the shape of leadership

Strength in the Foundation

Vision and focus are important at every stage of growth

George O Wood on June 23, 2017

I believe a church service should include a substantive pastoral prayer — not just a laundry list of needs, but a Book of Ephesians kind of praying that leads us into God’s presence. Too many prayers are bland and don’t really delve into the nature of God or the deep needs in the congregation that should be brought before the Lord that day.

Over the years, I discovered a number of people I trusted in the congregation to lead in authentic, apostolic praying, and Dr. Robert Frost was one of the first. He had been saved through C.M. Ward’s Revivaltime, and I first met him when I was an undergraduate student. Dr. Frost was my zoology teacher at Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri. He had migrated there from Baylor University and later wrote the great little book, Aglow with the Spirit. Eventually, Dr. Frost became a respected leader, author and teacher in the charismatic renewal.

We needed to lay foundations that would be strong enough to support what would come later.

Dr. Frost and his wife, Ruth, attended our little A-frame church when they were not speaking somewhere else on Sunday morning. Whenever he was with us, I had him lead in prayer.

On one of my first Sundays, Dr. Frost prayed for our small congregation. I was terribly insecure but was bolstered by his prayer: “Lord, help them to lay foundations that are strong enough to bear the weight You will later place on them.”

That prayer became an anchor for our church. I took hold of the truth that we needed to lay foundations that would be strong enough to support what would come later.

In small churches, it is easy to get the mentality, “We’re small, and someday when we grow, we’ll do things better.”

But I believe when you are small, you have to begin even then with the attitude: “We’re going to do things right today, so that when we grow we’ve got the right foundation to build on.”

Adapted from the book Road Trip Leadership: Mileposts Along My Way in Ministry (Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 2011).

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