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Church Plants Need our Prayers
A Church Plant Team
I was once a part of a church plant. My son was just born and my wife and I both felt the call to help out a church planter. We even moved from Sanford, Maine to go live in Biddeford, Maine. We ended up being there only about a year. The church plant didn’t take root. The Pastor moved to Florida and my wife and I were left to find a church. It was tough on me because I really wanted the church to succeed and I wanted to be a part of something from the beginning and see it grow into something amazing. I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to be a part of that plant. It has given me opportunity to reflect on who I was at the time and how God made me to be who am I today.
Church plant work is about advancing God’s kingdom. It is about saving souls and the grace of God. This is why I write this hub. There is nothing more that I would like to see then more people come to Christ. One of the things I’m most excited about is a new church in Old Town, Maine. It is part of the City Reach Network and they are all about the mission of God. They recently launched their church and I have been prayer walking the streets of Old Town with the Pastor and the Youth Leader of that group. I want this church plant to succeed because it will mean God’s kingdom is advanced.
Two Question Interview with a Church Planter
You know that I like to give ideas on how to pray, so for church plants here are my thoughts:
The Planter: You might want to read my blog about how to pray for a Pastor because that one has many suggestions on how to pray for them. Church planters do what they do because that is their calling. Some go from city to city planting churches and then hand them off to others. Other planters stay with it long after the church is planted and help it grow. Either way, pray that the planter will know how God wired them and when it is time for them to move on and hand over the church to the next person. Or, to stay for the long term. When they start, it might be just them and they need to build up a team. Pray for them in the early going as a team is built to share the load.
Strategy: I believe one of the reasons why the church plant I was a part of failed was a lack of strategy. We did a lot of outreach, but even to this day I’m not sure what our ultimate plan was. In contrast, InterVarsity has a manual about how to plant a new chapter. Here in New England, InterVarsity has planted a lot of new chapters. These planters need to have a plan in place for the short term and the long term. Let’s pray that they will get wisdom from God on how to plant their church. Pray that their planning times will be times of prayer and connection with God.
- Their Team: In every church plant, there needs to be people behind the church planter. Sometimes a church planter goes with a team and others times they have to build up a team as they are planting a church. Pray that the team they build are excited about planting a church and advancing the Kingdom. This is a calling from God that shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you are considering leaving your church to help with a church plant, you are considering a great thing. But I suggest that you take time to pray and discern. Ask God what your role is to be with the plant. Be willing to take up YOUR role, not the planters or somebody else' role that God is not calling you to. He may even be calling you NOT to leave your church but to just pray fervently. Remember, the effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much!
Praying for a location of a church plant.
Old Town, a city with a church plant.
Church Plants Worship at Schools, Elks Clubs, etc.
The City: If you are praying for a church plant, get to know the city or town. Each city or town has it own personality and learning that is going to help you pray for the plant. If you can, go to the city and walk around and visit the city hall and ask for a city report. If you can’t do that, use the internet and look up the city on-line. Some cities are blue collar cities while others have a lot of engineers. Some are college towns or bedroom communities for a nearby city where most people work. Each one of these cities or towns have different needs. Old Town is a mill town that is in need of a new industry to move into it and put people to work. I pray for this so the churches can be funded here in Old Town and that people will be able to go back to work.
Hearts: Ask God to soften the hearts of people that the church plant is going to reach. God is needed to do his part through the Holy Spirit if the plant is to succeed. I pray for God to soften hearts as the church plant moves into the city. At the same time, I am praying for workers of the harvest to move in.
Resistance: God's enemy involving a plant is the devil. Pray that God's Holy Spirit will be loosed to make war against this foe and that this foe will be bound in his resistance. Pray the Lord will take down the strongholds of secularism, apathy and religiosity. Pray that the surrounding churches won't be competitive but supportive, praying the new plant will reach people they haven't been able to reach. Pray for a breakthrough in all of this resistance into revival.
Funding: I wish it was said that a church plant is free, but it takes money. Money to rent out space to have worship. Money to pay the Pastor. Some organizational help is needed to help with the funding of other church plants who need to raise their own support. Pray that God will provide. He can provide by having the planter be bi-vocational or supported fully. After all, God is Jehovah-Jirah, our Provider.
- Your Thoughts: You have them, I want to hear them! Please share so that we can be lifting up these new churches and God’s mission will be fueled with prayer.
Is there a church plant in your city?
Sign for the Music Cafe of City Reach Old Town
Church plants are God’s kingdom being advanced! Our prayer could be the fuel that gives the extra push needed for a new church, for God’s work in a new place. A little warning for you; God might call you to join the church plant. That is what happened with me. And it happened before I joined staff with InterVarsity. Prayer leads and I know that it could turn into me joining the effort. I wouldn’t put it past God if I change churches in the future (then again, I pray a lot for my own church). But don’t let that stop you, because if you are truly following God and His leading, then you will have the advantage no matter what you decide!
Okay folks. Get out there and pray, pray, and pray. And please do that early and often!