A Vision for Mission

Jonathan Brownson

READ : Luke 6:12-16

Now during those days he went out to the mountain to pray; and he spent the night in prayer to God. (v. 12)

The North Dutch Church was concerned about its changing neighborhood. They decided to hire someone to reach out with the gospel. Minutes from the consistory (church board) meetings record how Jeremiah Lanphier received the call.

May 7, 1857: Whereas Church accommodation in the lower part of the City has become seriously diminished . . . Resolved . . . to devise such measures as may seem most conducive to an increased interest in and attendance upon the Divine Word and ordinances.

June 4, 1857: . . . contemplating the appointment of one minister and several lay missionaries to be employed as auxiliaries to the pastors, in making the North Church a centre of religious influence upon the surrounding vicinity.

June 18, 1857: . . . to employ a suitable person or persons to be engaged in visiting the families in the vicinity, and inducing them to attend the services in that church; and also to bring children into the Sabbath School . . .

The consistory began every meeting with prayer. So they must have prayed before hiring Jeremiah Lanphier to implement their vision for mission. I wonder if they prayed as intensively as Jesus did before choosing his disciples. At any rate, God certainly blessed their choice!


Lord, any decision we must make is an invitation to pray. Help us to get your advice before we make our choices. Amen.