Our Most Important Job

Do you long to reach out to those far from God? Do you want to know where God is at work and join him in it? Do you facilitate a Q Place and desire to see your friends and neighbors know Jesus? Start by praying!

Jim Egli, a small groups pastor in Champaign, IL, wanted to find out what really makes the greatest difference in the growth of a group. After completing extensive Ph.D. research involving more than 3,000 small group leaders in more than 200 churches, Egli wrote an article entitled “A Small-Group Leader’s Most Important Job.” Here is an excerpt:

”Most leaders reported spending significantly more time preparing their lesson than they did praying for their meeting. They didn’t realize that the time spent preparing their lesson or questions makes little difference, while time spent praying for their members and their meeting makes a big difference. Apparently things depend more on God than on you. Or, put another way, it’s more important to prepare your heart than it is to prepare your notes.

“How about you? Do you spend more time lining up your lesson, or do you take more time praying for others and inviting God to work in your meeting?

“I’d like to challenge you to try an experiment for the next three meetings. Take more time praying for your members and asking God to work in your meeting than you take preparing your lesson or discussion. I think you’ll see a noticeable difference in how your meetings go.” (Read Jim’s entire article here or check out the summary of that article in his short blog: 4 Reasons Why Praying Leaders Have Faster Growing Groups. These are must reads!)

And here’s more!

René Schlaepfer, Pastor of Twin Lakes Church in Santa Cruz, CA, says that our prayers:

  1. Set people free—free from the chains of any stronghold that entraps and keeps people from Jesus.
  2. Bring peace. Paul urges in 1 Timothy 2:1-2 that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—for kings and all those in authority, that we might live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
  3. Open our eyes to the needs of others and move us to action.
  4. Increase ministry impact. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective (James 5:16b).

I get excited and incredibly grateful when I think about prayer! God wants to work on our behalf and to His glory! And it is overwhelmingly clear: the most important thing any one of us can do to impact the lives of those we are in relationship with, is to pray.

Will you make this a daily habit?

Fran Goodrich

SW Regional Director

This article has 2 comments

  1. Susan Burbank

    Love this blog!! Fran, thank you for the reminder that the most important thing we can do for the health of our group is to pray…

  2. Fran

    Thanks, Susan. Frankly, I need this kind of reminder – regularly!