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Viewing entries tagged with 'prayer'
I once held a notebook, one of those 3-subject beasts, that a high school peer of mine had used to assist himself in understanding what 1 million looked like. Every day for 100 days he sat and made tally marks, 10,000 of them per day until he got to that number 1,000,000.
Holding that notebook, feeling the added weight of the ink and flipping through the pages upon pages upon pages of tallies you begin to understand, not just know but understand what 1,000,000 is. And let me tell you, 1,000,000 is a lot.
This week the "Pray Now" button was clicked for the 1 millionth time. Awesome, yes. But what does that mean? The reason we choose to explain our ministry to newcomers by telling stories and not sharing stats is because you can understand a story and connect to it in an instant. A large number just floats to the ceiling and is quickly forgotten. It's incomprehensible.
Yet here we are at 100,000 prayer requests and 1,000,000 and counting Pray Nows. We are enthrawled and humbled by what the Creator has done with this team and this product. So I return to that notebook as we try to understand this milestone. Each tally to us is a burst of ministry. A young mother asking for healing for her toddler, or a college student wrestling with anxiety, or a newly employeed and newly heartened paralegal rejoicing, or whoever it is that reaches out to their church family beleiving in the power of their prayer is getting help. People are praying.
This has happened 1,000,000 times and 1,000,000 is a big, big number. We're still not sure what 1,000,000 means but we hope that with continued Providence, we're going to fill a lot more notebooks.
When we say that the prayer life at your church will be transformed using the Table, we aren't kidding around. Since we launched the Table 22 months ago, over 585,000 prayers have been said on the platform.
More info on how the Table encourages organic prayer at your Church.
Giddings First Assembly of God in Giddings, Texas, is a rural congregation with an average weekly attendance of around 130. They launched the Table in the spring of 2011. The congregation is led by Senior Pastor Pat Herlitz. His son, Luc Hertliz, was instrumental in launching the Table. Luc is an associate pastor and focuses on creative arts and media.
How did you prepare for the launch?
Pat: My son had launched his first Table while on staff at a church plant is the Detroit area. That launch did not take off quite as well as his second attempt here. He learned from his early mistakes. One of the first things he did was require the pastors to get on first and he worked with us for weeks before we launched it to the congregation.
Luc: The problem in Detroit was that I moved four days after the Table went live. Your system was new and I ended up moving to Texas. Because I didn't have a chance to get much "buy-in" it never really took off. It's a pretty tech-forward church, but without leadership pushing it forward, it just collapsed. Here in Texas, I took a more hands-on approach. All staff are required to be a part of the Table. We keep it very active.
What did you learn from that experience?
Luc: Leadership buy-in is imperative.
What kinds of things did you do to encourage people to check out the Table?
Pat: When we were ready to launch we made use of the posters (24 x 36" in the foyer) and we used the promo video in our video announcements.
Luc: I demoed it after service in the foyer. Plus our church shut down its Facebook prayer wall and moved it to the Table.
What specific steps really seemed to help with the launch?
Luc: Seeing the leaders and staff involved, clear demonstration of the value of the service and a demonstration of its ease of use.
How has it been going at First Assembly?
Luc: Our Prayer Wall is exploding.
Pat: I see Prayer Wall posts daily. The Serve App has not quite caught on, but the prayer app is invaluable.
Do you have some stories you can share?
Luc: My personal story is about when my dad had a tragic accident and had to be airlifted to an Austin hospital. While I followed the ambulance to our local hospital (before he was helicoptered) I put an urgent prayer request on the Table. Instant notification came to me minutes later with incoming prayers.
Are there ways that the Table uniquely helps a rural congregation?
Pat: Since going to the hospital requires a 40-60 minute drive, the Table is invaluable in terms of feeling connected to our brothers and sisters who are hospitalized.
Often there's a stereotype that rural populations aren't as tech savvy or plugged in. How has your rural community adapted to a digital space?
Pat: While rural defines us, we are not technophobes. It is safe to say the vast majority of people over 18 who attend regularly participate in our Table to some degree. Giddings is as smart phone connected percentage wise as Austin. When I walk through my Wal-Mart; I see as many bluetooth ear pieces per capita as I see when I am in Austin.
Sometimes people think small churches already have community and don't need the Table. How is the Table helping you as a small church?
Pat: It really has been the Prayer Wall that has created the most connection. One woman started attending our church on special occasions about three years ago. We'd maybe see her six times a year. After she joined the Table and added a photo, she started posting regularly. Before I could encourage her to come to church more, she did. She's now coming to church twice a week.
We have struggled for many years in finding a consistent way to "disciple" our members throughout the week.
Do you have your own story about using the Table at your church? Post it here
Check out their welcome video! This church really gets what we are all about!
The most creative entry in our recent Birthday Video Contest came from Imad. Rather than film himself, he used the wacky video animation from Xtranormal to talk about the Table. He shares how he found a substitute for nursery duty, gave away some dirt and prayed for missionaries.
Watch Imad's video:
The Table is designed to be a private, local community. While nothing online is 100% private, the Table offers smaller community that's more local, more connected, more trusting and more private than what you'll find on Facebook.
That means you can open up. Go ahead, be brave. Share your struggles with your small group. Ask your church for prayer about a sensitive issue that you wouldn't post for the world to see. It's not about gossip or sharing secrets, it's about opening up a little bit more. Not to tell the world and have people gather around and gawk, but to get help, to rely on our fellow believers to support us.
- Open Up: Share your struggles with your fellow believers. Ask your church for prayer about a sensitive issue that you wouldn't post for the world to see. It's not about gossip, sharing secrets or one-upmanship, it's about being the body of Christ and supporting one another. We've heard stories of how amazing it can be.
- Keep it Small: You can use groups to share your sensitive info with a select few that you trust. Your whole church doesn't need to know the ins and outs of your current trial to pray for you, but maybe you share more details with your small group so they can better support you.
- Post Anonymously: If you're really worried about privacy, you can always post a prayer request anonymously. You lose out on some of that relationship-building goodness (nobody will know it's you, so they can't come up and give you encouragement on Sunday morning), but you still get prayer.
Take advantage of the privacy inherent in the Table and open up to your fellow church members.
It's cool to see these kinds of numbers and celebrate with Granger Community Church:
more stories about how the Table is being used and share your own.
That's why we created the Prayer Video. Check it out if you haven't seen it yet.
Do you have your own story about prayer on the Table? Share it.