Sunday, May 17

How 29 believers became 110 believers starting 5 new house churches--and all in less than a year

How did they do it?

Short version for skimmers:

--4 months of concentrated prayer
--4 months of abundant Gospel sowing (intentional evangelism)

Details for those who have a couple of minutes:

A few days ago, Geovanny and I were talking "shop" about various aspects of the Lord's work going on here in Guayaquil. In the middle of the conversation, he said, "have I told you yet that we are no longer a single church meeting at "11 and Huancavilca", but are now a network of six house churches?"

Seeing my obvious interest, he proceeded to share what had taken place over the past few months...

"In April 2008 there were 29 of us meeting together in our church. We decided to ask God for 70 new believers by year's end. From April to August we did nothing but pray. Some weeks we would fast and pray, other times we stayed up all night praying...but prayer was our focus, praying the Lord of the Harvest for laborers and praying for the "70". We prayed individually and collectively for four months.

Sometime around mid-August we started praying less, but began implementing an evangelistic emphasis every month. At first we thought a single monthly effort would not be enough. But because of the spiritual preparation make by the previous months of concentrated prayer, we were amazed at the response these evangelistic efforts were bearing in spiritual fruit.

By year's end (2008) we had surpassed our prayed for goal of 70, and were busy discipling 110 new believers --the fruit given to us by the Lord from these monthly evangelistic efforts. In Feb-Mar of this year, these new disciples began meeting in five homes closer to where they lived. Nelson is now leading the "Villa España" church, José the "Sucre y 14" group, Marcos and Tania the "Balerio" church, Juán the "Febres Cordero y 14" group, and William the "35 y El Oro" house church.

For 2009-2010 we plan to continue our PRAYER-EVANGELISM strategy and are now asking the Lord for 300 new disciples and 20 new churches by the end of next year..."

Observations.
110 new believers from an initial 29 is a phenomenal 380% growth rate. How many churches do you know with this kind of growth in less than a year? How many churches have you heard about recently that planted five other churches in less than a year?

As much as I quizzed Geovanny, the only "strategy" was prayer and proclamation of the Gospel. So much for all the fancy stuff we think we have to do to reach the lost! No surveys taken, no $150 conferences (plus $800 airfare/hotel) to learn "how to", no $$$ spent on media campaigns, no stadiums rented out, no free concerts or hot dogs...just prayer and proclamation. Sometimes I think we ought to take a year's fast from all our books, conferences, blogs, internet, and do nothing more than get serious about prayer, allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us in what Jesus would have us do to reach our lost family, friends, neighbors and co-workers with the Good News of Christ.

What are your own observations? What can we learn from the above? Is there anything in Geovanny's testimony that speaks to your heart about prayer, evangelism or church planting?

19 comments:

amanda said...

thanks for sharing this!

Bruce said...

Guy, All I can say is Amen!
I agree that your next to
last paragraph holds the key.
Reminds me of what S.D. Gordon
wrote in 'Quiet Talks on Prayer'

The great people of the earth today are the people who pray. I do not mean those who talk about prayer; nor those who say they believe in prayer; nor yet those who can explain about prayer; but I mean these people who take time & pray. They have not time. It must be taken from something else. This something else is important. Very important, and pressing, but still less important & pressing than prayer. These are the people that put prayer first and group the other items in life's schedule around & after prayer.

GuyMuse said...

Amanda,De nada! I continue to enjoy following your blog and life there in Taiwan with hubby! You take such great photos. Eat some of that yummy-looking food for us!

Bruce,What a great and convicting quote on prayer. I'm afraid I am one of those who fall into the category of the ones who "believe, talk, explain" prayer, more than praying. God help us all!

Stephen M. Young II said...

Your posts are becoming deeper and deeper and I am somewhere between admiration and jealousy. May God make it so that all of us can see 400% growth in our ministries.

John Lunt said...

This is another incredible example of God at work with his people.

Troysko said...

Reminds me of how our Lord Jesus explicitly connected the "greater works" of believers to the answered prayers of believers - John 14:12-14

GuyMuse said...

Stephen and John,Thanks for reading and for your kind comments. What we try to share is not our ministry, but truly what GOD is doing in our midst. We are all in this together. I see one of my roles to be a "reporter" of the things the Lord is doing in our neck of the woods. I believe it was Harry Truman who said, "It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” I would modify that a little and say, it is amazing what can be done through the power of the HS and unto His Glory when the only one who gets the credit is the Lord.

GuyMuse said...

Troysko,

Very true! There is a direct relationship between prayer and works.

Aussie John said...

Guy,

Yet again proof that "God's work, done God's way, will never lack God's supply." -Hudson Taylor.

GuyMuse said...

Aussie John,

So true. That is a great quote and one of my favorites.

business stationery Printing said...

You are doing such a great job, keep up the good work.

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Henry
http://www.alrightprinting.com/

GuyMuse said...

BSP,

Thanks for stopping by. It's not so much what we are doing, but what God is doing through the lives of his children to the glory of His Name.

Kevin Bart said...

A great example of God empowering humble, ordinary people who know they cannot do anything without Him, to do extraordinary things. It's awesome to see God at work.

GuyMuse said...

Kevin,

Prayer makes all the difference. Add to that obedience to go out and do what He says to do. One of my favorite quotes, "Pray as if everything depended upon God; work as if everything depended upon man." I think God wants to do much more and is only awaiting us to do our part.

Randi Jo :) said...

That is awesome! :)

Thank you so much for sharing

GuyMuse said...

Randi Jo,

Thanks for stopping by. I checked out your blog and enjoyed reading through several of the articles. Rom.12:11 is a GREAT verse...thanks for bringing it again to our attention! Also, I am quite jealous of your beautiful "beach views"! Is that where you actually live? On the beach?

Randi Jo :) said...

hey again! :) Thanks for the reply! I love that verse.

I do not live ON the beach - we live about 30 minutes from the ocean. those pictures are just from our visits there and some are from our vacation in delaware where we stay in a house right on the ocean! :) that would be incredible to live there year round!!! PHEW! :)

Have a blessed day, thanks again! :)

GuyMuse said...

Randi Jo,

Thanks for checking back in. The photos are still beautiful. Keep up the photography!

andrew said...

Guy,

Any updates on how things have progressed since 2008?