This summer pastors, delegates and guests will gather in Fort Wayne for our biennial conference to conduct the business of the church and to celebrate 50 years of ministry as the Missionary Church. As we celebrate the past, we will also look to the future with a sense of expectancy about what God might do in the next 50 years if Jesus tarries. Outstanding speakers and workshop leaders will challenge and encourage us in our personal walk with Jesus and in our ministries.
The theme for SHIFT this year is “CONNECT.” We need to connect with God; with one another in the body of Christ; and with our world. All of those connections begin with prayer.
In order to set the stage for what God might want to do we are asking churches to begin even now to pray for God’s presence and leading during this National Conference. We are praying this will be a time of refreshing and renewal. We are also calling for 30 days of 24/7 leading up to the beginning of conference. Your prayers can lay the foundation for the work of the Holy Spirit.
We are praying for renewal around the following 6 themes:
- PRAYING FOR A DEEPER INTIMACY WITH GOD
- PRAYING FOR A GREATER SENSE OF DEPENDENCY ON GOD
- PRAYING FOR A GREATER PASSION FOR HOLINESS
- PRAYING FOR A GREATER BROKENNESS FOR LOST PEOPLE
- PRAYING FOR A BROADER DESIRE TO ENGAGE IN DISCIPLE-MAKING RELATIONSHIPS
- PRAYING FOR A RENEWED COMMITMENT TO DO JUSTICE
There is a prayer guide available with brief devotionals and Scripture based prayer prompts that can help you focus in prayer around these themes. You can download the guide by following this link: https://www.shiftnationalconference.com/prayforshift/ . There is also a place on the web site for you to sign-up to be a part of 30 days of 24/7 prayer leading up to conference. (https://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080c44a9ad2babfa7-30days). Perhaps your church would take one 24 hour period to pray. Could it be that God would pour out His Spirit during this 50 year celebration to prepare our hearts for what He wants to do through the Missionary Church in the years ahead?
The prayers for intimacy, dependence and holiness are all about our connection with God. Prayers for holiness and disciple-making relationships certainly impact our connections with others in the body of Christ. Prayers for brokenness for lost people and a commitment to do justice will impact our connection with the world. John 15:5 is a reminder that apart from Him we can do nothing.
One pastor is building a sermon series around these six themes. Another is using these for a 40 day prayer focus in their church.
Your partnership in prayer will set the stage for the Holy Spirit to work in preparation for SHIFT and during our sessions together.