Prayer woven in NAMB's strategy to plant churches
"They didn't just pray, 'Lord, bless our city,'" said Steve Canter, the North American Mission Board's Send North America: New York City missionary. "They literally walked the streets, rallying together, thinking and praying in their neighborhoods. They rallied their churches to pray."
According to a 2009 study, nearly 4 percent of borough residents now consider themselves evangelical. The number of evangelical churches has also nearly doubled since Sept. 11, 2001, according to Canter, who credits the consistent prayer of those pastors as the only variable to which that growth can be traced.
That's a key reason prayer has become a critical component of the NAMB's Send North America: New York City strategy.
New York City isn't alone among NAMB's 32 Send North America cities in prioritizing prayer. Each Send North America city has included prayer as part of its strategy. In addition, NAMB's TenTwo prayer strategy -- which will be emphasized Oct. 2 -- enlists Southern Baptists to pray daily at either 10:02 a.m. or 10:02 p.m. for God to call more church planters to the mission fields of North America, particularly the continent's cities. The TenTwo strategy is based on Jesus' words in Luke 10:2, where Jesus commands His followers to pray for God to call more workers to the harvest.
Through Send North America: Denver, Colorado Baptists are urging Southern Baptists to become prayer partners, called "15ers," for the Mile High City. The term 15er comes from mountain climbing, a popular Colorado activity. Dave Howeth, NAMB's city missionary for Denver, says the state has 57 mountains in the state, called "14ers" that are more than 14,000 feet high. The state has no 15er mountain (one that is more than 15,000 feet high). Howeth and other Colorado Baptist leaders hope to grow an email list of 15,000 people who are committed to praying for church planting efforts in metro Denver and the Front Range.
The Tennessee Baptist Convention is mobilizing volunteers from its churches to pray on site in metro Denver for God to call church planters to specific places in the area. Built to coincide with the North American Mission Board's Pray TenTwo initiative, the effort will take place the weekend of Oct. 2-4.
Matt Marrs, NAMB's Send North America: Kansas City missionary, says local leaders in metro Kansas City are working together to establish a day of prayer for the city on Oct. 2, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at First Baptist Church in Raytown, Mo. Kansas City-area Southern Baptist leaders are focusing their efforts on mobilizing local churches who will commit to pray for the city one day per month.
"We're doing really impossible things," Marrs said. "We talk about reaching Somalis, Pakistanis or Gulf Arabs. You're not going to just get someone right out of seminary and bring up a mission team from the South, put them together and go reach a very difficult people group with the Gospel. That's only going to happen when the Spirit of God opens the hearts of indigenous people."
For more information about NAMB's TenTwo prayer strategy, visit www.namb.net/Why-TenTwo.