resource is a the Prayer Journal.
Our prayer is that we can join this initiative as part of our mission, and that God will bless us as we seek to bring more people to know him, or know him more.
Will you join us in this?
Rev Ian and Deacon Selina