Notes from the leadership journey!

Author Archives: Randy Willis

A Prayer for Centre Grove UMC’s 200th Anniversary

Centre Grove United Methodist Church is celebrating its 200th anniversary on Sunday, April 19, 2015. I was honored to write the following prayer for the booklet we published.

A Prayer for Centre Grove

O God, thank you for loving the world so much that you gave your only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but will have eternal life! (John 3.16, CEB).

Thank you for sending the Holy Spirit to lead, guide, and empower us! “Holy Spirit, you are welcome here. Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere. Your glory, God, is what our hearts long for, to be overcome by your presence, Lord!” (lyrics, “Holy Spirit”).

You are a great and mighty God. There is “nobody beside you; there will never be anyone anything like you!” (lyrics, “Glory is Yours”).

Thank you for revealing yourself to us, and for inviting us to follow you. Thank you for sending us into the world to be your hands and feet!

Thank you for your work in and through this community over the last 200 years. Thank you for all those who have gone before us!

We confess, O Lord, that we have not always gotten it right, and that, at times, we have missed the mark. So, we pray with the psalmist …

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. (Psalm 139.23-24, New Living Translation)

Have mercy on me, God, according to your faithful love! Wipe away my wrongdoings according to your great compassion! Wash me completely clean of my guilt; purify me from my sin! … Create a clean heart for me, God; put a new, faithful spirit deep inside me! (Psalm 51.1-2, 10, Common English Bible)

O God, give us hearts like yours. As we surrender all to you, please make us more and more like Jesus in every way!

Break our hearts for what break yours. Send us into this broken world with the hope, and the saving message, of Jesus Christ!

Do something unpredictable and uncontrollable for your honor and glory. We want your will to be done, not ours (Luke 22.42). May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6.10).

Please use us to make your name great. May Jesus be lifted high through us as we live out your mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for transformation the world!

Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Stay humble. Stay hungry. Stay in tune with God.

Core Prayers

Are there certain things you find yourself praying over and over, such as when you pray for yourself, your family, and your ministry? I do. I have a list of some things I pray regularly. These have become some of my core prayers. I’m sure there is no perfect list of core prayers, and I’m…Continue →

What If We Prayed Before We Complained?

A few years ago, I wrote a post on The Balancing Act by Bishop Robert Schnase. Recently, I’ve been thinking about something Bishop Schnase wrote. Bishop Schanse relayed a conversation he had with a woman, who thought churches should do a better job of caring for pastors. Bishop Schnase writes … She said that she…Continue →

Think You’re Safe?

Yesterday, I read through Jeremiah 7, and I thought about people who think they’re “safe” because they go to church, or something like that, but really don’t walk with God or obey God. The prophet Jeremiah says on God’s behalf, “Don’t trust in lies: ‘This is the Lord’s temple! The Lord’s temple! The Lord’s temple!’”…Continue →

“Essentialism”

Ever since I heard about Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown, I was interested in reading it. I finally got around to it, and I was not disappointed! There’s so much in the book, it’s impossible to review it all here. But here are some of my favorite thoughts. McKeown describes the…Continue →

“Breaking the Missional Code”

I recently read Breaking the Missional Code by Ed Stetzer and David Putman. The book aims to help churches become missionaries in their communities. According to the authors, “breaking the code … means discovering the principles that work in every context, selecting the tools most relevant for your context … and then learning to apply…Continue →

Train: My One Word for 2015

My One Word for 2015 is TRAIN. It was the focus of my sermon on Super Bowl Sunday. Last year, I challenged people to come up with One Word, and so far this year, we have nearly twice as many people who submitted their one words for the year! (My one word last year was…Continue →