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View Chapter 2 - Prayer and Brokeness

Church Planting Resource Manual

Download MS Word Document (2009):
File:Chapter 2 - Prayer and Brokeness 5-09.doc

Download Longer PowerPoint (2008):
File:Chapter 2 - PRAYER 9-08.ppt

Download Shorter PowerPoint (2011):
File:Keynote 1a and 2 Spiritual Battle 3-11.ppt

Chapter 2: PRAYER AND BROKENESS - Connecting with the Heart of the Master Planter Spiritual Principles of Brokenness, Prayer, Fasting and Spiritual Warfare

This article contains text only. For the full version with graphics and charts, please download the MS Word version above.

Theme: Church Planting places you in the spiritual battle for the hearts and lives of people.

Objective: To focus on the Master Planter in prayer as we connect with His Spirit, gain His heart and rely on His power for the church He is calling us to plant.

Chapter Goals:
1. You will learn the need for prayer.
2. You will learn to prioritize prayer.
3. You will learn how to recruit a prayer team.
4. You will learn how to involve the whole church in prayer.
5. You will learn how to seek God’s miracles for your new church.
6. You will learn how to develop good systems for prayer mobilization.
7. Your church will learn how to properly engage in this battle.

My prayer is not that You take them out of the
world, but that You protect them from the Evil One
As You sent me into the world, I have sent them…
John 17
                     
For God so loved the world that He gave His Son…  John 3:16

As (Jesus) approached Jerusalem and saw the city, He wept over it, and said, “If you had known on this day what would bring you peace…”
Luke 19:41-42

1. Learn the need for prayer.
Read this silently and then discuss with your team.

Testimony from an ECC plant
Artisan Covenant Church, Rochester, NY
August, 2007

“During our training I remember hearing that ‘you will be broken.’  I always thought that meant we would reach a place of burn-out and that we would realize that we could not do this “church thing” in our own power, but through the power of God.  That is definitely true and we have experienced that variety of physical and/or mental brokenness both individually and corporately at Artisan.  What I did not expect however is a brokenness of heart.

Over the past month and a half our leaders and church family have been praying and fasting for God’s heart and vision for the future.  We had a specific issue regarding a new concept for worship that we were seeking God for.  We expected direction, a firm “yes” or “no,”  What we experienced, however, was more akin to the experience of Nehemiah as he heard the report of the state of Jerusalem.  The people in Jerusalem were living in disgrace and shame (Neh 1:3), and up to this point, did not see a way out of their predicament.  Nehemiah, much like our leaders “sat down and wept, and mourned for days, fasting and praying before the God of heaven (Neh 1:4).”  God broke Nehemiah’s heart for the people of Jerusalem and he broke ours for the people of Rochester NY.

God revealed our failings.  We wept and mourned because of our own “functional atheism.”  We acknowledged God exists with our minds, but our actions showed we had little need of Him.  We wept for the hundreds of lives that are in disgrace and shame, many of whom may not even recognize it.  We wept because of our fear of the unknown and our lack of faith to move us forward.  We wept because we realized that God wants to do incredible things through frail people like us.  And we prayed.

Through our prayer we realized that brokenness and humility is exactly where God wants leadership born from.  Nehemiah started there, Jesus started there as He humbled Himself in the incarnation.  We humbled ourselves and we prayed.  When Nehemiah faced Sanballat and Tobiah he prayed.  When there was murmuring within the ranks that were rebuilding the wall, he prayed.  When he cast vision, he prayed.  When the wall was completed, he prayed.  After Jesus was baptized and before he began his public ministry, he spent 40 days and 40 nights in the wilderness fasting and praying.  It is in this continued prayer that God moved us to the place of vision. 

God has inspired our church to choose the more risky path in worship.  The reasons for doing so are a bit different now than they were before we started this journey.  Now we are propelled forward by the brokenness for the things and people that break God’s heart.  We realize that our neighbors all around us are in disgrace and shame.  We are moved to pour the grace and love of God into these lives.  We have a vision for raising up the next generation of godly leaders and sending them out to new neighborhoods where they will share the restoration that can only be found in God through His son, Jesus.

A friend recently shared a prayer with us.  This prayer both breaks and inspires the reader at the same time.  The prayer is titled “Disturb Us.”  While uncomfortable and, at times, painful, we thank God for our brokenness.  This experience has reaffirmed that it is the foolish (weak/broken) things of this world that God uses to confound the wise (1 Cor 1:27-28).  We are nothing but cracked pots, but we carry an immeasurable treasure “to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us (2 Cor 4:7)”. 
Disturb us, Lord, I pray!

Brian E. Haak
Artisan Covenant Church Pastoral Team  
www.artisanchurch.com

Disturb us, Lord, when
We are too well pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we have dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord, when
With the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.
Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wider seas
Where storms will show your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.
We ask You to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push into the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.

Sir Francis Drake, 1577
(See end of chapter for another example.)

10 Church Planting Maxims

10. You will be broken.  “Like clay in the hands of the potter so are you in my hand, says the Lord.”  Jeremiah 18:6
9. Plant behind the plow.  Prayer is the plow.  Ask the Lord of the harvest…to send out workers into His harvest field.  Go! …  Luke 10:2-3

8. People are polite - don’t believe them.  While Jesus was at the Passover feast, many people saw the miraculous signs he was doing and believed in His name.  But Jesus would not entrust Himself to them, for he knew…what was in them.  John 2:23-24

7. 75 is the enemy – it’s not about having just enough to feel comfortable, it’s about momentum in the mission.  The Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.  Acts 2:47

6. You can’t plant a church from behind a desk.  Go and make disciples…  Matthew 28:20

5. There is no magic bullet – rather, consistently wise and hard work will produce ministry fruit.  We proclaim (Christ), admonishing and teaching everyone… so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.  To this end I labor, struggling with all His energy, which so powerfully works in me.  Colossians 1:28-29

4. God’s in the vision – the devil’s in the details.  Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.  Matthew 4:4

3. Its the relational – not the technical.  Love the Lord your God… and your neighbor as yourself… All the Law and Prophets hang on these two commandments.  Matthew 22:37-40
“The church looks for better methods; God looks for better people… that’s God’s method – people who are mighty in prayer.  The Holy Spirit does not flow through better methods, but through people”  E M Bounds

2. Isolation kills – connection gives life.  Jesus called his twelve disciples to Him… and gave them authority… Mt 10:1

1. It’s a God thing.  Let these men go!  For if their purpose is of human origin, it will fail.  But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop them; you will only find yourselves fighting against God. Acts 5:38f

WHICH OF THE ABOVE MAXIMS ARE HARDEST FOR YOU TO EMBRACE?


2. Prioritize prayer.  P r a y s

A Church Planter PRAYS: We will use the Acronymn P.R.A.Y.S. as an outline for Chapter Goals 2-6.

“The way I was doing the work of God was destroying the work of God in me.”
Bill Hybels.

Prioritize Prayer in your life, in the team, and in the life of the church.
Why you need to prioritize prayer:
 
- Unfortunately, too many planters are more human DOINGS than human BEINGS
They are too activistic & need to be rooted in Christ in their Inner Core.
The more activistic you are, the more you need to intentionally FIND TIME to pray.

- We should Plant AFTER the Plow, not BEFORE – Prayer is the Plow.
Ask the Lord of the harvest…to send out workers into His harvest field.  Go! …  Luke 10:2-3
Notice that Pray ye… (comes before)  Go ye…

- In Acts, the Lord’s first instruction to His church was to
wait for the gift my Father promised.  Acts 1:4
And they all gathered together constantly in prayer.  Acts 1:14
How will you Prioritize Prayer in your life and in the life of your plant?
-  When will you pray each day?  Morning, Afternoon, Evening?
-  Where will you pray?
-  What devotional material or practice will be most helpful?
-  Who will pray with you?
-  (If applicable – when will you pray with your spouse?)
-  How can we get our Launch Team to pray and wait on God?
-  Who will keep you accountable?
-  Can you plan a half-day spiritual retreat each month? 

In Acts they prayed…
-  for new leaders: Acts 1:24, 6:6, 13:1-2, 14:23
-  for healing: Acts 3:1, 9:40
-  for power: Acts 4:24, 16:16
-  for open doors: Acts 8:15, 8:26, 9:10, 10:9, 11:19, 13:1-2

TEAM APPLICATION: What do you need to pray for?


3. Recruit a prayer team.  p R a y s

1.  How Can I Recruit A Prayer Team?
  a.  Find 7-12 Intercessors – who have the gift of holding you up consistently and who regularly see God’s answers to prayer.  Intercessors are spiritual dynamite!
    i.  Make a personal appointment to ask them to intercede for you.
    ii.  Make a small group presentation to ask a group of intercessors.
    iii.  Personal phone call.
    iv.  Ask for intercessors when you preach.
    v.  Send a personal email invitation – or use regular mail.

Let them know the expectations of an intercessor:
•  Pray daily for us
•  Keep much of the information confidential
•  Have the support of your spouse
•  Make a one-year commitment.  Ask again after Jan 1 if they want to renew their commitment.

  b.  Find 50-150 Prayer Partners – who are willing to pray for you every 6-8 weeks and receive the “Prayer Update” by email.
    i.  Ask friends and family who live in your area and out of your area if they’d like to receive a prayer update from you every 6-8 weeks via email.
    ii.  Ask people at your parent church, or ask when you speak at other churches, if people would be willing to join your prayer team.

Design a nice book-mark or general invite card, eg.
On the back-side, list your specific prayer requests:  see next page for examples
-  Pray that I would pray!  And that Doreen and I would have God’s grace & power!
-  Pray for a Launch Team of 30 adults by April 1.
-  Pray for outside funds of $30,000 to help with Launch and Advertising.
-  Pray for a great worship team and a great kids team.
-  Pray for each Launch Team member as they invite 3 friends.
-  Pray for many people to come to our Preview Services beginning April 6.
-  Pray for many to come to Christ through Catalyst this first year!
___ I would like to join the Catalyst Prayer team.  Email us and you’re on the team!

How will you recruit your prayer team? Whom should you contact?  Make your list.


2.  How will you communicate with your Prayer Team?
  a.  Call your intercessors regularly and/or send them special prayer requests.  Also email them the “Prayer Update” that you send your Prayer Partners.
  b.  Email all your Prayer Partners a “Prayer Update” every 6-8 weeks.
    i.  Feed them something fresh from God’s Word
    ii.  Thank them
    iii.  Let them know what to pray for strategically for the church plant and for your family

Here’s how one church plant did this in the first year – a regular Prayer Letter to Prayer Partners:

Life CHURCH – an Evangelical Covenant Church, Canton, MI
Real People. Real God. Real Life.
My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.  John 10:10b, Jesus

Dear Prayer Partners,
Would you take a moment to pray for God’s work in and through Life Church in Canton MI. As a church we know that we are depending on God and His power for the work he desires to do in the Detroit area. Much has happened in 7 months, but we are still a developing embryo. Our Launch date is March 16, 2003. We know that God responds to the prayers of his people—would you please offer these prayers on our behalf.

1. That we would have God’s heart for our community
2. That the Holy Spirit to prepare people’s hearts to respond to the gospel.
3. For continued growth in our key ministry areas as a church and continued outreach
4. For God’s purposes to be fulfilled in & through our lives individually and this Church corporately
5. For a great turnout at our Launch service next month and everyone to invite 3 others.
6. For lives to be touched and changed.

The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results. James 5:16.
Thanks for your part in making Life a place where God’s love can shine!
WHAT CAN GOD DO IN 7 MONTHS?  Read below and see!
A BRIEF LIFE CHURCH TIMELINE
Month     Avg. Attendance
June       20-25
August         38
September     63
October         80
November       84
December       95
January         131

• In our 7th month God has blessed us with an average attendance of 131 people.
• 4 people have accepted Christ
• 10 people have recommitted their lives to Him!
• Over 50 people are in 7 small groups doing our 5 Core commitments
• Over 50 people are serving on ministry team’s
• Many people are being ministered tot each week.
• People continue to reach out with God¹s love.

Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5.

Your Brother in Christ,
Alex Rahill
Life Covenant Church
234 Princess
Canton, MI 48188
phone: 734.634.2697
website: http://www.lifechurchcanton.org
e-mail: alex@lifechurchcanton.org

TEAM APPLICATION:                                                             
How will you recruit a prayer team and how will you communicate with them?

 

4. All – Involve the whole church in prayer.  p r A y s

All – Get everyone involved in prayer from the beginning.

They all joined together in prayer.  Acts 1:14

After they prayed, the place was shaken.  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.  Acts 4:31

How will you get EVERYONE on your team praying for friends, neighbors, acquaintances at work/school, and relatives – to come to Christ through the new church or for believers to come and connect with the new church?

PIE:  One way to do this is to: use the P.I.E. method (evangelism is “as easy as PIE)

Many people have no idea how to pray and invite others to a new church.  A good way to do this is to gather your launch team and give them invite cards (business cards that have the name of the church and the event you want to invite them to).  As they each hold 3 cards have them.

Pray that God would bring to mind 3 people, that you could authentically show God’s love for them in Jesus’ name, and that you could help them connect with Christ; then visualize how you’ll use the card to…

Invite them to the next church event, or invite them to your home, or invite them to serve with you on the next micro-mission in your community.  Then, in prayer…

Expect God to work, to draw them to Himself, to bring them to your event, and to transform their lives by the power of the Gospel.

Other ways to get Everyone Praying are:

-  When you’re looking for a place to meet.  Example, one church that wanted to get a new space had members scheduled to drive to the site every morning before work (6 am) to pray that if it was God’s will for them to get this facility, God would make a way.

-  When you’re seeking to impact an area, schedule prayer walks: “praying on-site seeking spiritual in-sight.”

-  Offer Prayer during service: one church had a prayer room where intercessors prayed during the message for the pastor’s words to be empowered by the Holy Spirit to change lives and the intercessors would also pray for people who came to the prayer room.  During communion, the intercessors were available at the sides to anoint with oil and pray with people.

And you can schedule all-church events for prayer, such as…

-  A Prayer Seminar (The ECC Dept of Christian Formation has prayer consultants who can come to your church)

-  A Day of Prayer.

-  A Week or Month of Prayer and Fasting for the whole church

o   e.g. Citadel of Faith Covenant Church schedules a month of prayer and fasting as they move into the next season of outreach and growth.
o   Other churches will have a 21-day fast twice a year.

-  Watch the Video “The Role of Prayer in Spiritual Awakening” with Dr. J. Edwin Orr, available for download of video or transcript at www.jedwinorr.com

TEAM APPLICATION: 
What opportunities will you develop to get Everyone involved in prayer?

 

 

5. Yes – Seek God’s miracles for your new church.  p r a Y s

Yes – All of God’s Promises are YES and Amen In Christ Jesus so you may stand strong in Christ.  II Corinthians 1:20f

In Acts, they prayed for miracles:
-  for healing – Acts 3:1-10, Acts 5:12f, which opened up the opportunity to preach the Gospel
-  for courage and boldness – Acts 4
-  to deal with discord in the church & to have discernment for new leaders – Acts 6
-  to listen to whom God wants you to share the Gospel with – Acts 10 & 11
-  for provision and protection in trial – Acts 12
-  for church decisions – Acts 15
and in many other ways!

Church plants regularly pray for God to:
- Draw key leaders at the right time
- Open up the right meeting space
- Provide financial resources
- Change lives!
- And MANY more…

TEAM APPLICATION:
List the miracles that you’re seeking God for in your plant:

 


How will you celebrate when God does miracles for your church plant?

 

6. Systems – Develop good Systems for prayer.    p r a y S
Systems – allow you to incorporate good spiritual practices in your personal devotional life and the life of your congregation so you don’t have to recreate it each time. 


Personal Systems:

Spiritual Disciplines Funnel
from First Steps for Planting a Missional Church, Gary Rohrmayer, p. 28

In order to dial down from a life-style of 20,000 rpms (“revolutions per minute”) and get to the place where you have slowed down enough to hear God’s still small voice clearly, there are steps you can take.  Journaling is an over-all discipline that can help you ‘dial-down’ step-by-step.

Testimony from Gary Rohrmayer: 

It was the summer of 1988, and my family and I had just moved to a small town… to a pioneer church plant…  We had started a Bible study, started seeing individuals come to Christ and others coming back to Christ and then we hit December.  We were too small a group to have weekly worship services and I soon realized that no one wants to talk to a church planter in December…  After two weeks of rejection I decided that I was going to pray and fast for the rest of the month and get a fresh start in the New Year.  Towards the end of that time, as I was praying in the early hours of the morning, I was prostrate on the floor.  I was lying on a map of our city praying that God would show me how to build the church He called us to start, when a deep sense of peace flooded my soul and I heard God’s gentle whisper in my spirit saying, “Gary, I am going to do it!  Just trust me.  I am going to do it!”
My heart starts to pound just remembering that moment!  …  In December 1988 we had 7 adults; by February 1989 we had 25.  On September 10, 1989 we had 110 at our first public worship service…  God did it and I was glad to be a part of it.

From First Steps, by Gary Rohrmayer, pp. 28-29

TEAM APPLICATION:  Each one write down your answers about the following, then share with someone else and pray for each other.
1.  What are the spiritual disciplines that feed your spiritual life?

2.  What are 3 things you can do this week to listen more closely to God?


Corporate Systems for Prayer:

FASTING - This is a time to: listen to God as a body, build group cohesion as everyone sacrifices and fasts together, build your witness to others as they become curious as to why you are fasting.
Good times to do this are: Lent, preparing your people for Launch, plowing up the spiritual soil as you seek to have a significant outreach or CMJ event in your community, before electing your first Leadership Team, before opening a new building, etc.

You may want to pull the group together to “break the fast” together and talk about what God was saying to you. 
Fasting:

http://www.billbright.com/howtofast/  Your Personal Guide to Prayer and Fasting
http://www.godsquad.com/prayer/prayerandfast.htm
Simplicity and Fasting by Jan Johnson, IVCF
Fasting by Lynne M. Baab, IVCF


3 Examples of Fasting:
1. Daniel Fast (used by Citadel of Faith Covenant Church.  This helps bring down spiritual strongholds,  builds spiritual strength in the body as they sacrifice together, and is a testimony to co-workers):
Week 1 – fast from desserts and sugar
Week 2 – fast from desserts + coffee/tea
Week 3 – fast from desserts + coffee/tea + any sugar/salty/starchy foods
Week 4 – fast from the above + meat (only vegetables, fruits and healthy breaks)
2. TV Fast – fast for 1 week
3. 23 hour fast – fast from everything but liquids from after dinner the first day until dinner the second day.
PLUS – Review the ideas at the bottom of page 10 for strategies for corporate prayer.

TEAM APPLICATION: Talk about the following.
What corporate systems can you implement to help you build a solid spiritual base for your plant?  (For ideas, look at Chapter Goal 4 above on getting everyone praying.)

When will you Fast as a group?

 

7. Your church needs to learn to properly engage in this battle.

Spiritual Warfare
Adapted from Rick Warren at Pastors.com

You have an Enemy who wants to derail you and your plant.  Church planting is a place of Spiritual Warfare and a place where you need God’s Power.

Ephesians 6:10-20: spiritual armor – ends with PRAYER (mentioning prayer five times)
Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, authorities and powers of this present world and against the forces of evil in the heavenly places, therefore put on the full armor of God… and PRAY…pray…pray…pray…pray

There will be discouragements, disappointments and spiritual attack.  You’ll need to be prepared to lean on God’s promises and understand spiritual warfare.

Acknowledge the adversary. Realize Satan is real. Peter tells us, “Be alert, be on watch. Your enemy the Devil roams around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour Ephesians 6:11-17: Be firm in your faith and resist him because you know that your fellow believers in all the world are going through the same kind of suffering.” (1 Peter 5:8-9)

Accept Jesus’ authority. Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:19 The Bible says if you are a believer, you are given the authority of Christ in spiritual warfare.

Armor  Ephesians 6:11-17 “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the Devil’s schemes. Have the belt of truth buckled around your waist and the breastplate of righteousness and have your feet fitted with the Gospel of peace. Take up the shield of faith and the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.”  There are six pieces of armor in the passage.

Aim Spiritual warfare takes place primarily in our thought life. When somebody is opposing you in your ministry, they’re not the real problem. The problem is the thoughts the Devil’s giving them to oppose you. The problem is not that person. The problem is what they’re acting on. You always act on what you think. They’re getting thoughts from the wrong source. There are only two sources for thoughts. When we get thoughts from God, we call it inspiration. When we get thoughts from the Devil, we call it temptation.

There are four biblical weapons we can aim against evil thoughts.

1. The Truth. The truth, God’s Word, is our sword. It cuts through all the mustard. It gets right to the point. When you are in a conflict, the question you want to ask yourself is this: What does God say about this?

2. Humility. The more you humble yourself before God, the more power you will have in your life (James 4:6-7). That’s just the way it works. As we minister to others, we need to continually acknowledge God’s hand in what we are doing. He’s the one who empowers our ministry. We’re simply his vessel. In humility, we find real and lasting power in ministry.

3. Faith.  Without even talking with you in detail, I can tell you exactly what God is doing in your ministry. He’s doing what you expect him to do. Faith is a powerful, powerful tool. (1 John 5:4)  I don’t know why, but when I preach and I expect people to respond, they do.

4. Praise. Revelation 12:11-12 says, “They overcame him [Satan] by the blood of the lamb and by the word of their testimony. Therefore rejoice, you heavens, and you who inhabit them.” How did they overcome the Devil?  Answer: by the blood of the lamb and the Word of their testimony. They were praising God. The Bible says when people praise God, “[he] inhabits the praises of his people.” Sometimes after a particular worship service, I honestly feel like Mickey Mouse could preach and people would come to know Christ. The praise has cleansed the air. There’s power in the praise of God.

Ask the Holy Spirit. You need to say, “God, fill me with your Spirit as I’m about to do this.” Whether you’re preparing a message, preaching, counseling someone, training your leaders – whatever you’re doing – ask God to fill you with his Spirit.

Avoid distractions. If you’re going to be effective in ministry – in battle – you’ve got to focus yourself. You know what’s important in life. There are so many things that want a piece of your time. The good can be the enemy of the best.

I have one person to please and only one – the Lord Jesus Christ. And if I’m pleasing him, that’s what is going to count at the end of my life. Avoid the distractions. If you get distracted, the enemy is going to catch up with you.

What’s distracting you?


TEAM APPLICATION:
1.  Each one share an insight about Spiritual Warfare as it applies to your church plant.

2.  Talk about ways that prayer can be a stronger part of your church plant journey.
There have been 7 Chapter Goals.  Which ones do you need to develop more?
___ Church planting leads to brokenness – we must prioritize prayer
___ Church planters are activistic – they must prioritize prayer
___ Church planting can be lonely – they must recruit a prayer team
___ Church plants need to find a way to get everyone involved
___ Church plants need God’s miracles
___ Church plants need to develop systematic ways to help them pray well
___ Church plants will face spiritual warfare which require that you properly engage your people in this battle.

Spend some time in prayer for your church plant.

 


OTHER RESOURCES

Devotional Strategy for your people:
Teach your people a simple devotional strategy (can also be a small group strategy, could work well for men who don’t have to talk for the 1st 40 minutes, could also be a methodology for leadership groups)
SOAP =
-  Scripture – read for 20 minutes
-  Observation – journal about it for 20 minutes
-  Application – talk about it for 20 minutes with your group
-  Prayer – pray about how God will shape your lives according to His Word.

Personal Strategies and Thoughts:

•  Take at least one day off from church work and focus on rest, health, personal life
•  If married, make quality time during the week with your spouse
•  If you have kids, seek to spend time with them in their activities and/or at home
The Most Dangerous Prayer 
Posted: 10 Apr 2008 06:18 AM CDT from Lifechurch.tv/swerve blog by Craig Groeschel

Do you truly want to make a difference in this world? Do you want generations to be different because you knew Christ? Do you want to lead a church that will impact your city, state, and the world? Do you want your preaching to awaken dormant spirits, stir complacent hearts, convict wayward sinners?

Then pray this prayer: “God, please break me.”

He will. 

And when He does, you’ll be ruined—in the best sort of way.
•  Your heart will ache for those without Christ.
•  You’ll despise spiritual complacency.
•  You’ll see the darkness of your heart clearly.
•  You’ll be bothered deeply by things you used to easily overlook.
•  You’ll cry often and easily.
•  You’ll know Jesus more intimately.

“Break us… Oh, Lord! Break us!”

The Blessings of Brokenness 
Posted: 09 Apr 2008 05:18 AM CDT

God rarely (if ever) uses good things to break you. The “breaking” is painful.
On the other side of brokenness, you’ll find many blessings:
•  The problems that used to seem big barely register as problems in your world.
•  People’s opinions of you don’t mean nearly as much.
•  You fully embrace that you “don’t have enough.” Then—and only then—can God become everything you need.
•  You discover an intimacy with God that sustains you moment by moment.
•  Scripture becomes the bread that nourishes you.
•  Heaven becomes closer. This world doesn’t hold you as tightly.

If God is breaking you, I feel for you. I also know that on the other side, you’ll find strength and comfort in the presence of God greater than you’ve ever known.

Am I Broken Yet? 
Posted: 08 Apr 2008 06:16 AM CDT

In the early years of the church, we faced several challenges (that felt HUGE at the time):
•  1/3 of our church left after I made a controversial decision. (I stand by this decision wholeheartedly today.)
•  We moved locations three times in five months.
•  One of my mentors and close friends committed suicide. (This one was huge.)

Each time I’d face a challenge, I’d ask Gary (Walter – ECC Director of Church Growth) , “Am I broken yet?” Every time he’d respond, “Not yet.”

Several years later, we endured more pain than I had anticipated. It came in waves. Just when we thought the worst was over, in came another round.

God was undoubtedly breaking us. We knew it. There was NO question about it.

The next time I met with Gary, I didn’t ask him if I was broken. I knew I was. And it was a “good” breaking.
If you have to ask if you’re broken yet, I’d politely respond, “Not yet.”

Priorities of Prayer For Christ’s Coming Kingdom
For your church plant
From the Petitions of the Lord’s Prayer
Adapted from Global Church Advancement
Essentials p. 101

Petition… Priority
Our Father in Heaven…  This begins with God, the Father.  We align ourselves with God as our priority.  We pursue God the Father and as his children we are co-workers with Christ in the world.

Hallowed by Your Name…   And we align with God’s Priorities and “hallow” God’s Name by how we live out His character.

Your kingdom come…   This ties to the 4th Message and Mission of Jesus: the Ascension, where Jesus is raised to be king of heaven and earth – including your community.

Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven…   This ties to the 3rd Message and Mission of Jesus: the Resurrection, where Jesus calls us to continue His will and life-giving work through compassion, mercy and justice to a hurting world.

Give us this day our daily bread…   This ties to the 5th Message and Mission of Jesus: Pentecost, where Jesus builds the true community of Love, where we are content in His provision and are generous to others. For the true community of Christ’s family, we have all we need and we can give the rest away.

Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors…    This ties to the 1st Message and Mission of Jesus: the Cross, where Christ paid for our sin and amade us right with God.  Because of this we live as forgiven people and offer that forgiveness to others.

Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.   This ties to the 2nd Message and Mission of Jesus: the Grave, where Jesus breaks the power of Satan and our bondage to sin.  In prayer we tie into Jesus’ victory.

1.  Spend time in Personal Prayer – connecting with God as Father.
a.  Spend time in private prayer.
b.  Someone lead in a song of praise to God the loving Father
c.  A few lead publically in prayer praising God

2.  Partner with one other person – and spend time together praising God for his characteristics and seeking Him for how you can honor Him by living out those characteristics.

3.  Share with your team (or as a group of 4) how ou want to see Jesus kingdom come in a greater way in your community (the mission field where God is calling you to plant).  Then pray together about these…

4.  As God leads you, stand and pray for
a.  Ways that you and your plant can be as responsive to God’s will as it is done in heaven.
b.  Ways that God’s compassion, mercy and justice needs to impact your community
c.  Ways that God wants to transform your community so it be becomes more like heaven.

5.  On slips of paper, write out
a.  the needs that you have that you need God to provide for.
b.  the sins that you need forgiven and the relationships where you need God’s forgiveness to restore.
c.  The names or grops of people that you want to see receive Christ and His forgiveness.

Take these slips of paper and nail them to the cross and a way of giving them to God.

6.  Pray together in teams (or groups of 4) for the ways that Satan has strongholds in your community and over people in your area.  Seek for God’s power to deliver.

7.  “For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever.  Amen”

End in corporate praise in prayer and song.

 

 

DRAFT Strategic Ministry Plan
For Our New Church

1. Theological Basis >>
  2. Spiritual Foundation in Prayer >>
      3. Mission Field - Need of our Area >>
        4. Evangelistic Strategies >>
          5. Our Specific Vision >>
              6. The Strategy of the 4-Stage Launch >>
                Stage 1 - Roots: Launch Team Gathering
                Stage 2 - Leaves: Preview Services
                Stage 3 - Branches: Preparatory Worship
                Stage 4 - Fruit: Launch
                  7. Leadership >>
                      8. Covenant >>
                        9. Finances>>

2. Spiritual Foundations in Prayer
  Worksheet for how our new church will build a Spiritual Foundation

  - Personal Prayer Practices

 

 


  - Corporate Prayer Practices
      - including engaging in the spiritual battle

 

 


  - Recruiting a Prayer Team

 

Category:Seeding - Preparation for Church Planting
Category:Spiritual Foundation for Planting
Church Planting Resource Manual

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