A call to 40-days of prayer
You may have heard the saying, “It’s not what you know; it’s who you know.” This is never more true than when considering whom the Lord has already planned to bring to Oak Grove to serve as our Associate Pastor of Worship and Family (with the focus on middle and high school-ers and their families).
How will we begin our search process? Prayer. Remember, it’s “who you know!” Everyone at Oak Grove must engage in patient, persistent prayer and fasting which shows our dependence on God. This means we’re asking you to pray!
We know the Almighty God and our personal Heavenly Father, and He knows exactly what His good plans are for His children at Oak Grove Church. So let’s begin talking with Him regularly, just like Jesus did before He called His first disciples.
Luke 6:12-15 tells us, “In these days (Jesus) went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot,”
Jesus has perfect knowledge, wisdom, and discernment, and still He spent the night in prayer, talking with the Father and Holy Spirit. The perfect search team was already formed, and Jesus spent the night in prayer.
Also, we see in Acts 14:21-25 that the disciples engaged in prayer and fasting: “When (Paul and Barnabas) had preached the gospel to that city (Derbe) and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed. Then they passed through Pisidia and came to Pamphylia. And when they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia,”
Beginning December 1 (you can start earlier), we’d like to ask Oak Grove to engage in forty-days of prayer and invite you to commit one day each week to fasting in prayer. (If you’ve never fasted in prayer before, it means refraining from all food and drink besides water in order to have focused prayer. When your stomach growls, use the growl to remind yourself that you need God’s wisdom, guidance and blessing more than you need that meal. If you’re not ready to fast for an entire day, pick a meal and focus that time in prayer.)
Some ideas for prayer
Pray for yourself
- Pray for patience—that God would prepare us to understand God’s timing.
- Pray for self-awareness and personal purification. Periods of uncertainty and waiting tend to reveal our own hesitations, fears, anxieties, desire for control, or self-sufficiency. Psalm 139:23-24 leads us to seek the Lord for spiritual cleansing and renewal. 1 John 3:3 reminds us to continually purify ourselves as God is pure.
- Pray for your possible involvement at the right time. Your involvement begins now in prayer and fasting. It may include serving on a team we put together as we enter future phases of the search. What reasons do you have for wanting (or not wanting) to be on the search team? Are they driven from a heart of service and a good burden for the church, or self-seeking desires not to be engaged or to advocate for your own perspective in something (musical style, personality traits, ministry focus)? These are good questions for everyone to ask.
Pray for our next Associate Pastor and his family
- Pray that he will be loving and growing in his biblical care for his family.
- Pray that God will increase his passion for teaching, leading musical worship, preaching, counseling/ministering the Word, coming alongside of parents, and evangelizing.
- Pray that God will be moving in his heart for whatever transition is upcoming to be freed to minister at Oak Grove.
- Prayer for those he may be currently ministering to—that they would support him in moving to a different ministry, and trust the Lord for the search process they may now need to begin.
- Pray that God will begin birthing a vision in him that aligns with our vision to reach, teach, and live out what it means to be wholehearted followers of Christ.
- Pray that God will give him courage to connect with us. Sometimes pastors need a nudge from the Lord and courage to initiate a conversation with a church.
Pray for Oak Grove Church
- Pray for wisdom and unity to choose the right person—We need to have Word-centered wisdom in our understanding of who the right fit is to lead us in these vital ministries (Romans 12:1-2).
- Pray for persistence—Search processes are not often quick (they often take the better part of a year). We must be patient, but also persistent in our diligence. We must be persistent in our search for the right fit for this varied role.
- Pray for our children, teens, and families—God is actively working in our lives even, or especially, as we navigate this season. Pray that our children’s ministry team will continue with passion. Pray that our children, teens, and families will continue their personal growth and thrive in their walk with Jesus.
- Pray for our elders and deacons—Pray that God will help the elders in our initial search, connecting us with the right individuals to lead us to our next Associate Pastor. Pray also that our elders and deacons would thrive in our other current leadership and service responsibilities as we lead and care for the needs of our wonderful church family.
What does our search process look like?
Our elders will lead the first phase of our search process, from seeking initial resumes to review through first-level interviews. Once we have identified and interviewed a number of prospective candidates, we will include representatives from our church family to engage more deeply in the process. We anticipate including some in music and worship ministry, student/family ministry leaders, parents, deacons, and possibly others. When we have agreed on a man to bring to the church, we will communicate more broadly and specifically with the whole church family before bringing him here to lead us in worship and engage with our middle and high school students and parents.
Finally we will call a membership meeting, asking members to vote in affirmation of the person we have collectively decided to present to the church. In the U.S. it’s hard not to think of this as a democratic process where everyone gets to weigh in with their opinion. While there are similarities (like a ballot which is simply a practical way of seeking people’s perspective), our goal is to seek the will of the Lord as He reveals Himself through the collective wisdom of the body of Christ.
It is our intent to involve enough people in right ways that the members’ vote should affirm the prayer and work that has been invested up to that point. If there are questions along the way, we invite you to come talk with the elders so we can hear from you and pray about the question or concern before the members’ meeting. The members’ meeting is an environment for someone to withhold their affirmation for a significant biblical reason. Otherwise, it makes sense to affirm the recommendation and celebrate the Lord’s provision together.
At any point you can speak with an elder or email the elder team at elders [at] oakgrove [dot] cc. If you need to connect with the deacons, you can email them at deacons [at] oakgrove [dot] cc.
Direct anyone you know who may be interested to www.oakgrove.cc/jobs to learn more and see the position description.