New every morning is your love, great God of light, and all day long you are working for good in the world. Stir up in us desire to serve you, to live peacefully with our neighbors and all your creation, and to devote each day to your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

"A Liturgy for Morning Prayer," Upper Room Worshipbook

Used by permission from the Book of Common Worship, © 2018 Westminster John Knox Press. All rights reserved. This prayer appears in “A Liturgy for Morning Prayer” in Upper Room Worshipbook.


Today’s Reflection

We meet people where they are, doing what they like to do. The times when people were specifically looking for a church or automatically coming to us are over. We must become missionaries in our own neighborhoods and build authentic relationships with people first in order to build trust with them, most likely before they will ever want to be part of a church community with us.

—Paul Nixon and Craig Gilbert, Launching a New Worship Community: A Practical Guide for the 2020s (Discipleship Resources, 2021)

Today’s Question

What can you do to build authentic relationships with people outside your faith community?
Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
—Matthew 5:16 (NIV)

Prayer for the Week

Dear God, help us to welcome new people into our faith communities. Guide us to people who are seeking you, and help us convey your love and acceptance as we develop authentic relationships with them. Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

For many churches, the call to make disciples comes with a realization that the church’s current worship opportunities do not reach certain groups in their surrounding community. A practical guide for church planters in the 2020s, Launching a New Worship Community is now available in both English and Spanish.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.


  • robert moeller Posted November 18, 2023 5:27 am

    I like the “build authentic relationships “ idea., That’s not a new idea, but it certainly leads in the right direction. Mingle with people, be open, fully present , honest, and sincere. It takes time so be patient. Our task is to spread the good news, not twist arms. The mind and heart changing is God’s.
    Thank You, Lord for memories of Soo Ok, they helped me through the day.
    Thankful the drizzly rain is supposed to stop as the bazaar begins today.
    A blessed weekend and Sunday worship to all the NEM family. Safe travel. Thank You, Lord.

  • Jill Posted November 18, 2023 6:13 am

    Investing time, listening well and being willing to be authentic and vulnerable. These things have paved the road to my new and deep relationship with my tennis friend. It began by holding space with her while she was in the last days with her mom. Creating a safe space, sharing my story and listening to hers. Out of that has blossomed a beautiful friendship. Yes, we have common interests which initially brought us together. But the authentic sharing and trusting are the foundation. We also have been on a parallel path of discomfort, facing surgery together and significant rehab. Kindred spirits, indeed. This friendship was birthed by God and I am grateful.
    Was to have dinner last night with a friend, but she got her second shingles vac and wasn’t feeling well. It was good to be home after school, relaxing with my kittens and my blanket.
    Lots of rain yesterday and so many leaves came down. We are now in for more seasonable, cool weather. Grateful for the bountiful sunshine of this past week.
    My sister and I are going to hit a few furniture stores today – I am in the market for a new couch. My room is very small and so much of the furniture is big and bulky. I would like to have it in time for my next surgery – but that might not be possible. Currently I have just a love seat which I lay on. It would be nice to have a full length couch. I have made the measurements which would work and will see what I find this afternoon. This is something I very much would have enjoyed doing with mom and would have appreciated her opinion.

  • Rusty Posted November 18, 2023 7:21 am

    Robert and Jill, I so welcome your comments on this topic. Mingling, being open with people, not twisting arms, investing time, listening (!!), being authentic and vulnerable. These are all the things that Jesus did. I am reminded of the woman at the well, of Nicodemus and so many others whom Jesus connected with. Sadly, much of evangelism has turned during the last few decades on formulas like talking someone through “the Romans road” or asking provocative questions about heaven and hell on the first or nearly first interaction. Yes, knowing scripture and using it wisely in conversations can be invaluable, but today’s reading and question, and today’s comments by our UR family, emphasize so clearly that bringing people to Christ and his love is about loving *them*. The Bible even goes so far as to say we can win people over “without words” through our loving example of what life with Jesus is like.

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