12 WAYS YOUR CHURCH CAN BE A CHURCH PLANTING PRAYER PARTNER…by Robert Beike
Every new church needs the same 4 ingredients; God, energy, know-how, and money. Starting a new church requires hard work, at least some knowledge, and at some point money, but without the spiritual ingredient it all falls flat, or is of the flesh. That is why every new church plant needs prayer partners. The church moves forward on its knees. Here are 12 practical ways your church can be a church planting prayer partner.
1. Establish and develop an intercessory prayer team to pray for the new church, church planter, and family.
2. Give opportunity for the church planter to personally share prayer concerns.
3. Conduct prayer walks and prayer drives on behalf of new church.
4. Pray specifically for the new church during worship services, small groups, prayer meetings, etc.
5. Provide the names of those committed to pray to the planter for ongoing communication.
6. Write cards of encouragement to the planter and family.
7. Send birthday cards to the planter and family.
8. Distribute prayer cards, magnets, etc with the planter’s family photo and birthdays.
9. Distribute the planter’s monthly newsletter to the congregation.
10. Practice “blanket praying” for the target community or focus group to be reached. (Enlist as many intercessors as possible to pray for a set period of time to warm up the community or people group to the gospel).
11. Practice “tag team” praying. (Enlist different church members to pray on a designated day of the week, so each day is covered).
12. List prayer needs of the new church on your church’s website.
I’m actually part of a team that takes these strategies to church plants in our movement, AofG, and you are correct. It’s amazing what a targeted prayer focus, prayer walks, etc. can do for the momentum of a plant, and how it catapults the movement of God and keeps everything focused on the him, as opposed to stressing about the ABC’s of church. (Attendance, Buildings, and Cash) When we commit to keeping the community we are planting in, the leaders, and the vision of the house bathed in prayer, we see Heaven come down and bless it, guide our steps, open doors, etc., as opposed to us working our tails off and crying out to God to hopefully bless our hard work and often our vain attempts.
I just got back from Boston this week doing the very things you described for a plant, and it is an amazing and humbling experience. I’m shocked by how much it means to the leadership of the new church. Something that, to me, seems so simple.