Ligon Duncan, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Jackson, MS, former moderator of the PCA, and a professor at Reformed Theological Seminary was recently interviewed by the only journal, Cal.vini.st. Not surprisingly, many of Dr. Duncan's observations are very insightful. But, I am particularly struck by his counsel to pastors and church leaders:
First, be patient.
Second, preach the Word from the pulpit with fervency, clarity and power, and let the prime means of grace do its work.
Third, emphasize the importance of a weekly prayer meeting.
Fourth, invite a core group of potential leaders in the congregation to study the Bible and pray with you, weekly and personally. Meet as a small group and do a Bible survey, and lead them in prayer. Model for them how to do it. Make them take part and be active participants. Watch the contagion spread among them for the study of God’s Word and prayer in the church, homes and their personal lives. Let them become recruiters and encouragers of others to study the Word and pray for themselves.
Fifth, in the course of your teaching/preaching the Bible in the local church, spend time explicitly and specifically on explaining why it is important for Christians to study the Word and to pray, and how one ought to do it.
Sixth, get your people to read good books about Bible study and prayer.