“…I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all those who are in authority.” I Tim. 2:1-2a (HSCB)
It’s not just about celebrating our country. July 4th can focus our church’s attention on praying for our country. Looking for fresh ideas for your church to celebrate July 4th this year?
Fireworks viewing — Does your church site offer a great view of local fireworks? Post an outdoor sign inviting neighbors to bring lawn chairs and enjoy the fireworks there. As church members serve watermelon and sodas, they visit with guests and invite them for worship on Sunday.
Children’s 4th of July Parade — Plan a fun, small-townish kids’ parade for your community. Get permission to block the street in front of the church, or stage the parade route in the parking lot. Advertise it everywhere, and be sure to create a Facebook event so members can invite friends. All kids in town can participate, dressing in red, white and blue to walk or ride decorated bikes. Kids meet at a staging area for sendoff, and parents line the parade route. A big “God Bless America” banner and flags lead the parade, and children’s Sunday School teachers distribute printed church invitations to viewers. Hokey? Oh, yes, but great family fun.
Christian Citizenship Sunday — Invite community leaders to attend a patriotic Sunday worship service. Ask them to arrive early at the pastor’s office for prayer and seating instructions. During the worship service, introduce them and invite church members to stand to indicate they’ll continue to pray for the leaders. Present them a gift (mug, bookmark, clock) inscribed with 1 Timothy 2:1-2.
Ask God to Bless America — Take a moment during worship to invite worshippers to kneel and ask God’s blessings on our country. A flute duet or acoustical guitar could play “God Bless America” as His people pray.
Drum Cadence — Begin the Sunday worship nearest July 4th with a formal presentation of the American and Christian flags, complete with drum cadence entry. A uniformed military serviceperson or community leader may lead the pledge or a prayer.
Pray for Government Leaders — Print a list of government leaders, from school board members to the President of the United States. Invite church members to select a leader, send an encouraging note, and commit to pray for that leader this year. This Independence Day, challenge your church to “make the most of every opportunity” (Eph. 5:16), and share Jesus during July 4th celebrations.
© Diana Davis, excerpts from Fresh Ideas – 1000 Ways to Grow a Thriving and Energetic Church (B&H). www.keeponshining.com
Editor’s note: We recognize that we have many international participants in the pastors.com community, but also many participants are located in the United States of America. July 4th is the date we celebrate our independence as a nation.