Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Art of Giving Thanks

There is some art to helping people express thanksgiving.  I am learning more about that.  When you have something really exciting to tell people, it is good to build up the anticipation a little before you share.  We had the opportunity to share with our people this past week that we had 326 baptisms and 21 salvations the previous week.  To help build toward some excitement, we shared some facebook posts from people who had been baptized and some comments put on comment cards in our services to stir peoples hearts.  I then had everyone stand up and roll their necks.  The thought was to loosen them up a little.  I then had them roll their arms.  I told them I was concerned about them hurting themselves when they began to cheer about the news I had.  I also encourage them not to hurt their neighbors.

Then I had them hold applause until I had told them four sentences.  The final sentence had the 326 total baptisms on it.  Then I could say "Somebody need to give God praise."   People were so excited about he baptisms and salvations that they went into cheering and clapping.  The band was ready to take off on a fast song as that happened and we got to spend some great time giving God thanks for the remarkable things He is doing among us.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Corporate Prayer Gathering

The corporate prayer gathering is part of our dna at Experience Life.  It was the first meeting we had as a church and continues today as a primary weekly meeting.  

Famous Prayer Quote

The discipline of prayer and the discipline of Gods word must work hand in hand.  When we give up one we are in danger of losing both. - John Wimber

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Highlights from Prayer Recently.

As I reflect back over the past couple of months, I am reminded that the key element of corporate prayer is communion with God.  The whole idea of prayer is about us connecting with God on a personal intimate level.  We come into His presence and are involved in a dialogue.  He speaks to us and we speak to Him.  We make requests to Him according to His will.  The very nature of prayer is the communion of a relationship.

Here are some highlights from our corporate prayer gathering recently.

  • Seeing 100 or more people come up to the mics and give a one sentence of thanksgiving to God. (Seems like this is what church should be)
  • During worship seeing hundreds of people come forward and write the names of lost people they know on canvases so we can pray that each one would commit their lives to Christ.
  • Having jr high and high school students come forward and take a stand that they would be willing for God to use them this year in their schools and in their lives. (So cool to see tons of people surrounding about 50 students praying over them.)
  • Over and over hearing stories of answered prayer in peoples lives.  People having "ah hah" and realizing they needed to be saved or being convicted of their selfishness and submitting their hearts more fully to God.  We heard how high school students served the homeless and grew in boldness as they prayed for people in parks.
  • Having a local mission partner, the Dream Center, join us one night and being able to pray for them as they serve our city.
  • Seeing 732 people fill the Rink the first week in June giving us our largest prayer gathering so far.
  • Having a communion service at prayer and seeing people get prayed for by our prayer teams as they came up for communion. (Another picture of the body of Christ working as it should)
  • Seeing the continued results of salvations happening in our weekend services as we pray. (we understand there is a direct correlation between the numbers of salvations and  our prayers.)
  • Seeing people commit their lives to Christ during prayer.
Closet prayer changes lives but corporate prayer changes cities.