Chronic Illness Articles

April 29, 2010

Study Shows Prayer Determines Church Group’s Success Rate

Filed under: Christian Illness Ministry — Rest Ministries @ 2:35 am

Enthusiasm can be high when you first start putting your plans together to start a small group ministry for those with chronic illness, but even the best of intentions can actually lead to a decrease in prayer time.

You may have the best, most organized plans, but without a daily conversation and walk with the Lord, you may discover you have feelings of being overwhelmed and stressed out about the group, rather than being at peace about your decision.

A study was done by a Small Groups web site and here are their findings regarding prayer:

They found that 83% of leaders who had a strong prayer life reported that at least one person who attended their support group came to know Jesus through the influence of the group. But of those leaders who had what they defined a weak prayer life, only 19% of groups had a member that came to know Christ.

Leaders with a strong prayer life have groups have more than four times the evangelistic impact as groups led by leaders with a weak prayer life.

Are you familiar with the scripture John 15:5? It says, ‘I am the vine; 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.’

Regardless of what tips you may discover from friends, church small group trainings, books, or seminary and congregational care resources, remember to keep prayer always the first priority.

Note that the scripture does not say, ‘I am the vine, you are the branches and he who gather together the most resources, seminary resources, books, funds and claims the most mentors, time, and energy will bear the most fruit.’

With the gift of prayer, God has equipped you with the most precious and essential tool to do the work that He has prepared in advance for you to do (Ephesians 2:10).

Chronic illness ministry support groups in a Christian environment are a special group where people can find encouragement for this path they are on. Eventually they can become disciples themselves, encouraging others who are going through moments of suffering.

Let’s set our sights on creating loving environments of small group illness ministries where people can find comfort despite the pain.We can aim beyond just a typical support group secular setting where people sit around and compare notes on the horrors of chronic illnesses. It’s not supportive or loving to try to discredit the pain people are in by saying we are in more pain.

Instead, together, let’s create an oasis where people can feel safe and comfortable in sharing the daily challenges of their condition and what gets them through it. It can be a place where God and illness can be spoken of in the same room as we seek to find hope in the eternal when our temporary circumstances leave much to be desired.

You may be wondering where to start if you are considering leading a small group ministry for those with chronic illness. The first place to start is with prayer.

Where to start after you have prayed? Get How to Start a Chronic Illness Small Group Ministry, a new book by Lisa Copen, founder of Rest Ministries. 320-pages of step by step instructions from passion to implementation.

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  1. […] Copen Study Shows Prayer Determines Church Group’s Success Rate – http://chronicillnessarticles…. 24 hours […]

    Pingback by Lisa Copen: Study Shows Prayer Determines Church Group’s Success Rate — April 30, 2010 @ 2:24 am | Reply

  2. i agree, excellent article!

    Comment by melody — January 23, 2011 @ 6:03 am | Reply

  3. I like this article. It’s a good reminder to stay prayer focused. Reading the comments
    of members of a group member and the cry of a new member can be staggering. The energy
    it takes to respond to each member needs to be prayer focused. It’s what I depend on and
    the leading of the Holy Spirit on how to respond and how much to share (if any).
    Brenda, Grief and Loss Group

    Comment by Brenda — June 20, 2011 @ 7:59 pm | Reply

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