by Phil Miglioratti
In spite of a renewed vigor to reach the unchurched, Christians are still behind in maintaining a strong people-to-church ratio. In 1900 there were 27 churches for every 100,000 people in the United States. In 950, there were 17 churches per 100,000 people. Now, as the millennium approaches, there are only 11 churches for every 100,000 people. Richard Harris believes ³We must plant healthy, reproducing churches with evangelistic passion that will place loving congregation of believers within reach of all individuals and people groups (in) North America². (On Mission magazine)
In the Chinese alphabet, the character for the word crisis contains two very different perspectives. The one most obvious is the idea of danger; in every crisis all involved face certain risk. The other, not so obvious, is the idea of opportunity; the crisis may be used to bring change, improvement, even the success that had yet to be achieved.
How will you lead your congregation in our nation¹s time of crisis? Will you simply warn people of the danger or will you be a true leader who sounds the trumpet of opportunity?
We are in desperate need of pastors and prayer leaders who ask Mighty God for a mighty faith big enough to believe that every church can start a new church... through prayer. Prayer that is serious, committed, unrelenting, extraordinary... Congressman Steve Largent, a former NFL star, spoke at this year¹s National Day of Prayer observance in Washington DC. Among many insightful statements, he made this point: Religion divides; Jesus multiplies!² Does Jesus have your permission to multiply your ministry? Your congregation? New churches do not happen by accident. They are always the result of prayed-up Christians from prayer-strategized churches sharing their faith with prayer-for neighbors.
"Why should I mobilize my church to pray for new churches? We aren¹t
big enough to start a new congregation!"
Every church can start a new church...through
committed prayer! Even the smallest congregation can partner through prayer
with others who have the vision and resources to plant a new work
"Why should I mobilize my church to pray for new churches? We haven¹t reached everyone in our area yet!"
Every neighborhood and community needs many churches meeting at different times in various locations using a variety of preaching and worship styles
"Why should I mobilize my church to pray for new churches? Our church is growing; we don't need to start a new church!"
No matter how many people your church serves, new congregations provide much needed additional points of contact for those who may not be attracted to or comfortable with your church¹s size or style
Are You Content To Merely Manage Your Congregation?
Is It Time To Multiply Your Congregation?
You¹ve Heard The Call To Preach.
You Know You’re Called To Pray...
But NOW It¹s Time To Plant!
A Comfortable (One-Size Does Not Fit All!)
And Culturally Relevant (One-Style Does Not Fit All!) Congregation For Every Person In Every Neighborhood THE NEED—
Who Plant New Churches
By Calling Church Members To Pray
And By Releasing Called Ministers To Plant
New Congregations...At New Times, In New Places, With New Ideas
THE A-B-C STRATEGY—
Our Church Will Prayer-Birth A New Church As We... Ask the Lord to identify those in your congregation He has called to Preach, to Pray, to Plant...
Believe the Lord is so serious about starting new churches that He is ready, willing, and of course, able to use any congregation - Even Our¹s! Commit to publish Prayer-Birthing prayer requests in each Sunday¹s Bulletin and your Church Newsletter Declare a "Let¹s Prayer-Birth A New Church" Sunday in the next 5-7 weeks, and devote a season of prayer to petitioning the Lord for new church plants and new church planters and new church partnerships Establish an Adoption program:
*Adopt a neighborhood in prayer that needs a new church *Adopt an unreached segment of society (3rd shift, Youth, gang)
*Adopt another Zip Code
*Adopt an ethnic or language group
*Adopt a high-rise building
Fund a Church Planter: Salary assistance or travel expenses
Gather your people to pray:
~Sunday Evening Concert of Prayer
~Wednesday Night New Church Focus
~Travel on-site and prayerwalk
~Schedule a Prayer Workshop
Host a meeting in your home devoted to an hour of praying for the planting, watering and increase of new churches Invite a Church Planter to speak to your church or prayer group Just Do It!
Keep on praying for those who share the vision by Preaching-Praying-Planting Love those things our Lord loves by praying for the church to add to it¹s number daily Mention the vital role of prayer-birthing new churches during Sunday announcements Never allow the size of your congregation to keep you from participating Open the doors of your church:
~Let prayer in
~Let the pray-ers out!
Partner with another congregation to plant a new church Question the Lord daily as to how He wants to use your church Resist the temptation to ignore the Need Set a goal...right now!
Take a walk outside around your church building and ask God to let you see the invisible people who need a new or different meeting to draw them to God U...If not U, then who?
Visualize the map of your community and ask the Holy Spirit to give you a prayer-birthing assignment Wrestle in prayer over a street or a stronghold satan has kept captive eXpect a new church...If you do your part (prayer) God will do His part! Zeal for the Father¹s House - Let it consume you and your people! ³We will never succeed at reaching the millions of alienated from God people... until our leaders call us to pray-birth multitudes of new groups, studies, classes, meetings we offer to the Lord as the beginnings of new churches.² Copyright 1999, NPPN - Permission granted for duplication or distribution among facilitators and intercessors who are committed to gathering pastors for prayer. This article will continue to be posted and distributed throughout the NPPN - with the ongoing addition of comments and questions from NPPN respondents. The NPPN produces and provides these articles to initiate a national conversation among pastors’ prayer leaders. Opinions reflect the views of each author or respondent, not the NPPN or any other person or organization You are encouraged to contact the author or subsequent respondents directly. These ongoing discussions are intended to inspire, instruct, and inform those who lead pastors’ prayer groups and facilitate pastors’ prayer networks. The NPPN reserves the right to edit articles and responses for purposes of length or tone. Our call to humility and our commitment to biblical unity will serve as our guide and our guard.