The question was asked of a church planter in a small rural town, “What percentage of the town knows you are there to plant a church.” 60% he answered. In a small rural town, a church planter gets to 50% by the day after they move—Small towns know when a new fish moves into the aquarium.
I answered the question, “1%, I hope.” So, my church planting friend from the small town is a recognized fish in their Georgian aquarium. We are like a tadpole in a large lake. So, how do we become known and who do we become known as?
A common effective practice is to use direct mail and we will use direct mail. Direct mail from a church in January will often get a positive response. What works even better? Door-hangers. Being more personal, they matter more to people. But it takes a long time to hang 25,000 door-hangers. We thought to ourselves, how can we trip that number?
We decided not to. We decided to try to do something much bigger than we are able to do and make it not so much about us. What if we prayed for every home in our community before we launched our church. '25,000 prayers' is about regular people asking for God’s love to be known in every home in our community. We want to go to each home, leave a postcard invitation by the door and pray a quiet prayer of blessing on that home and repeat it 25,000 times.
I am pumped about this idea for the following reasons:
I expect that many, if not thousands of the homes, individuals, and families we pray for may possibly have never received a prayer on their behalf. We get to pray the first prayer for some of our neighbors.
Our efforts as a church will continue to trust in the power of God in leading us forward.
Our prayers will be exercises of trust in God’s great kindness and love to act.
We will be changed and transformed as we spend our time focused and praying for the good of the people in our community.
We are not just concerned with becoming known to our community, we are concerned for who we are known to be in our community.
It gives us all the chance to take steps of faith and practice getting our feet wet.