An effective leader will help the congregation recognize that prayer is essential to a life of Christian discipleship. The congregation will become stronger in the spiritual practice of prayer. The congregation will be led by God’s Spirit in fulfilling the mission of making disciples for the transformation of the world.
Spiritual Gifts and Qualifications Helpful for the Job
- This ministry leader benefits from having one or more of these spiritual gifts: servanthood, teaching, exhortation (encouragement), wisdom, discernment, administration, and helping.
- This leader should show evidence of an active and growing prayer life and a desire to teach and encourage others to pray.
- Useful skills for this position are the ability to listen to and communicate with people of all ages; the ability to work with other ministry leaders; the ability to model and teach a variety of ways of praying; the ability to organize teams, delegate responsibility, and follow up to complete tasks.
- This leader should show genuine interest in responding to the hopes and concerns of people in the community.
Responsibilities of the Position
- This leader will maintain a growing and healthy spiritual life and will lead others to do the same.
- This advocate will work with others to coordinate the planning and implementation of a comprehensive prayer ministry for the congregation.
- This leader will identify, equip, and support people who are praying for all aspects of congregational life as well as for the overall goals of the congregation.
- The prayer advocate will be familiar with curriculum resources for teaching prayer, facilitate their use, and be able to recommend appropriate resources for all age levels and faith stages.
- This leader will link with organizations, people, and resources in and beyond the congregation that are concerned with Christian prayer.
- Identify people in your congregation, in the community, and in other congregations who are interested in developing a fuller prayer life. Collaborate with other congregations. Seek to identify gaps where your congregation can lead the way in making a positive difference in your community. Share the ministry with others by delegating projects to people who have passion for developing particular aspects of prayer.
- Help the congregation understand that a vital Christian faith includes prayer and practice of spiritual disciplines.
- Learn about the lives of people in your community and current issues to build a ministry of intercession.
People and Agencies That Can Help
- Your pastor, people in your congregation, the community, and other congregations who share your interest in prayer, and district and conference leaders. Be alert to interdenominational and interreligious prayer groups.
- InfoServ, the information service for the church, provides current information about United Methodist resources, programs, and staff services. Email: [email protected]; Website: infoserv.umc.org.
- Aldersgate Renewal Ministries, http://aldersgaterenewal.org/; 1-877-857-9372
- The Upper Room, a global ministry dedicated to supporting the spiritual formation of Christians seeking to know and experience God more fully, www.upperroom.org
Web and Print Resources
- Becoming a Praying Congregation edited by Rueben Job (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2009)
- Beginning Prayer by John Killinger (Nashville: Upper Room Books, 2012)
- The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, 2016 (Nashville: The United Methodist Publishing House, 2016)
- Companions in Christ® series (a ministry of The Upper Room), http://companions.upperroom.org/
- Discipleship Ministries, www.umcdiscipleship.org; toll-free, 1-877-899-2780; email, [email protected]
- Freedom from Worry: 28 Days of Prayer by Patricia Wilson (Nashville: Upper Room Books, 2013)
- Guide to Prayer for All Who Seek God by Rueben Job and Norman Shawchuck (see also Guide to Prayer for All God’s People and Guide to Prayer for Ministers and Other Servants, Upper Room Books)
- A House of Prayer: The Power of Praying in Community by Thomas R. Steagald (Nashville: Upper Room Books, 2014)
- How to Pray by E. Stanley Jones and Tom Albin (Upper Room Reissue, 2015)
- Interpreter, www.interpretermagazine.org
- The Lord’s Prayer: Jesus Teaches Us How to Pray by Mary Lou Redding (Nashville: Upper Room Books, 2011)
- “Pray for Me”: The Power in Praying for Others by Kenneth H. Carter, Jr. (Nashville: Upper Room Books, 2012)
- Prayers for Encouragement: Hope for Persons Living with HIV and AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis, and Other Serious Diseases (Upper Room Books, 2007)
- Praying in the Messiness of Life: 7 Ways to Renew Your Relationship with God by Linda Douty (Nashville: Upper Room Books, 2011)
- Sacred Breath: 40 Days of Centering Prayer by J. David Muyskens (Nashville: Upper Room Books, 2010)
- The Serenity Prayer: A Simple Prayer to Enrich Your Life by Trevor Hudson (Nashville: Upper Room Books, 2012)
- Talking in the Dark: Praying When Life Doesn’t Make Sense by Steve Harper (Nashville: Upper Room Books, 2007)
- Teach Me to Pray by W. E. Sangster (Nashville: Upper Room Books, 1959, updated edition)
- The Way of Prayer by Stephen D. Bryant and Jane E. Vennard (Upper Room Books, 2007)
- What Every Leader Needs to Know About Leading in Prayer by Betsey Heavner (Upper Room Books) – This pdf booklet offers biblical and contemporary examples of prayer and leadership.
- The Workbook of Living Prayer by Maxie Dunnam (Nashville: Upper Room Books, 1994)