In Luke 9:2, Jesus sent His disciples to “preach the kingdom of God.” In other verses of the Bible, we find that He sends us to be “the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world” (Matt. 5:13, 14). We often read these verses and toss them aside simply because we don’t know how to put these commands into practice. However, Hope for Humanity has come up with an initiative to help us become that ray of light in our communities. Here’s how it works:
The principle of the “Be the Mission” prayer and blessing
initiative is to be blessed as you bless. Businesses in America
and around the world are hurting because of the economic
downturn. Ideally, your church wants to help its community
by affirming local businesses for their importance to the
community. To begin, your church can agree to pray for local
businesses and their owners. Start by hosting a Commitment
Service so that the church family as a whole can pray for
and support those who are making contacts in the community
in their name. Church members can also be encouraged to
make use of their local businesses.
After the commitment and prayers, a group of willing participants
from your church or group gets together to discuss
possible places they can contact and also to create a visitation
schedule that works for everyone. This group, whom we
refer to as the ambassadors, gathers and commits to visit local
businesses. In these visits, church members express their
concern for the businesses in these tough economic times
and let the owners know that the church is praying for their
specific business. Additionally, members request permission
to pray with business owners and include any personal prayer
requests that they may have. These visits should be kept short—10 minutes at the most—because they are taking
place during business hours. Sample instructions and scripts
are provided in “initiative kits,” along with “blessing cards” to
leave as a reminder. Along with prayer, the group tells store
personnel where the church is located. Many times we pass
by landmarks without realizing what they are; perhaps these
business owners had never noticed the Seventh-day Adventist
church, even one that has been in the same spot for years.
Now, however, they have something to connect them to your
particular church. They may tell their friends, “Oh, the Seventh-day
Adventist Church on Lakeland Avenue? Yeah, a few
people from there came to my business to pray with me, and
they pray for me and my business weekly.” What a great way
to make a subtle but huge impact!
The aim of this initiative is to develop friendships through
these visits with those working in the business community.
As the initiative progresses, we encourage church members
to invite business friends to a Service of Recognition at the
church (a service can be held at least once a year). In this
way, our churches can become a true blessing in our communities,
and we can invite others to share in the blessing that
the Lord has for all who desire it.
You want to be blessed in your own life, and this blessing
happens as you bless others. In the very act of blessing, you
yourself are blessed. That’s how it works! Tell yourself this
truth: “Live to bless others and you will be blessed.”1
Ellen G. White, Youth’s Instructor, Jan. 1, 1871.
Kati Britton works as a communication assistant with Hope for
Humanity in the North American Division.