Monday, October 20, 2008

"Should I not be concered about that great city?"

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"What unspeakable grace to pray to God in intercession for the needs of a city and the world!”

We need a new direction on how to share our faith as a natural part of our daily walk with the Lord. Preparation for an Olympic outreach in 2016 as a community could provide the vision and the opportunity to make evangelism as important in our lives as worship and prayer. Paul could hardly contain himself when he met the Lord, and it became his life's main goal as he continued to pursue his secular work. We must 'get out of the building and into the marketplace' with the Good News.

PrayTheLoop begins with Pastor-leaders of Chicago’s churches. These Pastor-leaders will provide the spiritual direction, guidance and authority for prayer in every building in the central city and throughout the Greater Chicago Area. Each Pastor will identify those who will host prayer in the work-place setting. These prayer efforts can be weekly or monthly and held in generally locations so that participation can be encouraged.

Prayer is the point of beginning when we seek our God. Prayer allows us to become one before God as we ask for his leading in the enterprise to which he has called us. Every channel of outreach must be explored in order to provide full participation and ownership starting with the churches and missions in Chicago, which are laboring to connect with seekers in each of their communities.

As a church, you are already meeting for prayer and Bible studies; working in street ministry and friendship evangelism; planning mission trips; providing food and shelter for the needy. Your list of programs may include MOPS, pork-chop dinners, drama, new music, radio and television programs, special speakers, men's & women's groups, VBS, and I could go on. We don’t need more answers to the question; what we do need is more focus, which will raise our level of motivation to share the ‘greatest story ever told.’ Working together as a community of believers will build on the work you are already doing through your ministry. Working with others who are ‘bold for evangelism’ can bring encouragement, resources and working partnerships we need to be effective as we serve Him in Chicago.

We know it is God’s will that we evangelize, and we know that it is God’s will that we evangelize if the Olympics come to Chicago in 2016. I believe we can work together to do His will. The challenge of evangelism warms the hearts of believers in Chicago perhaps unlike in any other city. Overlaying an outreach to Chicago and the world at a time when the Olympics captures the imagination of a city presents an opportunity we must not miss. Linking 2016 churches in Chicago under a joint effort for evangelism will be a large order. The ‘church’ in Chicago has worked together before and with God’s power can do so again.

Let us demonstrate that the Christian message continues to be true and still resonates in spite of growing skepticism. Supporting Christian witness in the secular culture and environment will begin to set the table for an authentic life model in the community and in the church. The ministry of evangelism becomes as natural and important as discipleship, music, education, and pastoral care.

I pray that churches take ownership of outreach in Chicago and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in these difficult days. I want your ideas. I am asking that you pray with me and let me know what God is saying to you.

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Mark Anderson, St Charles, IL - Lifegate Capital 630 587 6620

PrayTheLoop.Info PHOTOS: Chris Anderson/Ben Jasek ===>Click headline to access PrayTheLoop . .

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