Let Season 3 Begin
We just spent a week in Dallas, Texas for a training by David Watson in creating Church Planting Movements. We spent the week with all of our NewMinster community from California, Dallas and Omaha, as well as about 100 CRM folks from all around the world. It was a good week of learning and being together. The training was intense and so very good! As Lisa and I process what we learned we’ll be sharing some of our thoughts here with you.
To begin with, one of the (many) important things that David impressed on us this week was the need for prayer. In his work, which has birthed church planting movements around the world to the tune of 250,000 churches planted [no, that’s not a typo], he said that they never begin without intense prayer. Before they move into a new area or city neighborhood they send a prayer team to walk and drive the streets for three to six months. The only thing these folks are doing is praying. He also emphasized that the church planters he works with are spending three or more hours in prayer every day!
These two statements were both challenging and affirming to us.
They challenge us because they remind us of the work we have ahead of us. They remind us that we cannot do this alone or in our own power and intelligence or strategy. They challenge us because three hours every day is a long time. They challenge us because we are eager to get started with “real” work, not three to six months of interceding and listening.
But we are affirmed as well. We are affirmed because our plan has been to spend the first six months just being in the neighborhood, listening to neighbors and God. We are affirmed in our desire to go slow and walk the streets praying. We are affirmed that the time we spend in prayer is not wasted. We are affirmed that when people ask us, “So what exactly do you do?” its ok for us to say, “Nothing.”
Of course, what we’re doing is far from “Nothing.” But in our product oriented culture its hard for people to understand us. (And its often hard for us to shirk the feelings of guilt that we feel at not producing anything or running any programs.)
Already as I’ve walked the streets of our neighborhood I have met several people who have given me insight into the neighborhood. In sitting on our porch we’ve met other people who are beginning to recognize us and greet us. Our house sits on a corner of a pretty active neighborhood, right across from a park. Often we get to talk to folks as they walk past or even stop for a few minutes to chat.
We’ve been praying that God would reveal to us the spiritual strongholds in the neighborhood. As I was walking past an in home child care facility I sensed a strong need to pray for protection for the children there. Somewhere in my spirit I sensed that this was a place the enemy was targeting and that he had been given rights to rule there. We will be praying for and around this home and strategically looking for opportunities to meet the people who live there.
Thank you for joining us and praying with us. May Season 3 be full of stories where the Kingdom of God breaks in on our neighborhood!