“You can do more than pray after you have prayed… but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed.” – A. J. Gordon
In October of 2019, our Texas District Mission Staff got our heads together to discern what steps typically lead to successful church planting. We identified six distinct yet sometimes overlapping stages which, by God’s grace, are contributing towards a multiplication movement in Texas.
The starting point for all church planting, we agreed, is “Waiting for the Holy Spirit.” As a ‘Type A’ leader, I find it tempting to rush ahead of God and get to work on MY action plan. Yet, through the years, the wisdom of this stage has been reinforced again and again. Wait. Breathe. Pray. Watch. Listen.
Waiting on the Holy Spirit can be broken out into three components. We must: 1.) BELIEVE the Gospel; 2.) ANTICIPATE that God will speak through His Word and the wisdom of others, and 3.) PRAY and FAST over new works and new workers.
Our Gospel-motivated goal in the Texas District continues to be 12 new churches and 6 local evangelistic ministries established per year. Yet the foundation for this work is earnest prayer.
Jesus said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Luke 10:2 (ESV)
The total number of laborers willing to go out into the harvest fields is not to be our focus. Jesus stresses the fact that we must be willing to accomplish the patient work of prayer. For in our times of prayer, it is revealed to us that God’s strength is undiminished. He is the One who plans, plants, produces, and gathers His harvest.
What a privilege to participate in the work of the Gospel, through earnest prayer.
Rev. Pete Mueller
Area C, Mission Strategist