Walking, and praying your neighborhood

Prayer walking

I am about to begin work on a PhD, much of it around ways a church, in an urban setting can be sustainable, and provide a place of health, hope, and service to the neighborhood in which it resides. One of those ways to care for a neighborhood is to know about it, and pray for it.

Prayer walking is a great way to get active in prayer and is as simple as it sounds – you pray as you walk. Why not try it and learn more about a place and God’s heart for a community.

24-7 is a prayer network out of the UK that details a way to prayer walk your neighborhood. Please let me know the neighborhood you are prayer walking so I can pray with you.

There are many ways to do it but here are a few suggestions for giving it a go for your neighborhood, and your church.

  1. Start and end together: agree a place and time to meet to start walking and talking to God together.  Begin by explaining why you’ve gathered to pray and a few pointers for those who haven’t prayed this way before.  If you’re going to split into smaller groups at any point, then agree a place and time to end together.
  2. Planned route or a wild goose chase? You can decide ahead of time where you’re going to go or you can simply ask the Holy Spirit to lead you as you walk.  Just make sure you don’t get lost!
  3. Try going out in twos: Jesus sent his disciples out in twos. It’s not intimidating or as conspicuous as a large group can be, and it is safer than people going on their own.  If you have a larger group breaking into pairs can help you cover more ground. For safety’s sake you might want to make sure that at least one person on each team has a mobile phone in case you need to contact each other.
  4. To be seen or not to be seen: you can pray quietly or in a volume that doesn’t draw attention if you’re on a covert prayer mission. Silence is okay too. It’s not about being seen to be praying, it’s about seeing and praying.  Having said that, if you feel confident sometimes the Lord can ask us to pray boldly in public!
  5. Pray the positive: even in areas that are considered ‘dark’ or ‘desperate’, try to pray blessings rather than ‘tearing down’ prayers. Focus on God’s plan, purpose and destiny for the place and the people that live there.  “Your Kingdome come, your will be done…” makes an excellent start!
  6. Ending well: if you’ve gone in different directions why not meet up at the end to share what you’ve felt, seen, prayed and heard from God.  If you can keep a record of what you share so you can build on it next time.

Church and Workspace

Theology and culture

We are a few weeks away from opening our work space to the public. This is a unique way to be a church in an urban setting, so…what is the difference between Church and a Collaborative Work Space?

Church: There is a faith community that meets every Sunday in the venue and we serve as the energetic core of the Work Space. This community is committed to living beyond Sunday gatherings, and strives to be fully engaged with the neighborhood as a whole. Suffice it to say, the values of the faith community – urban renewal, intentional community, Influential leadership – deeply influence the values of the Work Space which also centers around relationships and creative community development. It is the faith community that drives the desire to serve the marginalized of our city. It is the faith community that gives of their resources generously so we can afford to maintain our building and continue developing initiatives and partnerships.

The heart of the faith community is to serve Seattle and surrounding neighborhoods.

We will always position ourselves to be in relationships that are crucial to transform the city and neighborhood with the love of Jesus. Thus, we see the Work Space as a tool that will give us this opportunity.

Collaborative Work Space:  We look to celebrate the individuals, and agencies that are working to make the city better. We began to look around and see that there are some outstanding organizations (faith based or not) that we wanted to partner with, because we realize how big the job is to make the city better.

While the faith community holds to Christian beliefs, we do not project these on our neighborhood.

We feel like God gave us this building, in a very strategic neighborhood, and it would be a shame to only use it for ourselves. So we devised a plan to use what resources we have to support and encourage our city and neighborhood – hence our name SEAchange Building.

And we are proud of the diversity of partners we have built relationships with. On top of the two organizations we partner with, we currently have two outside organizations who use our facilities to share workspace and move forward their organizational dreams. We do not require that any of these agencies share our faith. We choose to focus on common goals of community development and life transformation. We welcome individuals who just need a place to work and don’t want to face a long commute or need a place other than a home office.

All Saints Church is meant to be urban missional hub. God has called us to carry out this mission as a church that introduces all who believe, doubt and seek to the reality Jesus Christ. We are called to the difficult task of interacting with the educated, upper middle class urbanites who don’t have obvious need for a church, let alone a relationship with Christ.