Think with me about IRM as a large tree with Prayer Summits as the trunk (see Part 1). Over the last several years some large branches have grown and are producing some great fruit. One of those branches flows directly out of Prayer Summits and is significantly affecting about a dozen areas. Before I identify this branch, let me tell you a bit of a story.
Mission America Coalition and Prayer Summits have always been very closely related. Though the conception of Mission America Coalition was in 1974 at the Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization, it was birthed at the National Prayer Leaders Prayer Summit in 1993. Dr. Joe Aldrich was a founding member. About 6 years ago, the MAC team asked many people what God seemed to be doing and how they could fan that. One of the key answers to that question was “impacting cities through a united effort of prayer, service, and evangelism.” This is what IRM had been investing in for years. Part of MAC’s plan was to offer a coach to various cities to help them in advancing a framework of prayer, care, and sharing in cities. This movement became known as “Loving our Community to Christ” or LC2C.
With this background, the branch of coaching began to sprout. Several key IRM Prayer Summit facilitators began to team up with MAC as LC2C coaches. We teamed with cities to help them grow in more intentional prayer for their city, demonstrate acts of God’s love for the people in the city, and look for attractive ways to share the Good News of Jesus to those in their city.
Pastors have many valid responsibilities within their congregations. But when it comes to those not yet in God’s family, it seems that we only have three responsibilities. They can be summed up in the three little rhyming words, “prayer/care/share.” And when we do this in a united manner, it represents Jesus’ heart better.
I have had the privilege of coaching three cities/areas. This entails regular phone contact with key leaders in the city, as well as a couple trips per year to those cities. All of this is not to present a program, but rather to walk with a diverse leadership team in that area as they sense what God is saying to them about impacting their community. So, we ask questions, tell stories, help them process what steps they should take, encourage more and better prayer in, for and with the community, seek to provide people resources for them to get where they want to go, as well as be an outside voice of encouragement and perspective.
Often times when I am engaged in a coaching experience, I reflect on a message I heard Dr. Joe share just before the very first Pastors Prayer Summit. There is no question in my mind that this is part of the fulfillment of the vision he shared at that point.
So, as you pray for IRM. Please pray for the “coaching branch.” Pray that much fruit would be borne and that it would remain.