service

9 Ways to Strengthen Prayer in Your Church

  • 14 March 2017
  • Randy Wollf

man looking at horizonIt’s five years from now. Amazingly, your church has grown incredibly in the area of prayer. People are setting aside time each day to pray. They’re worshipping Him throughout the day. You see life groups and ministry groups making prayer a central part of their group time. You see a church where God is doing amazing things as He responds to the prayers of His people.

Sound exciting? How do we realize this kind of vision? Here are nine ways to strengthen prayer in your church:

#1 – Enlarge People’s Vision for Prayer

How do we challenge people to grow deeper in prayer? Preaching and teaching on prayer can definitely help. In addition, here is an idea that can blow away people’s conceptions about how God can respond to prayer today. Tell people about some of the spiritual revivals that have happened over the past 300 years (for starters, see The Role of Prayer in Spiritual Awakening video or text version). Knowing how God has responded to concerted, extraordinary prayer in the recent past can inspire us to pray in focused and persistent ways today.

#2 – Equip People to Pray

Most Christians know how to ask God for stuff. Yet, do we truly practice thankfulness, confession, and adoration of God? Do we realize deep down that the goal is not just to pray for a set period each day (as good as that is), but to develop a lifestyle of prayer?

We can teach about prayer through sermons and workshops, but there is nothing quite like combining training with practice. One of the most powerful equipping times for my church leadership team was when we went on a two-day prayer retreat (see 5 Reasons to go on a Prayer Retreat for more on prayer retreats). We all read a book on prayer prior to the retreat, had some training sessions, and then spent time in prayer. It was powerful!

#3 – Build on What is Already Happening

4 Reasons Why You Should Invest in Your Strengths

  • 17 February 2017
  • Randy Wollf

Caulk on handsStrengths-based leadership is a trendy topic today. Is focusing on our strengths, those skills that are already well-developed, really a good approach? Even though there are some potential dangers associated with strengths-based leadership, I believe that there are four reasons why we should include this approach in our leadership.

Reason #1 – You Will be More Engaged in Your Work

Think about one of your weaknesses that you bring into the workplace. How does it feel when you use that weakness repeatedly to accomplish something? Now, think about one of your work-related strengths? How does it feel when you get to use that strength in your work?

Most people tend to feel discouraged, inadequate, and unmotivated when they serve in areas of weakness. However, the opposite is usually true when we get to use our strengths. We feel empowered, excited, and fulfilled.

According to a 2007 Gallup poll, “People who do have the opportunity to focus on their strengths every day are six times as likely to be engaged in their jobs and more than three times as likely to report having an excellent quality of life in general." [1]

The Gallup research clearly indicates that we will be more excited about our work when we get to use our strengths. The staff and volunteers on our teams will be more motivated to serve when we help them use their strengths in meaningful ways. In fact, Rath and Conchie discovered that when organizational leaders focus on peoples’ strengths, there is a 73% chance that they will be engaged in their work (compared to 9% when leaders do not focus on others’ strengths). [2]

When we are engaged in our ministry, we are much more willing to make significant investments in that ministry. Our enthusiasm level is higher, which spreads to others. We’re more likely to persevere with a project and stick with a ministry long-term.

Andy Stanley has said, “Don’t strive to be a well-rounded leader. Instead, discover your zone and stay there. Then delegate everything else." [3] 

In other words, focus on your strengths.

Reason #2 – God Wants Us to Wisely Invest What He Gives Us