10 Steps to Calling Your Community By Name
1. Select a time frame in which you will carry out the initiative.
We suggest that you do it for four weeks. It is a short enough time for people to feel that they can participate, but long enough to develop the habit of intercessory prayer. We also suggest that you do it 4-weeks leading up to Easter Sunday and encourage people to invite those for whom they have been praying.
2. Enlist people to pray.
Consider having people register their participation through a web form or email address (byname@…). If you have a small group structure in your church, utilize small groups to enlist people in this initiative. Announce it in your services, but as you do, be sensitive to those in your congregation who are there by invitation of a friend and who might feel like a project if they are thought of as part of an initiative.
3. Provide resources on intercessory prayer.
Once the initiative begins, send a weekly email with encouragement, teaching or motivation to persevere in prayer. Consider having a few people blog anonymously about their experiences. Provide books for purchase that will be helpful guides on intercessory prayer. See our recommended resources
4. Use the provided resources.
You can have the By Name card printed in bulk for your people to carry with them as reminders to pray. Use the smart phone and computer wallpaper as a reminder. Use the graphic for announcements. Use the banner for your website, worship guide or bulletin, and any weekly correspondence.
5. Utilize Twitter and Facebook.
You can use our Twitter tag (#byname) and use our sample tweets to keep the initiative in front of your people.
6. Consider a mid-initiative night of prayer.
Schedule a night of prayer two weeks into the initiative designated for worship and praying by name in groups. Have people share stories about how God is using the initiative in their life and what fruit God is bringing from it.
7. Provide Evangelism Training
The By Name Initiative is about praying, connecting, and sharing. Provide resources for your people on how to communicate the gospel to those for whom they are praying. Consider a blog post or article or night of training on the subject of personal evangelism.
8. Pray in your worship gathering.
You will need to be sensitive to the fact that many will be inviting their “by name” person with them each week. As you pray in the worship gathering, pray with language that an unbeliever could hear and not feel singled out by.
9. Schedule a Baptism Service at the conclusion of the By Name Initiative.
Trust that there will be those who come to faith during the by name initiative and prepare to have a baptism service celebrating God’s grace in their life.
10. Continue to challenge your people to pray.
Don’t let By Name be a four-week phase, but the beginning of a new practice for you and your church.