Do You Have 100 Prayer Partners?
This is one of the targets we set for anybody wanting to plant or revitalise a church. A church planter needs lots of prayer support. When we enter the schemes, we are entering satanic territory. He has been quite happy for people to have been in spiritual bondage, without the gospel, often for many decades. Ensuring planters get as much prayer support as possible, alongside their own prayer life, will go a long way to increasing their chances of having a successful ministry.
We aim for 100 as a reasonable target. Obviously, this will take some time, but the more people they have praying for them the better. Planters should aim to grow this number through contacts they meet in their area, existing family and friends, and through formal and informal church meetings promoting the work. We encourage them to ask people to put them on their prayer lists. Our advice is to communicate regularly with these prayer partners to keep them to up to date with any and all progress across a range of issues (including finances) no matter how small or seemingly insignificant they may be. Even no growth and early day struggles should be communicated honestly to aid prayer.
As planters begin to gather a launch team in the first 12-24 months, we advise that they begin to pray daily for the needs of the area and their own specific needs. Some things to seek prayer for should include: wisdom, patience, endurance, perseverance, evangelistic opportunities, spiritual protection, cash, family matters, and a clear vision for the future work. Make full use of social media to promote the work and solicit prayer through Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and any other avenues. We try to publicise workers on our site by producing support videos so people can visualise the ministry and pray more effectively. Hold prayer evenings or events that encourage people to pray for the work regularly. Produce prayer cards and/or bookmarks that give people some pointers in how to prayer effectively.
Keeping prayer partners informed is the key to the ministry, particularly in its infancy. This is the primary and most important step that any church planter can make. Serious investment in prayer is the key to longevity in the days ahead. More basics to follow in coming posts.