Many things have changed on Wednesday evenings, but all of the changes flow from the very foundation of Maranatha. If you look at Maranatha’s history, you will find “The challenge to the beginning work was in two areas: first of all, in the area of prayer, and secondly, in the area of faithfulness.”1 Wednesday evenings’ changes are in pursuing these same challenges to the work: prayer and faithfulness.
Maranatha is a church that has always believed and always taught that God works through the prayers of His people. From that heart, we are seeking to increase the number of ways and times the church can gather together in prayer. On Wednesdays, we have changed from starting with a 30-minute lesson followed by 30 minutes of prayer to moving to our prayer time as quickly as possible to allow most of the hour to be used in prayer. We do realize that there are some people who may only be able to attend a Bible study on Wednesday evenings and are looking at ways to meet that need without sacrificing our time in prayer. If there are other days and times that you would like to lead out in the ministry of prayer at Maranatha, please let Pastor David know (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Increasing our time in prayer made us realize the opportunity we had to expand the wonderful ministry that was taking place with our children on Wednesdays. So beginning in September, we began to offer a program for children ages 4,5, and kindergarten (K/4/5) that runs from 7:00-8:00 and a program for children 1st-6th grade that lasts from 6:45-8:15 (the same time as our youth program).
The K/4/5 program involves a time of music, a time of prayer, a short review of the Sunday school lesson, and time to enjoy being with friends.
The 1st -6th grade program includes: Bible drills, learning games, Sunday School review lessons with discussions about life applications, singing Bible Songs, reading rhythmic notation, chanting Bible stories, praying in small groups, and more. The games center around exercises to familiarize the kids with the Bible books and other Bible truths. Many of the songs will be used as teaching tools to solidify the truths the kids are learning, for example: memory verse songs, Bible story songs, Old and New Testament Bible Books songs, The Lord’s Prayer, The 12 Disciples song, The Tribes of Israel, Christmas songs, etc.
Our hope is by expanding our Wednesday night children’s ministry, we will enable and encourage more young families to be involved in the prayer ministry of the church. We will also be pursuing faithfulness in helping families disciple their children and raise them up in the fear and admonition of the Lord. If you are interested in making an eternal difference in the lives of our children through this ministry, feel free to contact Brenda Bout (email@example.com).
So even though many things seem to be changing on Wednesdays, it is only because the original challenges to the work of Maranatha are still the same today, “first of all, in the area of prayer, and secondly, in the area of faithfulness.”1 May God find us passionately pursuing both.
1 Bill Brock, A Ten-Year History 1965-1975 Plus The Miracle of Maranatha, pg 2.