To encourage an intentional prayer effort among the churches and pastors of the Church of God denomination, the Church of God Prayer Ministries Office sets forth a leadership network of prayer coordinators with a prayer leader assigned for each state/region. This leader also needs around a team. The State Prayer Team should be built with the state/regional structure in mind. Then supplement the constituency for the purpose of diversity (men and women, young and old, laity and ministry, ethnic diversity, etc.). Finally, perhaps most importantly, build ministry capacity and calling into the team. Who has a passion to carry the torch in your state for youth and children’s prayer, to mobilize intercessors, to recover the family altar, to raise up prayer support for UPGs, and church planters? This last layer is the critical component that allows us to begin to mobilize and resource prayer at every level.
Below is a description of a State/Regional Prayer Coordinator. To learn more about this leadership role purchase the State Prayer Leader Guidebook for your Leader and Prayer Team.
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State/Regional Prayer Leader Description
Reports to: Administrative Bishop; Collaborates with International Prayer Coordinator.
Overall responsibility: To promote prayer among the ministers and the churches, to develop a strategy to undergird the leaders and efforts, the ministers and churches of the state in prayer; to encourage churches to be intentional in their prayer effort.
- The State Prayer Coordinator needs to be allowed to leverage the influence of the Administrative Bishop. That demands a person in whom the Bishop has both deep confidence and personal trust, a hand-glove relationship is desired.
- Prayer should be a part of the process of decision making and programming.
- Where possible, a state should commit resources to the prayer ministry needs. Funding priorities make a theological statement. A budgetary crisis should not deter prayer efforts, but deepen prayer resolve. In any case, people who are genuinely called to pray will do so without pay. So a volunteer process can never be thwarted from moving forward by financial constraints.
- It is typically not recommended that the Administrative Bishop, the Evangelism Director or a Pastor be the State Prayer Coordinator. Each case may be unique. However, the position will require a significant time commitment. Pastors in the state may find it easier to work with a respected layman or retired pastor rather than a peer.
Key areas of responsibility
- Bring prayer to the heart of every ministry endeavor.
- Encourage pastors to be people of prayer.
- Encourage local churches to name a prayer leadership team and participate in the ‘praying church movement.’
- Identify intercessors across the state.
- Provide on-going training in the area of prayer, the family altar, intercession, effective prayer meetings, and prayer evangelism.
- Conduct state-wide and regional prayer gatherings.
- Develop a multi-year strategy for the prayer-evangelism effort.
- The Administrative Bishop regularly.
- The International Coordinator of Prayer Ministries regularly.
- State team members.
- Local church prayer team members and pastors regarding their needs.
- State intercessors network.
- The Prayer Coordinator should be a person of prayer.
- They should have some success in leading prayer efforts.
- They should have the respect of pastors and ministers in the state.
- They may be a pastor, minister or non-credentialed lay leader in good standing with their local church, male or female.
- In addition to a passion for prayer, they should exhibit leadership skills.
Recommendations for the State Prayer Leader and Team:
- The role of the Prayer Coordinator and the State Prayer Team is to work toward integrating prayer into every aspect of state and local church life. This will typically require primary leadership to create and expand state-wide prayer ministry.
- Make prayer a cornerstone for everything done in and through the state and the churches.
- Develop a state-wide communication network. Use electronic technology. If possible, use the State News, the State website. Send information for posting to the www.praycog.org site.
- Survey the pastors and staff for prayer needs.
- Report to the Prayer Team and local churches what’s happening around the state in prayer.
- Discover and disseminate different prayer strategies. Share the unique adaptation of prayer strategies. Help leaders learn from each other.
- Encourage participation in denomination prayer efforts.
- Don’t Make Prayer a Program. Begin small, mentor and train individuals. Keep the focus on a relationship with Christ.
Additional Guidelines for Appointing the State Prayer Leadership Team
The prayer leadership team should reflect the composition of your state – men and women, young and old with ethnic diversity. Couples work well, though the team need not be exclusively composed of couples. Laypersons or credential ministers who are retired or serve in an associate role, particularly outstanding local church prayer coordinators, make great choices.
There is no size limitation. Ideally, the team will be in the range of at least ten-to-twelve.
The team will serve at the pleasure of the Administrative Bishop. Longer terms will allow the team to develop significant relationships throughout the state and see the completion of various initiatives. Consider four-to-six year terms. 20% of the prayer team should be new leadership every 24 months for fresh input. Develop a tenure model with that in mind. Team members rotating off may be eligible to serve again, and may be viewed as advisors to the state-wide prayer process.
People of prayer tend to have special and specific passions. When you appoint your team, these elements should be reflected in your team – intercessory prayer, pastoral prayer support, prayer evangelism (prayer walking, missions), personal prayer, church-based prayer ministries, the family and prayer, prayer rooms/centers, prayer teams, prophetic intercession, prayer watches, leading prayer gatherings, etc. Finding such people with both a passion for prayer and a capacity for leadership, with varied prayer interests will insure a broad prayer emphasis in your state.
Your team should be chosen with their potential contribution in mind, not the convenience of their location to the state office. The geographic distribution of the team throughout the state may be important if you are considering regional representation or initiatives. Otherwise, choose the best team for the state/region regardless of their residential location.
FREQUENCY OF MEETING
Encourage the team to meet together, face-to-face, at least quarterly, if for no other reason, than to pray. If possible, plan the meeting when the Administrative Bishop can meet with them for at least a portion of the time. Encourage the team to connect via conference call monthly to review the prayer needs of the state.
Allow the group to be creative, to follow the imaginative leadership of the Spirit with regard to prayer initiatives – prayer chains, prayer walks/missions, pastoral prayer support, state office prayer support and more.
The website – www.praycog.org – will serve the process. It will allow for prayer teams to connect with one another and share breakthrough stories and ideas for stimulating prayer.
Once state prayer teams are in place, our goal is to encourage local churches to appoint prayer leadership teams or at the very least, a local church prayer coordinator. The state prayer teams will seek to resource and encourage the pastors and prayer leaders who have identified themselves as seeking to move a prayer process forward in their congregation. In addition, the international prayer coordinator will seek to connect and resource both state and local church prayer leadership teams.