by Jeff Tunnell
Liz Lynberg is the Cell Champion for Monterey Church, located on the Monterey Peninsula in California. Their Sunday morning service unites people from around the historic Peninsula; Carmel, Pacific Grove, Seaside, Marina, Salinas and beyond. Â Sunday morning services feature live and vibrant rock-styled worship and during the week they establish connections through D-Groups (Discipleship Groups).
I met Liz in Waco, Texas while participating in the Cell Symposium.Â Recently Liz launched a new prayer thrust, partially inspired by this blog, so I asked her to give us some additional insights.
Jeff:Â Can you give us an overview of the prayer ministry you recently implemented?
Liz:Â We are a small team of women of varying ages and roles within the church who come together weekly to seek God on behalf of our church and our community.Â John 15:5 says, â€œI am the vine and you are the branches, if a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit, apart from me you can do nothing.â€Â We recognize our dependence on Godâ€™s power and anointing to lead people in a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.
Jeff:Â What inspired you to make this decision?
Liz:Â The Holy Spirit through prayer! Pastor Bryan James and I had been part of a church leadership prayer team and we were both sensing that God wanted to make a shift.Â We believed that the Lord wanted the faithful prayers from the church body, not just from leadership.Â Pastor Bryan also felt, that for now, it was to be a team of women.
Meanwhile, Rob Campbell blogged about the importance of prayer, telling about Cecelia Belvin, who serves as Pastor of Prayer for Cypress Creek Church and her book â€œIn The Name of Jesus, Amen.â€ I ordered the book and received it the next day!Â (Unusually speedy delivery, by the way!).Â I immediately devoured it.Â As I read, what stood out to me the most was the purity with which leads the women in prayer and the standard of excellence for Jesus that has been established and expected among the prayer team.Â I sensed God pouring into me the courage and conviction I would need to establish such a team among our body.Â My directions were to start small and He would be faithful to guide us.
Jeff:Â As Cell Champion for your church, how did you communicate and coordinate with your Senior Pastor?
The Lord had already been directing each of us individually.Â As I shared Ceceliaâ€™s book with Pastor Bryan, he encouraged me to pray about beginning an intercessory prayer team for Monterey Church.Â I quickly ordered copies for a few other women and asked them to read and pray with me about what God would have us do.
This past January, these same women felt led by the Lord to join me to form our Prayer Ministry Team.Â At our first meeting, we were joined by our husbands as our pastor prayed and commissioned us to serve God and our church in this way.
Jeff: Does this require a higher level of time commitment or is the prayer ministry actually a part of the cell meeting each week?
Liz:Â While prayer is an integral part of our cell meetings, our prayer team has a separate meeting time.Â The women are committed to meeting with the Lord in this way each week and are happy to give of their time in this way.
Jeff:Â How have you seen God move?
Liz:Â As we spend time in worship and praise and pray by faith, we have seen God answer prayers, sooth souls, heal wounds both physical and spiritual, quiet storms, bring unity and basically come in power and might!Â As it says in Hebrews 11:1, â€œNow faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.â€
Jeff: Are there any goals for the prayer ministry, and how do they support your current goals?
Liz:Â Our desire is to honor God with our lives and to be a blessing to our community.Â We recognize that we cannot reach our neighbors with the love of Jesus without His covering and protection and direction.Â Charles Spurgeon said, â€œPrayer is the slender nerve that moves the mighty muscle of God.â€Â As the Lord builds our team in depth and He finds us faithful, I believe He will entrust us to grow and be able to touch more lives through prayer.
Thanks Liz, Godspeed to you and your team!Â JCG is happy to have played a part in the process.