Prayer is trending on Google, it seems that in a Crisis the British public are turning to prayer. Some fantastic initiatives have been set up to help remind us to pray. As a church we’re using Unite 714 from Pete Greig. Every day at 7.14am and pm we’re reminded to pray alongside millions others. Its great that individuals are turning to prayer, but can we still gather to pray collectively? Every Wednesday we’ve been meeting at 7am to pray as a church, maybe you’re doing the same. But maybe you’re beginning to consider whether you can do a city wide prayer meeting or one within your network of churches.
Before lockdown I had no experience of running large events online. But since then I’ve helped run three conferences (between 50 and 940 guests) and two large prayer meetings (350 in each). I’m passionate about relational events that are engaging and collaborative. Here’s what one guest said after a recent conference we ran…
“I am thankful for the “family feel” that was communicated even though we were online! I am glad I was able to take part”
Here are some tips on taking a large prayer meeting online and yet retaining a highly relational feel.
1. Work out what are your vision and values for the event. Why are you gathering? who is this for? Who is this not for? Where will you meet?
2. Build your core team. You’ll need a Tech host (x1) and a project manager.
3. With your core team plan the content of your event. It doesn’t simply work to replicate everything. Read this blog post first then discuss the following; what you want to include in your meeting? Which platform or platforms do you want to use? Once you’ve read this, write a simple running order, here is our example below.
3. Your tech team needs are dependant on your plans for the event. You’ll potentially need Tech host x1 (breakout rooms), Event hosts (x2), Tech co-hosts x3 (roles include; visuals, muting & spotlighting) and a musician for live sung worship.
4. Gather your team together to talk through roles, the draft running order, what works? what doesn’t work?
5. Write a full running order including all the roles for the night, here is a great example from our weekly church service, you can adpat this for your own event.
6. Practise the event – run through the event with everyone practising their roles and now you’re ready to go!
Here are some ideas for collaborative, engaging prayer meetings
1. Encourage everyone to get involved. Use Sli.do to get guests to share ideas, Bible passages, words from God, pictures, encouragements. Here is an example, we asked the question what are your losses in lockdown?
2. Encourage everyone to pray. Padlet can be used as a collaborative interactive prayer board, here is an example from our 24/7 virtual prayer room.
3. Pray in small groups. Over and over again in lockdown I have heard people say that this is their favourite part of an event. keep the groups small 4-5 is the optimal number for conversation and make them at least 10 minutes long. Many have commented how much they have enjoyed meeting new people in these breakout rooms. The groups can be preassigned or randomly allocated. Read this blog here on how to do them How to use Zoom Breakout rooms in your event
4. Share stories this could be done as short testimonies either live or pre recorded. Keep them short 3-5 minutes maximum. These can help bring in lots of voices and create a sense of togetherness.
Other useful blog posts
Worship tips and tricks on Zoom for tips on live sung worship at events