Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Inner~View #37: Prayer Leaders and the Tech Revolution

Prayer Leader Interviewed Toby Dagenhart

Developer/Owner iPrayerWorks.com

Prayer Leader
~ Toby the Internet continues to explode and new technologies appear almost every day - How can already over loaded prayer leaders get a handle on what is beneficial and applicable to their ministry?

Toby ~ I'm glad you brought up one of the most important problems prayer leaders face, "already over loaded prayer leaders." You are exactly right, what I have found in my work with the prayer leadership personnel is that they continually express that same problem. As a matter of record, I was approached by the prayer leader of the Chapelwood United Methodist Church with a request from her to develop a program that could relieve not only her workload but the workload of those associated with her. She was looking for a way to not only improve the daily activities of her prayer team, reduce the time needed for the leadership activities required and provide an opportunity to focus more time and effort on programs that had been shelved, her primary concern was to help more people in need through prayer, exactly what the job of the church is.

Prayer Leader ~ You have developed a site designed especially for prayer - How does it work?

Toby ~ The system basically uses the power of the internet to allow access to the congregational prayer needs 24 hours a day seven days a week. Prayer room administrators can review and manage prayer requests from any computer with internet access. Intercessors can log-in and pray for the needs of the church any time of the day or night.

Prayer Leader ~
This system is already being used by congregations. What feedback are they giving you?

Toby ~ The feedback, unsolicited, has been beyond our expectations. The churches that are presently using the system are all seeing tremendous growth in their prayer ministries. The growth they are experiencing is from several different directions.
  1. Increased involvement from the general membership, more intercessors signing up and a renewed commitment of those already acting as intercessors.
  2. A reduction of time required to perform the administrative duties to manage the daily activities of the prayer team.
  3. An increase in the number of prayers being lifted up to the Lord on behalf of those in need.
  4. Ease of access to the list of those in need and the specific need allowing the intercessors to respond more rapidly, precisely pinpointing the need rather than a shotgun approach.
  5. Meaningful prayer to address specific needs from anywhere in the world where intercessors have access to a computer and online availability.

Prayer Leader~ How can this system be utilized for prayer-care-share ministries?

Toby ~ I can envision churches positioning themselves as prayer centers, reaching out to the communities in which they are located, to offer support, not only for their own membership, but for non-members as well. As requests are made it will allow the church the opportunity to grow in several ways.

The organization of one or more teams to receive and to respond to the requests.

  1. A more complete understanding of the community of which they are a part, their needs, their desires, their knowledge of Christ, and I believe most importantly, what is on their heart.
  2. The church over a period of time will find itself in a position to better respond to the community in general, not just the church community.
  3. As the non church connected people of the community realize the power of prayer they are in a much better position to accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
  4. Every person in the community will have access to submitting a prayer request via the internet.

Prayer Leader ~ Powerful management tools are often very complicated to use and expensive to purchase or rent ...

Toby ~ This management tool was built to be user friendly with the end-user in mind. There is no software necessary for the prayer leaders to install, there are no downloads or upgrades, all of those problems are taken care of by us. The upgrades are automatically added to their system with notification and information on use. Training is provided not only for the intercessors but for the prayer leaders as well to make sure they are gaining full benefit of the program. Each program is designed specifically for the church identifying them as the user. The program has received many compliments because of its ease of use. The training of intercessors who have a computer and access to the internet takes less than 15 minutes. Once the intercessor is trained they can easily log-in, using their own user name and password, accessing the prayer requests and begin their prayer session in less than 30 seconds.

Pricing, as you are aware, is many different things to many different people. What seems to be expensive for one is viewed as inexpensive for another, and the reason for that difference is one can see the benefits and results clearly, while the other cannot see or understand the benefits. There is a one-time set-up fee which is based on the size of the church followed by a monthly service fee. The monthly service fee includes hosting, database back-ups, technical support, and all future upgrades to the system. Please be assured the benefits of this program clearly outweigh any pricing objections.

Prayer Leader ~ Toby, what is your prayer for the prayer coordinator who is tech-challenged and resists implementing new technologies...

Toby ~ My prayer for prayer leaders is that they trust God in knowing He will provide for them their daily bread. Whether that daily bread comes in the form of new technology is between them and God. I know it has been the answer for some, but probably is not the answer for all.

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