Friday, June 16, 2006

Guidelines for a Local Church Prayer Ministry

Vision Focused—We will mobilize people to pray for those things that keep RMCC, its people and Christians around the world vibrant in the faith. We will pray for spiritual renewal and growth, sensitivity to the movement of the Holy Spirit, the unsaved and special works of the Holy Spirit, that result in the expansion of the Kingdom of God.

Kingdom minded—We will join with other Christians in special prayer movements for various national and international concerns, and to bring the whole of life under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

Spirit directed—We will seek to foster prayer orchestrated by the Holy Spirit, both in terms of when it occurs and of what is articulated to God in prayer.

Spiritually vital—We will seek to manage our prayer ministries in a way that they do not become stale, routine, or institutionalized. This means they will be seasonal, have an element of spontaneity, and will be subject to change as He leads.

Worship-based—We will seek to teach and to train our church in worship-based prayer for both personal and corporate prayer times.

Crisis inclusive—We will have a means of communicating to a group of intercessors special prayer needs that will arise from within our congregation and a means of communicating to those in crisis that they are being faithfully supported in prayer.

Need sensitive—We will have a means of gathering prayer concerns from our church members and a team of people in place who pray for those concerns.

Ministry supportive—We will encourage each ministry of the church to mobilize people to pray for the various activities of that ministry so that all things are carried out prayerfully.

Confidential—Our prayer ministry will be managed so that confidences are maintained and prayer does not become a means of gossip, slander, or being "in the know".

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1 comment:

Ron Keener said...

Thanks, Phil, for picking up the guidelines we developed at Red Mountain Community Church, Mesa, AZ [1200 attendance], in our six-months new prayer steering committee. I trust they may be helpful to other new prayer ministries as they begin their work. It is well to get some solid statement on paper about your purposes and goals, whether as a vision or a mission.

Our team is meeting Monday night and in preparation for that I outlined what we have been doing these six months. Sometimes you lose sight of accomplishments when you don't go back and recap them--

>Our first meeting of the steering committee Dec. 5
>Met again Jan 16, discussing plans and ideas
>Met again Feb. 6 and heard Sally Handley of Word of Grace's prayer team/compassionate care minsitry talk about their early days starting a ministry
>Developed and eventually approved a mission statement
>Recognized National Day of Prayer by doing "prayer tags" with areas to pray for and stringing them to artificial trees in the church lobby
>Had they in the lobby May 4, 15 and 21
>Heard Pastor Bob Fox preach on prayer May 21
>Had a table at the front of the church with prayer resources, including the NAVPRESS prayer cards
>Staff produced three videos of personal prayer experiences, using the first before the pastor's message
>Displayed prayer books on the table
>Recognized Global Day of Prayer with available literature
>Staff added a prayer ministry "drop down" to the church's web site; very well done
>Staff prepared a prayer ministry logo
>Held classes on prayer May 28, June 4 and June 11 in three weeks following pastor's message; reached 100 people
>Saw the two other videos in those prayer classes
>Asked people in the third class session to sign up for "prayer pods" of 2-3 people to give special prayer for causes and concerns
>Prepared a new round of classes starting June 18
>Pastoral team is working up PIT teams
>Saw 6-7 team members go to PrayerQuake 2006
>Distributed PrayerQuake flier in the June 11 bulletin reaching some 1000 people
>Saw four team members go to the prayer worship evening at Radiant Church, Surprise, AZ, a church of 5000, to see how an event like that is done.

Well that's a start. Working in prayer ministry is lonely and difficult, but when I look back over just 6 months I can feel really pleased.

Couple key things for our ministry: the participation of the pastors and the involvement of staff in day to day follow through.

We had four pastors, including the senior pastor, at our first couple meetings and have had two pastors involved regularly since.

And we could not have done what we did without support from the staff in between weekends. Follow-through came from staff and a couple volunteers and we can't understate the difference that makes.

But much lies ahead if we are to make a lasting difference in this congregation for prayer. On to that this Monday night. Pray for us.

Ron Keener
for the team