Recently I wrote a post about the Pray for Me Campaign being the secret sauce of Intergenerational Ministry. In that post, I wrote about the combination of three ingredients that set the stage for life-giving intergenerational relationships. I would like to follow up with a focus on...
Five benefits that flow directly from the implementing of the Pray for Me Campaign.
1. Every student is connected.
Students gain a growing network of adults from every generation who love and support them beginning with prayer. The Pray for Me Campaign is set up so that every year students invite three adults from three different generations to be their "Prayer Champions" for the school year. Each year the students invite three new adults to be their Prayer Champions which means that a 6th grader who is involved with the PFMC could have 21 different adults who have prayed for them in a significant way during their middle and high school years.
2. Parents are encouraged.
As a parent, I am so encouraged when I see adult friends begin to invest in my children. I feel the layers of God’s goodness that are being extended to my children through the love and care of these other adults. Being connected with youth ministry for a long time I realize that not every parent has a network of adults who are investing in their children. But, I also believe that there should never be a parent in the church that feels alone in helping their child flourish in following Christ. I know that is a bold statement, but the Pray for Me Campaign makes this type of beautiful adult investment available to every family in the church.
3. Volunteer involvement increases.
I’ve met very few youth leaders who say they have enough support for the ministry. Because of the design of the PFMC most youth ministries increase the number of adults who are involved in the ministry by 1,500%. No, that isn’t a typo. Let’s do the math . . . Let’s take a ministry that has ten students and two leaders. Those 10 students will invite three adults from different generations to be their "Prayer Champions," which equals 30 adults who are serving as new volunteers in the ministry. Since we started with two leaders, every time we add two more leaders that is a 100% increase, which means adding 30 new leaders is a 1,500% increase in volunteer involvement. I know you may be thinking that these “new” volunteers don’t help me with my need for hands-on volunteers. Let me encourage you not to be too short-sighted here. People always move toward what they care about and now you have 30 adults who are specifically praying for the students in your care. Prayer is one of the primary ways God enlarges our hearts towards the things He cares about.
4. The community in the church is strengthened.
What if there was a way to naturally connect adults from different age groups in a missional way? One of the incredible aspects of the Pray for Me Campaign is how it naturally creates intergenerational relationships for everyone involved. Of course, every teenager gets relationships with three adults from different generations, that is covered in the first benefit. There are actually six relational connections that are created every time a student invites their prayer champions for the year. The student with the three Prayer Champions but also the Prayer Champions with each other. The Prayer Champion connections are vital because many of these adults either don’t know each other before entering into the PFMC or it is a general knowledge from a distance. I could see churches capitalizing on this one aspect of the PFMC to create a greater community all throughout the church.
5. Adults’ prayer lives are deepened Let’s face it, many of our prayer lives need a boost.
One of the side benefits of the PFMC is that adults who say yes to being a Prayer Champion for a student find their prayer lives getting a positive jolt. I think this takes place for a couple of reasons. First, being specifically invited to pray for a specific student ignites our motivation to pray. There is something powerful that takes place when a student looks you in the eye and asks, “Will you pray for me?” Secondly, the Prayer Guide makes it very easy to stay on track praying scripture for the student through the 7 Essential categories. It is natural for a Prayer Champion to begin adding more and more people to their prayer times including their own children or grandchildren. This handful of benefits are incredible and yet they don’t even touch the incalculable supernatural benefits of having every young person in the church have three adults who are interceding for them regularly.