We will be looking at the corporate spiritual discipline of guidance for the month of November. Guidance is another discipline that is individual but also corporate. In today’s verses, Jesus tells us that when two or three are gathered in His name, He is there. You might disagree with me, but I think “gathering” can include being physically together, but also using the technology that’s available to us through Zoom, WebEx, FaceTime, etc. Many of our small groups (children, students, and adults) are continuing to gather right now using an online option; it has provided a much-needed sense of connection for many. Our Monday night Prayer Night is happening online with people engaging through chat features. You get my point. New Hope has not stopped gathering and Jesus has been present.
So, what does corporate guidance look like and how do we engage in it? We will unpack this all month but let me start by throwing out a few thoughts. In Celebration of Discipline, Richard Foster writes about spiritual checks and balances that are put in place for us as a group of believers, especially when we are walking in unity with each other and in line with the Father’s heart. If we are all praying for direction and guidance for ourselves as individuals, but also for our church, the way is paved for us to move and act as one. The church is meant to be a force for good in the world, engaging with culture in a way that brings light and hope. But in order for that to happen, we must have God’s guidance.
How often do you pray for New Hope? How often do you pray for the staff and leaders? Speaking as part of New Hope’s staff, we hear about it pretty quickly when someone thinks we’ve taken a misstep. But I can’t begin to express what it means when one of us gets a call, text, email, note in the mail just saying, “I’m praying for you.” We need your prayers; our church needs your prayers. God will guide us if we ask.
In November we hear and talk a lot about gratitude. Let’s focus this month on gratitude for God’s guidance and praying for it for each other and our church. We have a mission to accomplish that has an expiration date.