Jim Leggett, Senior Pastor of Grace Fellowship shares insight on the power of reaching out to your congregation and community to become a house of prayer for all nations.
"Crisis is not new. . .it's an opportunity to lean into God like we've never leaned into him before."
Hello, this is Tommy Rosson with Houston Responds. And today I'm joined by Jim Leggett of Grace Fellowship in Katy, Jim, thank you for joining us.
Absolutely. Howdy Tommy
It was as we talked earlier, I was, well first of all, how's your church doing?
We're doing well. I mean, well for a church that can't meet, you know, we're riding the, the interesting Corona crisis together and God's providing lots of neat ministry opportunities. So, wow. Yeah.
One of the things that you were telling me earlier was, how, I agree fellowship is really leaning into prayer during the season and using it in some unique and creative ways. First of all, tell me why that is. Why, I mean, obviously we all know prayer is important, but why does Grace Fellowship really lean into that?
Sure. So, you know, the vision God's given us as a local congregation is to be a house of prayer for all nations. Isaiah 56:7. So that is our vision statement and house prayer. Nations are the three major components of us house. It's discipleship or seeking God's presence. Nations is outreach. And so it's just a huge part of who we are. And so as we've responded to the coronavirus, you know, we've got a nine part plan that we're working and, my guess is most of the parts of that plan are similar to a lot of other churches, but the, the one that God keeps calling us to lean into is the prayer part of our plan. And, so I'll just share a couple of things we've been doing along those lines that might be helpful to your listeners. So one of something we call a prayer blitz.
This is actually the 12th time we've done this as a church in our 24 year history. Let me tell you about the first time we ever did it. So 20 years ago, we called every single person in the congregation to ask them for money, a building campaign. And it's the typical thing you do in a building campaign. And when it was over, two thoughts went through my mind. Wow. We just called everybody in the congregation. That's really cool. And the second thing that went through my mind is, and we were asking for money, why is it that the only time in our history, this is 20 years ago, that we've called every single person in our church on the phone. It was to ask for money. And so I just, I just had a wake up call. I said, not on my watch, not again.
We're going to call every single person in our congregation to pray with them on the phone. So 19 years ago we did that for the first time we called her our prayer blitz. And the first time we did it, we were like, baby deer on wobbly legs trying to figure it out. And we've now done it 12 times, and we've kind of figured out how to do it. And it's really not that hard. so we call, we take every household in the congregation. So we got 9,000 people that come to grace fellowship. But when you break into households, it's a smaller number. And then basically we recruited a few hundred people who will be willing to call 12 households each. We give them a script to use on the phone. If you get voicemail, leave the prayer on the voicemail and then we give them a little card and I've got a picture of that I can throw up on the screen for you here. Mmm. And this is our prevalence card.
And so, it'll have their name and their children's name and their phone number and it was fill in, you know, the call was made, who we prayed with. And what they ask prayer for cause are our prayer ministry and our prayer room. We'll continue to pray for these things. And then every once in a while we find a person who says, Hey, I don't go to your church anymore. And so we record that, but it's, you know, I made 12 phone calls and it took me about 30 minutes, maybe 35 minutes, I received a phone call from a lady in our church named Barbara. Blessed my socks off. But it's, prayer is powerful, it's pastoral and it's just a way to connect as a congregation. So if I could offer anything to your listeners, it would be, Hey, try doing a prayer blitz. It's a great way to minister your congregation and lean into prayer.
Oh, that's great. That's really a good idea. And we'll, provide a PDF of, of that form so other people can use it. one of the other things you're doing, I know is you're kind of leading out in Katy, with the prayer movement there.
Yeah. So out here a Katy, we've been praying together for 25 years as pastors. So every Wednesday at noon, anywhere between 20 and 40, pastors gathered together to pray. once a year get off for a prayer summit together and about 80 West Houston, Katy pastors will go off and pray together for 24 hours once a year. National Day of Prayer, we fill up our Katy ISD stadium, with 3000 people for national day of prayer. So there's a lot of citywide prayer stuff going on out here. And so when this hit, well, let me back up. So I've been pastoring here for 24 years and we've been around the block with crises. So in the last 24 years, we've been through five hurricanes. We've been through 9/11 and we've been through 2008 a recession. so crisis is not new. and every single time in history, last 24 years that we've done that, we've called the city together when we had a crisis.
But this Corona thing is unique and that you can't bring the city together physically to pray. And so, you know, we started doing what many churches have done with their own line works for services. He said, let's do that with the city. And so the pastors of the city banded together said every Wednesday at 12:20, we're going to have a 20 minute prayer meeting and we're going to broadcast it live stream online, can't have more than 10 people there. And so we just get five pastors, and we rotate. So, you know, eight weeks from now or nine weeks from now, we'll have covered all the pastures. And Katy, we just rotate through. We live stream it. We're just praying for the coronavirus to end. We're praying for revival in our city, in our, in our nation. We're praying for our healthcare workers and all the things that you would pray for, but we're tapping into the power of unified city prayer and that. And so every Wednesday, 12:20 people log on to Katyprays.org and they experience a 20 minute prayer meeting from the pastors of their city. And I think second Chronicles 7:14 says there's power in that. Psalm 1:33 says there's power in that and we're trying to tap into that. So I think that's another thing that might be unique for your listeners and encourage them.
Ah, it's perfect. It's a great challenge to remember that in the season of all the strategy changes in everything seems to be changing on a dime. And we're trying to figure out new ways of ministry on the fly that at the end of the day, you know, God is the one who knows far more than we do and we need to tap into that power and tap into that wisdom.
Absolutely. Crisis is not new. And it's an opportunity to lean into God. Like we've never leaned into him before. I'll never forget 9/11, the Sunday after 9/11 was the greatest proportional attendance Sunday we've ever had in our history. Now we've got more people today, but you take the roles and then the number of people that show up to church crisis brings people together and brings people to God. And it