Coffee and Prayer - Issue #112
Drakestown United Methodist Church, a small-membership congregation in an upper middle class area of New Jersey, has discovered a unique way to connect with the community.
The church is located on a busy route where 500 to 1000 cars pass each morning and evening. Since March 2011, Monday commuters traveling past Drakestown UMC see people with placards and a tent. Every Monday morning from 6:30 to 8:00, no matter what the weather, the church's prayer team is out by the road — smiling, waving, offering free coffee, and praying for the community. At first, commuters were startled; and the few who stopped reached for their wallets assuming this was afundraiser. But the team assured people they were not collecting money.
The prayer team and congregation have been amazed by the response. Often someone will say, "I've passed you for a while now, but today I decided to stop." More recently, commuters are handing the team written prayer requests, then coming back days later to tell how prayers have been answered.
The Monday prayer team is composed of approximately six deeply committed people. Both team members and commuters have found blessings in this simple ministry of prayer and hospitality. Lives are being changed by the grace of God expressed in the love and faithfulness of a handful of disciples at Drakestown UMC.
Some Questions for Discussion
- Who are the people who pass by your church, and how do you touch their lives?
- How might you think "outside the box" to identify assets that your congregation has that could be used for ministry? How is the location of your congregation an asset for ministry?
- If a small group of people in your congregation feels they are led to develop a particular ministry, what are the roadblocks they are likely to encounter? How might those roadblocks be removed?