A Community of Prayer Champions, Praying Churches, Prayed-for Communities

The believer's role in advancing the Kingdom of God is described by Jesus in Luke 10:1-9. In this passage Jesus instructs His disciples to go into cities and do four things which constitute the Prayer Evangelism model that Bishop Vaughn McLaughlin engaged us tonight to know the proper order to winning souls:

  1. Bless the people they meet: 
Whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace be to this house'.
  2. Fellowship with them: 
Stay in that house, eating and drinking what they give you, for the laborer is worthy of his wages.
  3. Pray for their felt needs: 
Heal those in it who are sick …
  4. Proclaim the Kingdom: 
Say to them, the kingdom of God has come near to you.

When we follow these steps people will be ready to hear us. That is why four years ago, we set the goal to have all the streets of the city prayer walked by believers prayer walking their streets weekly. Jacksonville is the largest city geographically in the country and has more streets than any other city - 18,000. For the last two years, we had 12% of the streets of the city regularly prayer walked.

The result:  the city's crime rate dropped 12% two years ago, another 12% last year and so far, it is down 8% this year. This means crime has dropped an accumulative 39% in the last two and half years. Crime is at a 40 year low!

Also four years ago, we challenged churches to prayer walk the elementary, middle or high school near them on the Sunday afternoon before school starts in the fall and the Sunday afternoon after school starts again in January. In the process, relationships were established between the neighborhood schools and churches.

The result:  124 of the 169 public schools in Jacksonville now have a 220 formal church/school partnerships in which the churches serve the schools by meeting expressed needs of the schools for tutors, assistant coaches, landscaping, secretarial assistance, food pantries, clothes closets, etc.

Transform Jacksonville and Northeast Florida also seeks to develop strategies to reach the key influence areas of the city - government/military, education, business, arts, media and the family and help a new generation of change agents leverage the power of the institutions, neighborhoods, and intermediaries of our city. Currently, we have a leadership team in education, family and business areas. 

We believe God is telling his people where the battleground is. It was right here in our city where culture will be won or lost. Our assignment is to "seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper" (Jeremiah 29:7). Therefore, we are convinced that this Christ-centered approach to city transformation is absolutely essential to the renewal of our education sector and the other sectors, institutions, neighborhoods, and intermediaries of our city.

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