Just found a letter to my prayer team at New Song Church from January of 1998. It is a great stroll down memory lane but also a great testimony to the greatness and power of God. Mountain Ridge Community Church in Redmond, Washington, one of our church plants had just had their first service (We sent a total of 10 people to help Ray Hyun plant the church. God has used Ray in a mighty way over the years but the week of this letter the church was one week old. The 2 years before we had sent about 40 people to Joliet, IL to plant Three Rivers Evangelical Free Church with pastor Clem Walshauser. New Song Church was then only 8 years old itself.
It was exciting to read this letter, 20 years later. First paragraph.
“What a great Sunday (second week in January 1998) last week. The worship and Jim Gunderson with special music led us into the worship of our King and Savior and we all heard from the living God’s living word. Mountain Ridge Community got off to a great start, with 80 people at their first worship service. New Song Church went over 600 for the first time in a regular worship Sunday and Three Rivers EFC was close to 200. All in all, that is close to 300 more people in worship than the second week of January last year and another new church, the second in as many years! WOW!”
People often ask, “what was the secret to New Song being able to plant 7 churches in its first nine years?” I always tell them about the prayer that went into the planting of the church. And among the warriors on their knees are the people listed in this letter. A number of them live with Jesus now and He has told them, ‘Well done my good and faithful servant.’ I want to be numbered with them someday.
Church planter, who is praying for your ministry?
- Challenge all of your staff to recruit 25 people to pray for just two things, the quality of their marriage and the depth of their relationship with Jesus.
- Meet with your elders regularly to nothing other than prayer and study of the Scripture.
- Schedule a personal prayer retreat to get away and hear from God within the next two months. Take your Bible, some pens, some note pads and nothing else. Your computer, your phone and the internet will distract you. Get alone with God to seek His face.