The first Citylight church started out simply as a prayer gathering of about a dozen people meeting and crying out to God about the possibility of planting a church. There was no name, no prospectus, no strategy other than to simply seek the face of our creator as we set out to plant a local church. We did not know it at the time, but this was the most “strategic” thing we could have done!
How often do we ask God to bless our plan after it has already been formulated? We plan everything out, put all kinds of time and resources into it, and start moving forward and then we pray to God “your will be done Lord..” We ask him to bless what we are doing instead of asking him what he is doing so we can join in. How much effort and movement is wasted because we did not seek God before venturing out?
Here is the thing, prayer is the most important thing any of us can do before and during a church plant. The time we spend in prayer is the most fruitful time for our ministries. If the movement of God is not behind us, we may as well stay home!
We still gather as churches in our individual neighborhoods once a month for corporate prayer gatherings. We honestly call this the most important hour of the whole month. Our staff meet once a week for staff prayer at our individual churches. These are times that we have seen God move in fresh ways in our lives and our churches. If we do nothing else right as pastors, leaders, teachers, and lay people, we want to get prayer right.
God is the only one that has the power to make hearts of flesh where there once was stone. God is the only one who has the power to save. If we want to have movements of more than just marketing and slick strategy we have to do the hardest work while we are on our knees before our God.