I was in a church recently that is planting out three new churches this Christmas around the theme ‘Les Miserables’. Their vision made my mouth water.
Chatting with the pastor he said something powerful: ‘We’re not trying to grow a church, we’re trying to bless London, and when you bless London then God grows His church’.
That remark echoed in my spirit, it was something that had got in my DNA ever since Jesus had hit me full on a few years ago with this little statement, “I will build my church’.
I’d heard that a thousand times, but that day it really changed how I did church for ever.
A pastor’s job is not to build the church. It’s a little thing, but it’s been big for me and as I started getting out of the way we saw some great things happen. Our job was to bless south London, so we started praying for the great social needs of our area.
Two hour midweek prayer meetings became half nights of prayer; half nights became nights of prayer. Nights of prayer became 24 hour prayer. The more we get on our knees, the more the Holy Spirit did spontaneous things in the community. Those who got caught up in the Prayer Nights started to get a heart for evangelism, because when you get into God’s presence, you start to get His heartbeat. And they started bringing people to Christ.
And that’s what I miss so much , no more prayer nights…
Church leaders can delegate a lot of things, but can’t delegate prayer. The Lord convicted me out of Acts 6 of how the early church leaders delegated practically everything so they could be in the Word and in Prayer.
Now I’m no longer a pastor, I’ve come to see how vital it is for us to hold the ladder for church leaders, especially in their struggle to make prayer and the word their priority.
Pastors can go on line and surf the many Christian sites out there, and go to conferences and get a good idea, but you’re not going to get a God-idea there of how to bless your city or town, or village—you get that by being in the presence of God and getting into prayer.
And if the leaders have stopped praying the church will stop praying, and if we stop praying, we’re on our own and I don’t think we’re going to get very far.