Since 1977, John Ravert and his wife Christie have attended the New Beginnings Grace Brethren Church in Myerstown, PA. Over the years, they spent many hours pouring into their Adult Bible Fellowship (ABF) group, which was led by one of their dear friends. After their leader passed away, the Raverts wondered what to do next with their time.
Historically, the New Beginnings church has invested well in Global Missions by supporting and sending out several missionaries around the world. Also, in hopes of staying connected with their mission partners, the church developed a unique buddy system between individuals within the congregation and their supported missionaries.
This is the kind of intentional thinking Encompass desires to see in all church communities.
Through this buddy system, all the missionary’s updates, praises, and prayer requests are reported to the congregation via the missionary’s assigned liaison. During the first Sunday of every month, the missionary reports are presented to the congregation. Also, right after every Sunday worship service, an opportunity to pray for all the mission partners is offered. For a while, this after-service prayer group was well attended. However, it began to slowly dwindle.
In light of the prayer time's diminishing numbers, John and Christie Ravert decided to make a new Adult Bible Fellowship group focused on praying for Global Missions and their supported missionaries. For the last two years, this ABF has faithfully bent the knee in prayer before God with praises and requests from their missionary partners.
This kind of consistent setting of one’s heart on Global Missions through prayer is transformational.
John and Christie have gained so much in this time of fellowship. Every day they seemed to grow closer to God and what he was doing in the world. So much so, they desired others to join in. With this ambition, the Ravert’s ABF group decided to make prayer booklets every year, which highlights the ministry of every missionary the church supports. Their ultimate dream is to see everyone in the church praying consistently for the Nations and their Global Workers.
At Encompass, we hope that people would become more intentional about Global Missions in their prayer life. Our challenge to you is to take some time to contemplate how you can accomplish this. Have you ever considered joining or starting a missions prayer group in your church? At the very least, all it takes is a few minutes every week to pray for either a country, a people group, or a missionary. Here are some great resources to help.