Don’t Forget the Most Essential Step This Fall

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Ready to pull the trigger?  You’ve worked hard on the calendar for the fall.  You’ve lined up coaches and ordered curriculum and set up a Small Group Connection or a Church-Wide Campaign.  You’ve got the lobby redecorated and ordered the direct mail piece and the signs to promote what you’re about to do.

Don’t forget the most essential step this fall.  Don’t forget to pray.

I was reminded about this again last night as I wrapped up a conference call with our new coaches.  Great call.  Great bunch of men and women getting ready to help us try and sustain over 70% of the 200+ new groups we’ll launch.

It was a great conference call and I prayed at the start and prayed at the finish…that God would bless our time and even sweep away everything that’s not on His agenda.

At the end of the call, when I had said goodnight and stopped the recording, right after I hung up the phone…I was reminded of something that happened every year at Fellowship of The Woodlands.  As we approached the fall, often as we got within a couple weeks of the launch of the message series designed to engage the community and make it easy to invite friends and neighbors, Pastor Kerry would ask the pastoral team to join him in his study for the next two weeks at 8:30 a.m. to pray specifically for the launch.

Monday through Friday.  Even on your day off if you can.  Just “join us here as we pray for the launch.”

As the staff grew that room got more crowded every year!  Kerry would say, “Who wants to pray for the people in the Community who will be invited by a friend or neighbor and will consider coming for the first time?”  “Who want to pray for the Crowd?  The folks that come occasionally, but will be here this weekend?”  “Who wants to pray for the Congregation?  Our regular attendees and members who are here all the time but really need to move from attending to contributing, to serving?”  “Who wants to pray for the Committed, that God will bless them and strengthen them as they step out in faith and invite friends and neighbors?”  “Who wants to pray for our core…that God will strengthen them to press on?”

Those really were amazing times as Fellowship of The Woodlands grew from 1,500 to 10,000 in 7 years.  Very cool to be part of that.  A lot of great memories.

Want to know the best memory?  I think for me it’s those times in Pastor Kerry’s office as the pastoral team wedged in there to pray.

Fellowship of The Woodlands (now Woodlands Church) was the fastest growing church in the 90s.  People ask me all the time what the secret was.  I can tell you this…I know for sure it was not the staff.  All of us knew it was a God thing.

What was the secret?  Prayer.

As we all get ready for the fall launch…don’t forget the most essential step.  Don’t forget to pray.

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