March 2020 Cityreaching Call

David ImbodenCoaching Corner

In this month’s call, National Day of Prayer Director, Kathy Branzell shared about leveraging the NDOP as a catalyst for Gospel Cityreaching. In addition to Kathy, Ready Indy’s Neil Cox shared how cityreaching ministries are helping local churches to become a part of disaster preparations (with an emphasis on the COVID 19 virus). Facilitated by John Kieffer with The Table Coalition & LOVE2020.

Listen to the call here.

(2:04) Kathy Branzell: National Day of Prayer Coordinator & LOVE2020 Director
We have 15,000+ coordinators who are helping to organize and coordinate what looks to be approximately 60,000 gatherings this May 7th.
 – Of Course we all have our eyes and ears open to the situation with the Corona virus. We are almost 2 months out.
We’re just a part of the national prayer movement and have coordinators in all the capital areas and are working to have a coordinator in every county
– With that we want to be a part of Prayer Care Share. When I stepped into this position I brought the Prayer Care Share language with me, the lifestyle with me, so if you subscribe to the NDOP articles (if you don’t you can go to www.nationaldayofprayer.org/newsletter and subscribe) you will hear alot of Prayer Care Share language coming our every week.
We are partnering with those who are praying in US cities … this is a 365 days a year ministry … there would be no movement if we only prayed one day a year.
We love it when all of our ministries come together. There’s a lot of collaboration … and many ministries from the LOVE2020 affinity spheres that we’ve brought into the NDOP relationships …
We’ve made lots of introductions in cities and we are happy to do that for any who are this call … wherever you are … just to know who your state and city coordinators are … and we want to make sure that they know what you are doing and how we can be praying for you … so it is our prayer hope we will be having 10s of thousands of gatherings and millions of people on the 7th of May.
We’re also praying over the Corona virus situation and all of you who doing risk assessment and planning for the unforeseeable future … though we are not panicked because of our trust in the Lord. We are thankful for technology where streaming can take place … GodTV is on board with us for broadcasting any kind of event … whether its our time over in Washington DC at the Museum of the Bible or just streaming an event we want people to be safe … we want them to know that their health concerns are certainly foremost in our hearts … and we can all be praying from wherever we are … We are hoping that we are gathering, but if not, God will certainly hear our prayers from wherever we are.
We are grateful that there are so many Prayer Care Share opportunities going on in the various cities and our coordinators are not unaware of that and grateful for partnerships. We can’t promote every single thing … you can imagine what that would look like.
One thing that keeps coming to mind is what a great job Neil Cox is doing in Indianapolis, as a kind of spiritual first responder with all of the prepping they have gone into with situations like this. Whenever there is any kind of emergency in their city, they’ve already practiced how they are going to Prayer Care Share respond.
Please stay in touch with me, you have my email address: [email protected]
Let us know what is gong on in your cities. Please help all that you are connecting with to get involved in the NDOP on May 7th.

Dave Imboden (LOVE2020 & The Table Coalition) Kathy, how can we find our local NDOP reps?

Kathy: Go to our www.nationaldayofprayer.org web site … in the About section you can click on your state and it brings up your state coordinator and you can contact the state coordinator and find out who the closest person is.
Everybody should know on this call that the National Day of Prayer is a law … it was the last unanimous vote in Congress in 1988 when Ronald Reagan amended the law instituted by President Truman in 1952. From 1952 to 1988 there was no official specified day for the NDOP, it would be announced sometimes with only a few days, a week or a month’s notice. – SO you can imagine the difficulty in organizing for such an event. Our founder Vonette Bright got Congress and the President to the need for the establishment of a specific day for the event.
We are the Judeo-Christian task force for the NDOP which is a law and were grateful that we receive affirmation not only from our President, proclaiming this day of prayer for our nation, but also from every governor and many mayors … so you can also receive a copy or read a copy of your states proclamation as well.

Alan Doswald – Evangelicals for Social Action in Fresno – I’d like to know if its an issue in many cities when interfaith groups try to infiltrate the Christian Day of Prayer and make it an interfaith event which doesn’t really work. What’s your experience with that?

Kathy: Anyone is welcome to attend NDOP events, but we have a very strict policy about us being a Judeo-Christian organization, so the only only people who will be given the microphone, leading prayer, speaking from the stage, speaking or praying, will be doing so from a Christian position.
– The NDOP is a law, so you will hear of other events. Tragically, like in Boise Idaho, for example, our group has had the State capital for decades, signing up for a year in advance. Somehow this year a group got ahead of us in signing up and it is the satanic national day of prayer. And so, at the Boise state capital this year there will be a satanic prayer observance.
Be in prayer for us on this as the enemy doesn’t take a break. We must be very important on the enemy’s radar because we’ve seen it time and time again … last year in Washington DC, bookending the NDOP, the Wiccans all came in to Washington and had a national conference on the front end of our NDOP week, and the Burning Man group came in and had a mall event on the back end of the NDOP week.

Alan Doswald: One of the things we’ve done in Fresno for the NDOP for years, we always did at City Hall by reserving the space and one year the interfaith leaders came and said, “we want to pray to” so not knowing what to do we gave him the microphone, a couple of them prayer and immediately they booked an event for the next year at City Hall. So what we did, and its worked so far, we called our Day of Prayer, a Christian Observance of the National Day of Prayer and we have two or three of them during that day and that’s worked pretty well. We are not saying that no one else can have a different observance, but this is a Christian Observance.

John Kieffer: I’d like to add that here in Fox Valley, WI, we’ve had a lot of different expressions of the NDOP, one was an early morning 7-8 am in a local church and its roughly attended by 30-40 people.
– There’s also an all day observance at Festival of Foods, a grocery store chain here and they have an upper room community hall and there will be 3-30 throughout the day praying.
– There’s also a community wide gathering at the local YMCA hosting a NDOP, including live speakers. That’s where a lot of the prominent people go.
– The prayer leaders in our city try to focus in on prayer and not just teach us about prayer. I’ve noticed that some people are more comfortable talking about prayer and there’s others who are more desirous of praying. But we are always walking that fine line where make it approachable for everyone, including those who don’t know Christ yet. It gives us an opportunity to express love and a witness for Jesus.

Kathy: I’d like to also remind everyone that in the days leading up to and beyond the NDOP, we have a divine opportunity in this situation with the Corona Virus people are seeing in real time how our wealth can disappear in a day and so with that where does our hope come from and as Christ followers we don’t panic and we are not anxious or fear-filled. This gives up opportunities to walk in that hope, faith and assurance with others knowing that love reaches, love touches, love acts, and so by living out this Prayer Care Share lifestyle, everyone on this call has been living this out for so long and encouraging others to do so.
We are also not a political rally, we are not a political party, and so we pray for our government but we will not be there campaigning.
We also pray for all seven spheres of influence and we pray for issues specific to each city, we pray for the families, for the first responders, we pray for the school campuses. So this is an opportunity for non-believers to come and see that we mean what we say and that we are praying with our a critical spirit. They need to see intercessors, not critics, and hopefully they will see the best of the Church at our prayer gatherings.

(20:33) Alan Doswald: I have a question about the Prayer Care Share strategy. We do a lot of that in Fresno. I’ve been going to the NDOP for 35-40 years, and we’ve always prayed. It’d been wonderful, its build unity. But when the NDOP is over, it’s over. I’ve never seen any kind of residual part of the program that flows into Care and Share. So what’s different now?

(21:12) Kathy Branzell: What’s different now is that I became president last May, and the different presidents have had different visions, and have grown the NDOP for which we are so so grateful.
– Our coordinators are very involved in a lot of things and so there may be they are not carrying NDOP in particular or solitarily, but they are still participating in all kinds of ministries and all kinds of Prayer Care Share ministry happening in their cities, but now, even at our Summit last Fall, and at our upcoming Summit in September, it will be hearing about all the Prayer Care Share opportunities.
Three things we have done specific all this year: We’ve been involved in the Every Campus Campaign, making sure that every single college campus is prayed over, and then working through and up to and building Christian community that will support that campus. So we’ve been very careful in covering every college campus working with the different campus ministries – being led by Cruand InterVarsity.
Secondly, The Year of the Bible, getting people back into the Word and deeper into the Word and daily into the Word. We want to study the Word, pray the Word, obey the Word and share the Word.
And then thirdly, Go2020USA, has been at the center of conversation, and articles and training ongoing with the NDOP.
– So, beyond the day of the 7th of May, a lot of people will be out there doing Prayer Care Share throughout the month of May for Go2020 and beyond and our prayer is that there is a whole lot of discipleship that needs to take place after May. So, these are the three things that our specific coordinators have been trained on and our articles have revolved around as well as social media, which is very robust.

(23:38) John Kieffer: One of the things I’d like to get your thoughts on, Kathy. So much of what we do as cityreachers, or prayer coordinators, is gathering large groups if we can. Please speak a little bit to the value of the small group. And if large groups become more and more shut down, how can we move into the smaller group setting and actually invite more people and have more people who participate through the small group.

(24:13) Kathy Branzell: Hopefully in the upcoming days we’ll speak more into that. I’ve actually been invited onto a CDC task force, so I’ll have to jump off this call at 11:30.
We want to make sure we are disseminating good, true information to faith-based groups, but again not walking panicked but walking smart. I believe the Lord gives us wisdom and we are supposed to walk in it. So, keep in mind that every person that comes in contact with another person is now a possible carrier.
At gatherings, we have to think smaller. Anytime your kid goes to school, you go to work, to the grocery store, we come in contact with more and more people, so we’re going to have make educated and wise choices about gatherings.
Within our households, our neighborhoods, our churches and small groups we can be praying and taking care of one another and meeting needs. (Kathy then shared about her personal application of caring for elderly people in the condominium she lives in by asking what she can get for them as she goes out for necessities).

(26:47) John Kieffer: Such a great example, Kathy. Thanks so much for taking time to be with us this morning. We look forward to hearing from you on the next call regarding the Prayer Care Share lifestyle.

It was really great to have Kathy on the call, and I just want to open up the call for dialog at this point. I think the virus issue is on everyone’s mind right now. I’d like to talk about how we leverage this very difficult situation that we are experiencing in our cities and how we can work together. I’d really love to hear from Neil Cox regarding Ready Indy.

Neil, how can we work together regarding our response to the virus?

(28:09) Neil Cox – I wish everything was as coordinated and as ready as Kathy might have intimated … We certainly are the voice for readiness in the Christian world here.
– You know people actually take those great actions to prepare … but lots of them have waited until, “Oh! Hey!
This is real! Uh, uh, uh … Let’s see. What do we do? Oh yeah! Make a plan, stay informed, get a buddy, do the Bible study for Ready Christian … and practice Prayer Care Share.
– That is very much part of our mantra. So, the main thing we’ve got going on is our leaders are meeting on Zoom calls, a video conferencing service … get a free account for up to 30 minutes … Go to zoom.us for a free account. You can have 30 minute meetings. Not an hour so you’ll have to be more concise.
– There’s so much more that we can do using google docs and so forth to make our face to face time concise. So, we are doing our meeting at Friday noon (Eastern time) … gives pastors the most up to date info before going into the pulpit on Sunday … twitter is where its at for info and who to follow … CDC, or your state emergency management folks … county emergency management folks are on twitter … pretty much all your emergency management folks are on Twitter.
– Go to:  www.twitter.com/readyindy for our Indianapolis twitter feed.
We have a centralized Google Document that we call the
Incident Action Plan on the Corona Virus … so we are in response mode and planning … asking: What do we do next? Well the obvious first steps are “build your communications” … without these you can’t build team work … so that’s been an ongoing mantra of ours … I wish it were better but its a start … following our noon hour meeting EST is a Wheaton’s Humanitarian Disaster Institute webinar for churches and ministry leaders to know how to best prepare there congregations … (This is now past, but findable online by clicking here. The institute can also be found at: www.twitter.com/wheatonhdi

(32:10) John Kieffer: Neil, you get a lot in in a short time! Christian Emergency Network has a study online called Ready Christian … I’ve gone through the study and it’s excellent and I highly recommend it for anybody who is in cityreaching work.
– Emergency Management Preparedness is a wonderful venue (www.christianemergencynetwork.org/training-programs/readychristian) for doing cityreaching work, because you are collaborating with government and non-profits. You really reach the whole city when you talk about emergency preparedness.
– When this kind of thing (COVID 19) happens, those communication networks are essential and we always talk about build the relationships before you need it … isolation is going to kill people … becomes more of an issue when things shut down … isolation becomes even more of an issue … so we need to have those relationships so that people aren’t isolated … and we are still reaching out like Kathy shared earlier … especially to the elderly in our neighborhoods … to make sure their needs are being met.
I’d like to open up the call to those who have any questions.

(33:50) Neil Cox: Let me prompt something here: Some of the things we tell folks here in Indianapolis is … Ready Indy is where all of our precious information goes out by twitter … www.twitter.com/readyindy … It also happens to be the local metro chapter of the national Christian Emergency Network … and for whatever reasons, my good buddy Mike Boller is the national operations chief for the CEN.
Weekly calls for preparedness … best way to prepare is to go and share Christ with your neighbors … Bless Every Home … a great tool to take accountability for mapped areas …

Charles Daugherty in Cedar Rapids … relationship building prepared Cedar Rapids for the great flood that hit … those who weren’t involved, it was very difficult to get them involved after the flood hit.

(36:46) John Kieffer  … Flood in Green Bay hit an unprepared Church … they hadn’t been active in preparedness for years and the fire chief said, Where were you? Very few showed up when called upon. Now there’s flooding potentially coming again to the area.

Joleen: Are there speakers who can share about this readiness in WI?

John said he’d be available to come and speak … We work with Samaritans Purse … Rapid Response … many of the denominations have response teams. What we would want to do is figure out what is best for your community and bring those resources to bare.     … So, if your are interested in starting some kind of a movement  up by where you live, I’d love to help facilitate in any way I can.

Alan Doswald: You can also contact the Salvation Army and Red Cross … usually two best responders across the US and they would know best how to help.

(39:33) Charles Daugherty … 30 miles south of Cedar Rapids … two pastors called and asked for help from Charles when the flood hit and he couldn’t come and help due to his having to be on his post … He also mentioned:  8 Days of Hope established a rapid response team in Cedar Rapids … staffers were  established … they brought in over 1491 volunteers …   church network demonstrated a long-haul response that showed the community the value of the church … people came to help but also some came to take advantage of hand outs.

John Kieffer: … if you are waiting for FEMA you may wait a long time on the front end … important to build relationships with the churches and the emergency services …

 Charles Daugherty:  … flood came Friday … Monday they got the call … one of the biggest floods in US history … many of the emergency services were flooded out … church was able to fill in the gap … best thing is be able to share hope with our neighbors on a constant basis … no one died … opps to share the gospel … mayor started called the church, saints … pastors who graduated from a certain seminary are praying together … and pastors are now gathering around non essentials … so there is division

John Kieffer: … bring people together through prayer and worship of Jesus … world sees our divisions instead of unity …
– Disasters cause us to work together … blue sky time we go back to usual … we’ve not faced a pandemic like this virus … hard to discern what info to send out .. what’s helpful and what’s not … never been down this road before …

John … by praying together we will get the leading from the Holy Spirit to know what to do …

(51:53) Neil Cox … referring back to Cedar Rapids in how the city if breaking up into separate camps … we are all disposed towards preference, but the Gospel calls us to deference … I was going to offer this one thing about the Christian Emergency Network (CEN) and FEMA and then others. They  know that responses have to be geographic. In Indy, it’s a large territory … we’ve got 110 zip codes … but that’s our approach, is by encouraging collaboration per zip code. Or if you are in a smaller community, do it per neighborhood.   Ready Indy gets zip codes and neighborhoods to connect and plan together .. and we try to get pastors from all “flavors” …  if we get that in our cities we are off to a good start … across from our church is a slum apartment complex filled with poor and immigrants … church has a small team helping them with maintenance requests and learning english … working together in some geographic location …

(54:45) Central Arkansas caller (Ray Williams) … Four or five years ago we connected with Bild Int’l and Antioch School for Leadership Development and Church Planting … their training pulled together cohorts of ministers from  pastors from different denominations and backgrounds that have pursued unity in the essentials.

John Kieffer: …  shared the beauty and principle of Nehemiah’s example of calling leaders together … fasting and praying and then getting the community to get involved in their specific geo area in Jerusalem to rebuild the wall.

Wrapped up in prayer …