9 Ways to Keep Missional Zeal Burning

As Timothy led the church in Ephesus, Paul exhorted him to “fan into flame the gift of God” (2 Tim. 1:6b, NIV). Despite this, within a generation, that same church faced a stern rebuke from Jesus for abandoning its first love, with the only remedy being a return to its initial deeds (Rev. 2:2-5). How did this once-thriving community lose its zeal? Perhaps it grew too comfortable, relying on a robust infrastructure, sound doctrine and well-organized systems.

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Examining the church’s dynamic beginnings in Acts 19, we see that its “first works” were characterized by passionate discipleship, bold gospel proclamation, regional transformation and the planting of vibrant faith communities across Asia Minor. 1. We need consistent, united corporate prayer. In Luke 24:49b (MEV), Jesus instructed His followers, “But wait in the city of Jerusalem until you are clothed with power from on high.” This waiting was not merely for self-renewal, but also for evangelistic empowerment.

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  The early church exemplified this through its 10-day prayer vigil anticipating Pentecost. This illustrates that significant time in united corporate prayer is crucial for leaders to bond and create the synergy required to unleash God’s power (Acts 1:14). The outcome was extraordinary: All were filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke God’s word with boldness (Acts 2:1-3, 4:31).

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