My life as I follow Jesus Christ, and live life as a husband, father, friend, pastor, runner, coach, and sinner who found forgiveness and favor with God.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Sobering Success: a small hopecity story

Last night we had our first ever public pre-launch gathering for hopecity church.  It was a tremendous night.  We currently have about 30 people on our launch team, but there was about 50 people who showed up to Papaccino's cafe in the heart of Woodstock to hear the hopecity story and consider joining our team.  We had no marketing, just people inviting people.  It was great to see our team so energized to see God move in our midst.

We had laughter, a few tears, and renewed hope.  We bragged about Jesus and his love for our city.  We tipped our barista over $100.00 for serving us for 2 hours, and people visiting from the community were extremely open and friendly about the idea of a new church coming to this area of SE Portland - despite it being one of the most unchurched areas of our very unchurched city.  

Walking away, I'm very thankful...but I'm also sobered to the deep need of prayer.  After a big event like that I'm more convinced than ever, that our strategies, plans, and efforts are absolutely ineffective in producing life-changing results UNLESS we run to God in prayer and intercession.

 This week our team is stirring up our commitment to prayer.  We must remind ourselves that: 

"Prayer is the primary role of church planters and their core team. Jesus taught that God provides the harvest and the workers in response to the prayers of the saints (Matt. 9:38). Neil Cole writes, “The more prayers we offer, the more workers we’ll see. The more workers raised up, the greater the harvest”. Prayer provides the wisdom and understanding necessary to deal with the monumental cultural shifts created by the advent of postmodernity. Busyness is an enemy to prayer, and church planters’ lives are replete with busy work. "
A Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of Asbury Theological Seminary

The first Mon, Tues, & Wed of each month we are fasting and praying over these things:
  • Mon:  "Break up the fallow ground in SE Portland"  (see Hosea 10:12-13)
  • Tues:  "Draw we go to people." (See Luke 8:1) "Draw the launch team." (See 1 Samuel 10:26; Numbers 11:17)
  • Wed:  "Open up the doors for financial provision, that we would be well-supplied" (See Phil 4:18-19)
I'd love to invite you to join us in these prayers.

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