In my post of the empirical indicators of a missional church Ed C. pointed out how important it is for the missional church to be absolutely dependant on the Holy Spirit as it seeks to be about the mission of Jesus Christ. The 12 indicators did not directly include anything about the HS and this was rightfully a cause for concern for him.
My response was that it seems that dependence upon this Spirit through prayer was kind of the base of all twelve of these indicators. In looking at them again, it seems like prayer is mentioned in almost of all them in some way or another. This to me underscores the importance of corporate prayer for the missional community.
To add to this, I am still working through “Treasures in Clay Jars” by number of authors from GOCN and I came across the aptly titled chapter, “Dependence upon the Holy Spirit.” Seemed like this was kind of pertinent to the topic. A few quotes:
“The Missional Church is incapable of fulfilling its call, save for guidance from the Spirit of God and for the Spirit’s empowerment of the church’s witness to that reality.”
“a sent people on missio dei (the mission of God) who do not constantly pray are bound to lurch along in confusion and pain. Trouble will surely batter them; indecision will plague them; evil will terrorize them.”
I think the challenge for communities of faith that are seeking to live together missionally is corporate prayer. It is one thing to encourage people to pray individually, but it is another challenge to spend time together in prayer as a group. This is one of the things that I am looking at with our community: How can we spend more time together in cooperate prayer?
I am pretty sure the answer isn’t having more “prayer nights” because in our context, that is likely going to crash and burn with no attendance. The answer seems to be (at this point) is to make sure that we are intentional about praying together in the spaces where we already gather. It’s so easy to gather together for something and totally forget prayer…this is a tragedy.