Homes become neighborhood Lighthouses
Lighthouses are beaming out across the country -- lighthouses of prayer, that is.
...A Lighthouse is a Christian home in which members pray regularly for each individual in the neighborhood. This activity often creates opportunities for the praying families to share their faith with neighbors.
...Mission America (see link #1 below), the national evangelistic coalition, is coordinating and promoting the efforts. The Edina, Minn.-based nondenominational group represents more than 200,000 churches throughout the United States.
...Amazing changes have occurred in individuals and entire neighborhoods when Christians pray, according to some who have established a Lighthouse and prayed for their neighbors.
...Each Lighthouse consists of at least two people. It can be a couple, a family, a group of families, prayer partners, or groups that are part of a church or business. Some participants pray at home while others stroll down streets quietly praying for their neighbors.
...Hundreds of churches have begun the strategy. They include congregations in San Francisco, Nashville, and Minneapolis (see link #2 below), where Christians pledge to commit their home to be a Lighthouse by signing a Spiritual Deed of Trust (see link #3 below).
...The Lighthouse strategy is one of the most ambitious evangelistic efforts in U.S. history and is becoming a rallying point for Christians in a number of denominations, including the Southern Baptist Convention. Numerous evangelistic groups have promoted or plan to promote the idea to their members.
...Mission America's strategy is to enlist 30,000 churches to invite at least three other churches to participate. Together these nearly 100,000 churches will be encouraged to establish 3 million Lighthouses. Churches or individuals that want to become part of the movement can call Mission America at 800-995-8572.
...Lighthouses are part of Celebrate Jesus 2000, a huge effort coordinated by Mission America. The goal is to "lovingly and appropriately" pray for every person in the country by name and
share the gospel with each of them by the end of the year 2000.
...The strategy is "prayer, care, and share." When appropriate, Lighthouse keepers can ask their neighbors what they want prayer for, and then pray diligently. They also can help with practical needs, such as visiting neighbors who are ill. These efforts will establish friendships and open the way for sharing the gospel. One way the gospel can be shared is by giving neighbors a video of the Jesus film (see link #4 below), which portrays the life of Christ and presents the need for a personal relationship with God, Mission America said.
...Implementing the Lighthouse strategy "is impossible without our Lord moving in the hearts of pastors, church leaders, and committed Christians across the nation," Paul Cedar, chairman of Mission America, said. "It is time to blow the trumpets. It is time to pray the Lord of the Harvest to send forth the workers into the grass roots of America. It is time to mobilize God's people to humble themselves and pray and make ourselves available to share the love and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ with every person in this nation -- in word and deed."
...Lighthouses of Prayer are "the single most important instrument that God is going to use in bringing about and sustaining revival and securing the fruit of the harvest." Jack Dennison, U.S. director of DAWN Ministries, said.
...Promise Keepers (see link #5 below) will be promoting Lighthouses of Prayer, Mission America's Naomi Frizzell told Religion Today. Speakers will describe the strategy and challenge every man who attends a pastors' conference or stadium events this year to get involved, she said. Campus Crusade for Christ (see link #6 below) is promoting Lighthouses on Bill Bright's WorldChangers radio program. Other ministries working on the initiative include Every Home for Christ (see link #7 below), March for Jesus (see link #8 below), and Youth With A Mission
(see link #9 below).
...Harvest Evangelism, whose founder, Ed Silvoso, has seen "prayer evangelism" work in his native Argentina as well as in England and the United States, is also involved. Pray! Magazine (see link #10 below), published by The Navigators, plans to focus on Lighthouses in its November edition, editor Jonathan Graf said. Demographic information that helps churches target their prayers is available through the Mapping Center for Evangelism (see link #11 below), which is affiliated with Mission America.
(Religion Today, March 17, 1999)
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