'52 Sundays' guides will call N.C. Baptists to missions prayersby Mike Creswell
North Carolina Baptist pastors received copies of a major prayer guide for 2013 in the mail during mid-December.
“52 Sundays,” a disk-based guide, has been designed to lead churches or prayer groups to pray for a different missionary or missions cause each Sunday during 2013. It is being sent by the Cooperative Program office of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.
"Each Sunday you can pray for one of our Baptist missionaries serving overseas, somewhere in North America or here in North Carolina," said Mike Creswell, the Convention's senior consultant for the Cooperative Program.
"You'll get highlights of the ministry, such as starting a new church or reaching members of an Unreached People Group halfway around the world," he said. "As in our earlier guides, we have included lots of color photos from around the world."
Churches can copy PowerPoint slides directly to their computers from the disk and easily project them before or during Sunday worship or at other church gatherings, Creswell said.
A second slide for each Sunday will offer a devotional thought on missions, prayer, stewardship or other aspects of the Christian life, written mostly by Chris Schofield, who leads the Convention's Office of Prayer for Evangelization and Spiritual Awakening. Text files are included for each Sunday, so even if a church has no projector, members can print and read the prayer emphases. PDF files are provided for each Sunday so churches can print bulletin inserts to reinforce the prayer times.
Pastors across the state, from churches large and small, have said the prayer times have become an important part of their Sunday services.
"It's important to remember that most of these missionaries have been educated and trained at our schools with Baptist support, sent to the field under supervision of Baptist trustees and leaders, and supported month by month financially through our Cooperative Program and mission offerings," said Creswell.
"More than half of our international missionaries are serving in such dangerous places overseas that they cannot be safely named in public media. That's why some of the prayer guides use made-up names. The Lord will know who we mean," Creswell said.
Additional copies of the “52 Sundays” disk are available on request from the Cooperative Program office by calling (800) 395-5102, ext. 5539 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, the files can be downloaded from www.ncbaptist.org/cpemphasis.