Before you can influence the people in your church's small groups you need to build a relationship with a prayer point person in each group. Read on for simple step-by-step instructions on how to do just that.
If we want to change what goes on in our small groups, we will first need to connect with the leaders of the groups. The best way to reach your small group leaders is through the pastor on staff who leads them.
If you don't have a pastor on staff who leads them, make sure your pastor knows that you want to reach out to them and tell him what you're up to.
"Pastor, I want to help mobilize our people to pray in their small groups, and I'd like to start by connecting with our small group leaders. One of our primary goals for this year is to get our people actively praying for those who are lost. Would you be good with me reaching out to our small group leaders these next few weeks?"
Don't leave until you have a list of their names and email addresses.If you serve a large church, find some friends to help you and divide that list and conquer!
You might want to first send an email to your small group leaders letting them know that you'll be contacting them. Something like this might be good:
Dear [name of small group leader],
I would love to chat with you a few minutes about how your group prays when ya'll get together. Can I give you a call this week? One of the things I'm looking for is the opportunity to connect with a prayer point person in your group. So, if you could have their name and contact information, that would be great! Please just reply to this email to let me know when might be a good time to chat.
Thanks so much! [your name]
When you connect with your leaders, don't jump right in to what you want from them. First collect some valuable information. Your phone call might go something like this:
Hi [small group leader], This is [your name]. I hope you are doing well this evening. I'm looking to connect with a prayer point person in all our small groups but first I wondered if you might share with me how your group prays.
If they don't share without prompting, ask them specifically how they pray for requests and what those requests most often include (health, finances, relationships, praying for the lost). Find out how they keep up with their prayer lists, how they pray over their requests and celebrate that answers when they come.
Thank them for sharing and ask if they, or someone in their group might be the best point person for prayer. You might explain what you have in mind for this person and how you plan to connect with them. You could say something like this:
"I'm hoping to enlist a point person in every one of our small groups so that when there is an urgent need or prayer request that involves the whole church I can share it with them so they can share it with your group. I also want to make sure that your group is aware of any special prayer projects we plan to participate in, and I want to share prayer resources and tools with this person so that your group can benefit from them."
Collect the name of your prayer point person and thank the small group leader for taking the time to share. Ask if you can pray for him/her before you hang up.
The group leaders might know just the person to send your way. You are looking for the person who collects the prayer requests and sends out the emails; or the one who guides the group in praying when they get together.
If the small group leader doesn't have anyone doing this, assure him/her that is fine, that you will keep their name on your list for now and they can let you know when they have someone in mind. Explain to the group leader that your goal is to communicate church wide prayer plans and to offer prayer tips and tools to this prayer point person throughout the year.
When you connect with the prayer point person you might again start with an email.
Dear [prayer point person],
[Small group leader] gave me your name. I am [your name] and I lead the prayer ministry at our church. I'm excited to connect with you. I'd like to see if there's a time we can chat for a few minutes this week. Please reply to this email and let me know a good time to call.
I look forward to talking with you! [your name]
When you talk with the prayer point person explain why you are excited about this connection.
Hi, [their name], Thank you so much for letting me call you. This is [your name] and I look forward to working with you as we grow our groups in the area of prayer. I got to talk with [group leader's name] and he/she told me that you are the one who [does whatever they do to collect prayer requests and celebrate answers].
How do you feel about your group's prayer plan? Listen.
I love that ya'll (fill in the blank here and praise something they are doing that is a great idea)--would you mind if I shared that with some of our other groups?
I was thinking about sending an email to you (monthly, occasionally, as often as you might like to do this) with links to prayer tools and inspiration to help your group pray. Can I add your name to the list of people receiving this email? What is a good email address to use?
I also want you to know that I am here to make sure you know about our church wide prayer projects and to help you with anything related to prayer in your group. I might touch base with your every once in a while.
Before we go, can I ask you a question? If you were to poll your group, what questions do you think they have about prayer? Listen.
Thank you! This will help me know how I can come alongside and help you. Is there anything I can do for you right now? (You could offer to provide them with Scripture prayer cards, or "God's Got This! bracelets" or even to connect them with the 4-session study, Teach My Heart to Pray (videos and books available) .
You will find all of these resources in the Prayer Clinic store
Thank them for taking time to chat and follow through with the resources, or help, you offered them. Offer to pray for them before you hang up.
I'm doing it with you. Between now and our next blog post, I'm going to implement this plan and enlist some prayer point persons! I'll let you know how I'm doing.
This is a significant step in transforming our churches into houses of prayer!
Let's do this!