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Reconnecting Through Prayer
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In Luke 15, Jesus tells three stories about three things that were lost: a sheep, a coin, and a son. All three were found then, and all can be found now! On the 15th of every month, we will add a new story about praying for the people we love who have quit coming to church. We hope that these stories will inspire you and give you hope.
 

Help Wanted! - We all need to be needed. And if someone is on his or her way out of the church because they feel unneeded and unimportant, what better way to keep them than by getting them involved?

Our Father.... - Research has shown that one of the reasons members choose to leave church is that when they're facing troubled times, they're often angry with God. Yet it's during these times that they need God the most!

To Seek and to Save - When they were finished, the committee was surprised and saddened to realize that although they had nearly 200 members attending each Sabbath, their actual membership was over 450! That's a lot of family to be missing....

City of Refuge - Our churches need to follow the example of the City of Refuge found in Joshua 20. People who have left the church need to know that there is a place they can run to and be safe.

Window Watching - When another member leaves, we need to keep watching out the window. Watching so that when we see them coming home, we can run out to the front lawn to meet them.

Doors Wide Open - Pastor Marc could have asked the group to not smoke on church grounds, or members could have volunteered to pick up the butts each week. Instead, they chose a spotless parking lot over helping the struggling addicts of their community.

Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall - Do you have a “Bertha” in your church? Someone who is openly judgmental when an absent member begins attending again? Someone who doesn’t extend the welcome mat, but rather stands at the door and turns people away?

These Little Ones - “Lord, please give me a burden for these kids.” Nothing happened. I drove home and opened my Bible. I was planning on searching for something from God, but my Bible opened to Luke 18 and the parable of the lost sheep.

Worth the Wait - How long would you be willing to wait for someone to return to God? Would a year be fair enough? That would seem a long time to wait and pray. How about two years?

Welcome Home - Maybe you know someone who hasn’t been attending church. How do you go about inviting them to your special service? And what should your church do to prepare for a Welcome Home Sabbath?

The Power of Words - What would make this story beautiful would be if I could tell you that the first person Norman met welcomed him back with open arms and made him feel right at home. But the story turns sour.

The Seeking Shepherd - If you, like Rick’s mom, are concerned that your “little lamb” doesn’t attend church, read the above text again. The seeking Shepherd is still able to care for His sheep.

Missing Body Parts - Whether our church members are lifelong Adventists or new converts, we have a responsibility to engage them. They are a part of the body that makes up our church, and if we don’t use everyone in a significant way, we will soon have missing body parts.

Dropping Stones - Imagine how Michael’s life—and the life of his children—would be different if the church hadn’t welcomed this sinner back. Instead, the members of Michael’s church dropped their stones. They chose to help heal, rather than kill.

A Parent's Aching Heart - I could see the pain in Rob’s* eyes. The wear-and-tear of his son’s decision weighed him down as though he were carrying a heavy load. His son had walked away from both God and the church.