Mobilizing Your Church
We do our best praying when we are encouraged to do so. Some have said that about 20% of the people in most churches are eager to join in almost any prayer initiative. What about the other 80%? Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the 80% have no desire to pray. Many of them sincerely desire to learn how to pray better and more.
Consider these five ways to encourage your entire church family:
1. Enlist the encouragement of key leaders.
If a trusted key leader, such as a senior pastor, personally recommends the prayer guide, it gives those who are promoting the use of the prayer guide opportunity to be as enthusiastic as they want to be about it.
2. Establish it as an item of value.
People generally use what they value and they value what they pay for. Offer copies of Seek God For The City with some kind of invitation to purchase it, or acquire it for a suggested donation. Even if you give copies to some, it helps to place a value on the item by suggesting donations can be received.
3. Give people the freedom to use only part of it.
Because of how behind some people feel that they are in their prayers and reading, they can feel that they are obligating themselves to a commitment that they cannot keep by getting a copy of Seek God For The City. Liberate people from the burden of performing a perfect prayer life for forty days. Encourage everyone to participate as they can by getting a copy of the booklet and using it in the best way that they can manage. You might say something like, “Even if you pray just four of five days of the forty day period, your prayers will be significant, and you’ll grow in prayer along with thousands of others.”
4. Use the themes, prayers and scriptures in the life of the church.
Look for ways to reinforce the truths, needs, issues and hopes that you find in Seek God for the City. It can be as simple as using one of the prayers of the upcoming week as part of a congregational prayer, or one of the scriptures as a reading in a Sunday service, or even as the main thrust of a sermon.
5. Remind people to pray.
Forty days is a quite a long time. After a few weeks, people will usually find themselves distracted without a few gentle reminders. Use or modify the bulletin inserts and powerpoints on our website, or announce from time to time which day of the forty days it is. Encourage people in creative, positive ways. For example, some churches have had someone take one minute of the Sunday service to preview the upcoming week in Seek God for the City, explaining which topic or truth is likely to be their favorite of the week. Other churches have used email reminders or even YouTube videos on their church’s website, with church members talking about, or even praying some of the prayers.