When John Seitz joined the Antioch Christian Church (Marion, IA) staff in 2000, he challenged the men to join a team committed to praying for his ministry and for the church.
“Prayer is so integral in seeking guidance from God and providing spiritual protection for the pastor,” Seitz says. “We have a prayer ministry open to everyone, but I wanted this to encourage strong male leadership in the church.”
In addition to praying through the week, each year the team gathers for a retreat, and each Sunday morning several of the men gather at the church building an hour early for focused prayer.
“We pray throughout the building for the services and for everything that will happen in the coming week,” says Seitz. “The worship area, Sunday school rooms, lobby, kitchen—every room is covered in prayer. We end with prayer for my message, my ministry, our other staff and leadership, for our church here and for the church worldwide.”
Seitz says the weekly experience is also a great opportunity for him to build friendships with the men in the group, a benefit that’s hard to achieve in a large church.
The entire team of prayer partners—about 30 in all—hosts a special Sunday morning breakfast four times a year for all men of the congregation. Seitz teaches on prayer, the men pray in groups, and they learn more about the prayer partners ministry.