The Train Runs on Two Tracks
by John Kieffer
Think of each rail as Relationship and Strategy.
The tracks are laid on the ties/foundation of Prayer. It is hard work to lay the ties and tracks; but once in place, we can really move to where God wants us to go. Prayer is the work! Prayer is the foundation. Prayer is what ties it all together and keeps it level and balanced. Relationship and strategy must flow from prayer. If you try to lay the tracks of relationship and strategy without the foundation of prayer or run your train into town with out tracks, you will have a train wreck.
Why is prayer so important? It seems like we pour a whole lot more time, energy and money into the planning of events than we do in actually praying for the event. Prayer is vital; because first of all, we need to hear from God about whether or not we should even be doing what we are planning. Prayer is vital because it prepares our hearts and purifies us as The Father speaks to us. Prayer is foundational because, out of hearing from God and humbling ourselves, we can grow in unity and love with each other. Prayer is crucial because it prepares the hearts of those we are inviting to hear the Good News. Prayer prepares the ground for all our relating and planning.
We envision every believer who will be attending praying for people to invite, caring for them as the Lord directs and being ready to share with them and be there for them at the event and ready to do the necessary follow-up after the event.
The prayer foundation is essential before we start laying the tracks of relationship and strategy, and more important than the train pulling into town. The Lord could do all His work through the power of prayer, or we can do all the work of putting on another event and loose the precious fruit of our labor.
1 Timothy 2:1, 3-4 - I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone -- This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
We have found through the years that as Pastors and Christian Leaders come together in concerted humble prayer, a unity is forged that creates the right groundwork for healthy community. Out of this foundation of prayer comes community impact and transformation. Where God is at work we see a humble prayer movement bonding relationships and then wonderful ideas springing forth from the unity and love that has been developed in prayer.
We started praying together twenty years ago. We started with a four day Pastors Prayer Summit and began meeting monthly for prayer at various churches across the Valley. Sometimes the Pastor wasn't available and we would pray in the churches parking lot for the pastor and congregation. Every year we make it a priority to get away and pray together at the Summit. The strength of relationship that is forged in this context is strong. As we have humbled ourselves before the Lord over all these years, we have bonded in true unity and love in the Spirit. Trust has been built and the ability to work through issues in a Godly and Biblical manner. We are enjoying healthy Christian Community.
Strategy is all about where we are going. What is the plan? How are we going to get there? What is the destination?
Matthew 24:14 - And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
Matthew 28:19 - Therefore go and make disciples of all nations...
The destination seems clear; proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom to all nations.
The question is, are we laying the tracks to get us there? Are we doing the hard work of prayer and relationship building so we can reach our destination? We can't just roll into town, do a Gospel dump, and then leave with out teaching them to obey everything Jesus has commanded us. Jesus taught us to love one another and to love our neighbor as ourselves.
We need both tracks of relationship and strategy laid on the firm foundation of prayer to truly fulfill the great commission.