So where do we go from here? How do we move forward with this vision of a House of Prayer in the heart of Vanier?
As one of my friends and readers has pointed out to me, talk is cheap. It’s easy to have discussions in social media about concepts, We may even think we are engaging as we “like” someone’s blog or Facebook posts, or “follow” someone’s Twitter feeds. But this kind of engagement costs us almost nothing. Unless this talk translates into some form of concrete action, it means very little. While social media discussions may be useful in stimulating our thinking, the time spent on such discussions can also become a substitute for prayer and face-to-face encounter with God and with in-the-flesh brothers and sisters – the kind of encounter that actually changes us.
If you have been reading this blog, and are sensing that God may be nudging you about getting involved with an eventual House of Prayer in Vanier, here are some next steps that we might take together.
1 – Further exploration of vision – while building initial community
The first step has two parts. I would propose that we do both of them concurrently.
Part One- weekly meetings To begin building community among those who are drawn by the vision of a House of Prayer, I’d propose that we begin weekly prayer meetings in January 2013, with a monthly potluck meal. The meetings would certainly need to include prayer and worship, since this is at the core of what a House of Prayer is and does, but they would also need to include a component of discussion and sharing around vision, so that people have a chance to ask questions and give their input.
If you like this idea, and would like to participate, please let me know.
Part Two – ongoing dialogue To continue clarifying vision, I’d suggest that as well as using the weekly meetings as a platfom, we intentionally use social media (this blog, podcasts, an eventual Facebook page) to continue developing our shared understanding of what a House of Prayer in Vanier would look like. I very much want this to be a collaborative process. I recognize that the mantle of primary vision-carrier for a House of Prayer in Vanier rests with me, but I also recognize that within the broad parameters of vision that I have already laid out, many nuances are possible, and many of you will have contributions to make as we move forward to discern what it is that we are called to do together.
2 – Visits to other Houses of Prayer
As we are discerning vision, it will be very useful to visit other Houses of Prayer to see how they do things. Marion and I have made a list of Houses of Prayer that we would like to visit, and we intend to begin doing this on weekends in 2013 (making at most probably two such visits per month, probably more realistic to think in terms of one per month). Any of you who are interested in coming along on any of these visits would be more than welcome.
3 – Developing a team
As we go through the process of building community and clarifying vision, I am hoping that each of you who read this blog will be asking yourselves “What about me? Is this vision for me? Where do I fit in?”.
Our long-term goal is to develop a 24/7 House of Prayer. But that doesn’t mean that to be part of the team, you have to commit to praying 24/7! Of course no-one can do that anyway. That’s why we need a team.
The launch point at which we can legitimately begin to call ourselves a House of Prayer is when we have at least one weekly prayer watch. This would also be a good litmus test for an “entry level” involvement in the House of Prayer. If you can commit to one weekly prayer watch, you can think of yourself as part of the House of Prayer team. Beyond that, different levels of involvement will be appropriate for different people.
So, if you find that God is grabbing your heart with the vision of a House of Prayer and you want to be part of it – your involvement is welcome. At this early stage, when things are very simple, small and fluid, all that’s required is an email or message letting me know that you’re on board. As we go down the road, we will probably come up with some sort of verbal covenant to which we will ask people to recommit on an annual basis. This will provide everyone with a checkpoint or gateway – it will function as both an “entry point” and an “exit point”.
We will probably aim to have an initial time of covenant making by September 2013. Up until then you can be involved without any long-term commitment. When we make our initial covenant, you will need to decide whether you are called to be a part of the House of Prayer. Of course, guests are always welcome, so if you’re not sure, it doesn’t mean you have to go away – but members of the family will have a voice and a share in the family’s decisions that guests do not yet have.
4 – Setting up governing structure
Eventually, a leadership and governing structure will need to be established. I hope to work towards an initial form of this in 2013.
Also, in a nation in which Christian groups still qualify as charities, and where tax incentives are available for those who give financial support to said charities, there are benefits to obtaining charitable status. This is likewise a goal that I will pursue in 2013.
5 – Comments
As always, your comments and feedback are more than welcome. Please let me know what the Holy Spirit is speaking to you as you consider these things. If you leave your thoughts as a comment, others will be able to benefit as well.