Untitled Document

 Mobilizing Churches to Pray for the Military

 Prindle

 2009-08-12 2:21:00  3222
- File 1 : ACCTS(Prindle).doc  (17 KB), Download : 740

 

  

    Mobilizing Churches to Pray for the Military

                   by

    Giving Ourselves to Prayer. (Acts 6:4)

 

In 2007, Major, Canadian Forces, Michael Ward and his wife Leonore of the Military Christian Fellowship of Canada were led by God to start praying for the Canadian Military Forces.  Within a year, they had built a prayer network of over 200 churches, Bible study groups, and lay organizations across Canada.  On January 19, 2008, many of these intercessors gathered in front of the Parliament Building in Ottawa to pray for the Canadian military, while others across Canada also prayed in churches, on military bases, and in homes. Retired and serving military members, chaplains, pastors, civilians, parents and spouses of soldiers came as one to lay their concerns b! efore God on behalf of the Canadian Armed Forces.

 

The Canadian initiative has spread across North America and the Caribbean, with more than 430 individuals, churches, and Christian organizations now participating. Under the leadership of the Association for Christian Conferences, Teaching and Service (ACCTS), this intercessory prayer movement is forming a Wall of Prayer, and becoming a North American Prayer Alliance, a spiritual analogy to the North American Aerospace Air Defense Command (NORAD), the joint Canadian / United States network of radars and interceptors which defends the continent from air or space attack by our enemies.

 

ACCTS, Christian Military Fellowship, Officers Christian Fellowship, the Military Missions Network, the North American Region of the Association of Military Christian Fellowships, and other para-church organizations supported the Wall of Prayer but the needs were great, and our numbers were few. The concept of operations, therefore, was to mobilize the nations churches to stand in the gap with our military as they fought to defend our freedoms

 

The ministry needs of our service men and women and their families had exceeded the capacity of military and Veterans Administration (VA) chaplains, and required the combined resources of our nations churches, the numerous para-church organizations which minister to the military, and the chaplains.  In Ecclesiastes 4:12, we read, Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.  While the chaplains and para-church organizations had laid a foundation for the ministry needs of the mili! tary, completing the Wall of Prayer Initiative required hundreds of churches across the country to serve as building blocks by becoming informed, intentional, and perennial prayer partners.

 

A corner stone of the Wall of Prayer Initiative was the North American AMCF Regional Helping Military Families Conference at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, Colorado, which was held last month.. This unique event featured a concert by Steve Green, and keynote speakers Dr. Myles Munroe of the Bahamas, Dr. Richard Blackaby, and Pastor Rob Parker of Canada addressing aspects of prayer in the context of military deployment. There were also roundtable discussions on deployment led by MG (Ret.) Bob Dees, Executive Director of the Military Ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ, MG Doug Carver, the Army Chief of Chaplains, and BGen Dave Kettle, Chaplain General of the Can! adian Forces.  With their many years of combined military ministry experience, these Christian Soldiers provided a unique perspective on the growing needs for ministry to, and prayer support of our Armed

 

Forces and their families as they persevere to preserve our way of life.  A complementary series of afternoon workshops on Military Family Issues, Christian Leadership, Military Ministry, and Prayer equipped both military and civilian church participants for more effective ministry to military families.

 

How did ACCTS mobilize these civilian churches to join us in the Wall of Prayer initiative, and encourage them to attend the conference?  This is the strategy we used, which God was faithful to bless.

 

ACCTS Strategy for Mobilizing Churches to Join the Wall of Prayer

 

1.  We established a Wall of Prayer map on our website.  Prayer partners could then access it, and mark their location with a brief summary of how and for whom they were praying.  The site also requested their e-mail, which allowed us to provide them updated materials about the prayer initiative and Estes Park Conference.

 

2.  With an extremely limited budget for advertising, we decided to tap into existing networks of churches at key points such as denominational chaplain endorsers, and other para-church organizations with networks of church contacts, as well as personal visits to both civilian churches and military base chaplains.

 

3.  As we made these contacts, and informed them about the prayer initiative, we encouraged them to identify cornerstone churches within their network which were (a.) likely to participate and (b.) could involve other churches.  Such churches met some or all of the following criteria:

 

  - History of Military Ministry, or;

  - Located near a concentration of military personnel, or;

  - Previous source of chaplain candidates, and;

  - Connected with other churches, either denominationally or geographically

 

4.  We provided the contact persons with a cover letter like the following for their use in forwarding the publicity materials to the churches in their network:

 

Dear XXXX:

Your church has the potential to become a cornerstone in the Wall of Prayer now growing across North America, so Im providing the enclosed materials on this initiative to help realize that potential.  Please pass them on to a member of your congregation who has a heart for the military, and encourage them to enlist others in praying for our military forces.

 

As outlined in the enclosures, the prayer initiative started two years ago in Canada, and is now spreading across the United States and the Caribbean.  The Association for Christian Conferences, Teaching and Service (ACCTS), Christian Military Fellowship (CMF) and Officers Christian Fellowship are supporting the Wall of Prayer, as are other para-church organizations and a number of churches.  The need for military ministry and prayer support continues to grow, however, and churches like yours are a resource which can help meet that need.

 

Please feel free to contact the ACCTS office at (800) 487-8108 to answer questions or to obtain more materials about this important work.

 

5.  We encouraged the cornerstone churches to identify key personnel with a heart for military ministry to coordinate the prayer wall effort in order to avoid additional workload for already busy pastors.  Such persons might be:

  - Military Christians

  - Retired Chaplains

  - Known prayer warriors

  - Family members of deployed military

  - Someone recommended by the Senior Pastor

 

6.  With key personnel identified, we provided them with publicity materials about the Wall of Prayer, both electronically and on CDs, such as:

  - Power Point presentations

  - Draft newsletter articles

  - Church bulletin inserts

  - Posters / flyers / banners

  - Talking points for small group presentations

  - Information about the ACCTS Wall of Prayer map

 

7.  We then provided key personnel with encouragement and updated materials as        required:

  - Prayer Wall and conference information

  - Prayer map tallies

  - Information about conferences of military Christian groups at which they could        spread the word about the Wall of Prayer through networking.

 

 In mobilizing churches to begin praying for the military, we found it useful to establish relationships with the contact points in the various networks of churches, and to allow the Lord ample time to work out the details.  The publicity effort began with a US Veterans Day (November 2008) brochure, which outlined the need for prayer and provided some prayer needs beyond the usual shopping list of keep Johnny safe, and so on.  As we encouraged churches to begin praying, we also asked them to use their prayers as a time of discernment, seeking Gods will for military ministry in their congregation and their community. 

 

In December, we provided a Christmas Brochure, encouraging Churches to remember in prayer our forces serving around the world away from their families.  In early January, we attended the annual meeting of the National Association of Evangelical Chaplains Commission, which is comprised of the chaplain endorsers for 15 denominations representing over 45,000 churches.  In mid-January, we attended the National Prayer Committee conference, and apprised them of our prayer initiative.  We also became aware of a wonderful new book on prayer, Giving Ourselves! to Prayer, compiled by Dr. Dan Crawford of Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary.  Featuring brief chapters by 80 different authors, the book examines the Theological Foundations of Prayer, the Personal Passion for Prayer, the Corporate Expression of Prayer, and the Global Impact of Prayer.  The format lends itself readily to use as a text book, a personal devotional, or a Bible Study guide, and I commend it to you.

 

 

In February 2009, we offered the churches with which we had contact a brochure with details about the August conference on Helping Military Families, and encouraged them to attend as a way of making their Military Ministries more effective.  In early March, we were at the Armys Professional Leader Development Training, which included over 400 of the Armys senior chaplains, and shared the vision for the prayer wall and conference with them.  In late March, we met with the Fellowship of Christian Military Ministries, and provided them with materials about the Wall of Prayer and the Helping Military Families conference! .  The week before, we briefed the ACCTS staff on the initiative and conference, and enlisted their aid in spreading the word via their contacts.

 

In May, we attended a regional chaplains training conference, and encouraged them to support the prayer initiative and conference.  Meanwhile, a long time ACCTS staff member and supported was combining personal travel with chaplain visits across the country, as were other staff. Staff members have made presentations to their home churches as well as churches in their home area.  Finally, Gen Lee, Pil Sup and Col Kim, Sa Mook have graciously traveled in the US to encourage Korean American churches to become involved in the Wall of Prayer. As a result of these efforts, we estimate that we have made contact with over 60,000 chur! ches in the US.  In Canada, the Military Christian Fellowship has adopted our publicity materials to reflect their military, and has had them translated into French for their Francophone population.  Using the relationships established two years ago when the Prayer Initiative began, they have provided information about the prayer initiative to every church in Canada!

 

The thrust of our efforts to mobilizing the churches of the North American Region has been to encourage them to pray for and minister to the military.  The North American Regional AMCF  conference served as a building block in  the Wall of Prayer around our military forces and their families.  Our vision, however, is that churches across the North American Region would not just include the military in their prayer life, but rather would strive for a life of prayer which supports, ministers to, and encourages our military.  Thanks to Gods grace, and the power of His Holy Spirit in co-workers for Christ from many countries, this is becoming a reality.

 

Prepared By:

PRINDLE, Capt (USCG, Ret) Pete and Jacki

111 Castellow  CT

Yorktown VA 23692

 

Phone: +1 757-874-0805

Email: captp61@cox.net

 

 

 
     

 


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1  Mil Ethics Paper in MSO CI from Dunlap     CalDunlap 2009-09-11 3014
2  Funding for Vice Presidents of AMCF     Kaltenbach 2009-09-11 3126
 Mobilizing Churches to Pray for the Military     Prindle 2009-08-12 3223
4  Training of Military Ministry Leaders     Reifsnyder 2009-08-12 3294
5  Reconciliation Ministry     Ogwang 2009-08-12 3107
6  Enhancing Efforts for WoWW Ministry     Minks 2009-08-12 3088
7  Including "Other Support Organizations"     Barnes 2009-08-12 3130
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