Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Psalm 145 declares, “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable” (v. 3). This verse summarizes well what has been the focus of our series on the Psalms: The Lord is King! This Sunday, Pastor Nick will preach on Psalm 145, concluding our series on this beautiful hymnbook for God’s people.
As we move into the months of March and April, we enter the season of Lent, an important time of the year that culminates during Holy Week. Though Lent is not prescribed in the New Testament, it has been a practice of Bible-believing Christians throughout the centuries. During Lent we focus specifically on the fact that we are a frail and fallen people, hopeless and helpless on our own. But it also a time when we remind ourselves that Jesus has conquered our sin through his death and resurrection: “Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” (1 Cor 15:57). The journey of Lent leads to Good Friday, when we look back to the atoning sacrifice of our Lord for the sins of the world, followed by the wonderful news of Easter Sunday: “He has risen!”
Missional Prayer Emphasis
During the months of March and April, we will focus particularly on the theme of missional prayer. Why this emphasis? Well, it’s the first and most foundational of our Refocus 2020 strategic priorities. During Lent we bring to mind the fact that apart from the grace of God, we cannot experience salvation, nor can we carry out the mission to spread the gospel to our neighbors and to our world. We are entirely dependent on the Lord, so we must seek him in prayer, asking him to lead us forward into the mission field he has for us individually, as families, and as a church in West Chicago.
During the next two months, these are the specific ways we’ll be interacting with Refocus 2020–and missional prayer in particular–in our services and events. They are listed below, with the times and details mentioned at the end of this email.
- Refocus 2020 Update: On Sunday, March 10 we’ll join together for a potluck. Pastor Nick and Pastor Rhett will share about where we’ve been since we began our Refocus 2020 journey, what we’ve accomplished so far, and where we’re going in the coming months.
- Sermon Series: “Missional Prayers of the Bible”: Beginning Sunday, March 10, we’ll begin a new Sunday morning sermon series. This series will focus on missional prayers in the Old and New Testaments and the implications of these prayers for our church as we seek to become missional people.
- Missional Prayer Services: On the evenings of Wednesday, March 13and Sunday, April 17 we will hold missional prayer services. Our time together will focus on worship and seeking the Lord in prayer as a body of believers desiring to be used as instruments to further his gospel.
- Sunday School Series: “The Practices of Missional People”: What does it look like exactly to be “missional”? How do we share the gospel without feeling like we’re trying to sell a product? This is a series that explores the basics of sharing the gospel in a way that is both relational and dependent on the work of God–instead of on our own words and abilities–to lead people to Christ.
- Missional Prayer Devotional: Beginning the week of March 10, your pastors will provide a brief weekly devotional during the months of March and April. The devotional will focus on missional prayer and provide guidance on how to pray missionally during the week. We hope these readings will not only paint a fuller picture of what missional prayer is, but also give practical guidance in how to pray with God’s missional purposes in view.
March and April Events
Finally, we want to provide you with the list of events for March and April. Please note that this list does not include ministry team events (e.g. men’s ministry, women’s ministry, prayer team ministry).
Sunday, March 10
11:00am: Financial update meeting (No Sunday School)
5:30pm: Potluck and Refocus 2020 Update
Wednesday, March 13
6:30pm-7:20pm: Missional Prayer Service (Choir practice at 7:30)
Sunday, April 7
6:00pm: Missional Prayer service
Friday, April 19 (Good Friday)
6:30-7:30pm: Good Friday Service
Sunday, April 21 (Easter Sunday)
No Adult Sunday school
We thank God for each of you and are excited about the ways the Lord is at work in our midst, knowing that he will remain faithful to us as we seek, by his grace, to remain faithful to him.
Let’s continue to pray that the Lord would be powerfully at work among us, for his own glory, as we seek to magnify his name in West Chicago.