The Water the Plants initiative was born out of New Church Ministry’s vision to support new church plants within the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
Because our ministry seeks to train, equip, assist, and multiply emerging and affiliating congregations and leaders, we understand that supporting them is essential. So, in July of last year, our team started Water the Plants. Based on 1 Corinthians 3:6, “I have planted, Apollo’s watered, but God gave the increase,” this initiative calls together 1,000 intercessors to pray for new worship expressions.
“Connecting with God and others that have the same passion for new churches,” says Bernice Rivera, Oregon and Southwest Idaho’s New Church Ministry Associate, “is a source of energy for me.”
Every Tuesday morning at 9:00 AM EST and Thursday evening at 9:00 PM EST, participants gather on the phone.
“I have been so grateful during these past months to be able to be on the prayer line,” shares Rev. Dr. Joanne Bynum, the Associate Regional Minister in the Pacific Southwest Region.
But with only 11 minutes to pray for general and regional ministers, as well as new faith communities and their leaders, there’s little time for chitchat.
Recognizing a need for fellowship, Rev. Dr. Joi Robinson (Associate Minister of New Church Strategies and Water the Plants Coordinator) organized and hosted the first-ever virtual Water the Plants Prayer Summit on March 6th. Attendees included prayer intercessors, prayer call leaders, regional new church chairpersons, congregants across the United States and Canada, coaches, and others.
The event kicked off with introductions, where attendees displayed their prayerphenalia, including keychains and wristbands, over Zoom. “Panelist mode” came next, where a husband-and-wife team told the group how prayer influenced the development of their new church.
“Through prayer we can say that Gold helped us to prepare a place of worship,” testify Soriliz Rodriguez and Francisco Ramos (pastors of Iglesia Cristiana Casa de Refugio). “Through prayer our ministry flourished.”
After viewing a presentation on Soriliz and Francisco’s new congregation, various members of the wider church prayed for those affected by COVID-19, clear mission, vision and values, and strong resources, stewardship and finances.
The second half of the Summit followed a similar structure with prayers and testimony, in addition to a live musical performance. It also gave witness to how powerful and prevalent prayer is for both church planters and New Church Ministry itself.
“I knew clearly what God was telling me to do, but I wasn’t sure. I went to Leadership Academy seeking confirmation,” remarks Rev. D. Marie Tribble, who launched Restoration Community Christian Church. “After our week together, it was in that closing prayer that God began to affirm the work that had already begun.”
Pastor Terrell L McTyer (Minister of New Church Strategies) closed out the event, thanking those present and calling on them to join the next Water the Plants Prayer Summit, scheduled for Saturday, June 5th at 1:00 PM EST.