Eight Week Breakdown

Begin planning for the Friendship Ablaze! Prayer Vigil eight weeks before the celebration. Throughout the planning process, keep in mind the purposes and desired outcomes of the Vigil and of the overall Friendship Ablaze! celebration. The following is one possible organizational structure to help you plan a Prayer Vigil.

Eight Weeks Prior

• Recruit Friendship Ablaze! Prayer Vigil Team Leader
• Recruit Vigil Planning Team (4-6 persons)
• Set date/time/place for first organizational meeting
• Suggested agenda for first meeting:

  1. Pray for the Friendship Ablaze! effort.
  2. Clarify purposes of Vigil.
  3. Establish date/time/place for vigil, possibly for the 24 hours on the Saturday or Friday/Saturday (6 p.m. to 6 p.m.) before the Friendship Ablaze! Sunday celebration.
  4. Communicate the vigil plans to church/school staff and leaders. Do this throughout the planning process.
  5. Assign team responsibilities (leader, meeting recorder/reporter, church/school publicity coordinator, volunteer recruiter, site coordinator, church/school sign-up coordinator, vigil follow-up coordinator)
  6. Set date/time/place for the next meeting.
  7. Confirm team assignments for next meeting.
  8. PRAY!

Seven Weeks Prior

• 2nd Prayer Vigil Team meeting
• Suggested Agenda:

  1. Pray for the Friendship Ablaze! effort.
  2. Solidify date/time/place for vigil.
  3. Establish most effective methods for publicizing and inviting participation in the vigil within the congregation/school/community (i.e., posters, flyers, newsletter/bulletin/spoken announcements, community newspaper religion section, community bulletin board, special large neighborhood signs….). Encourage everyone to “bring a friend.”
  4. Plan for the process of gathering Prayer Request Cards from church/school to be included in the vigil with the Prayer Vigil Folder. The LCMS includes prayer requests (and other prayer resources) on their Ablaze! website.
  5. Prepare for the pre-vigil production and distribution of Friendship Ablaze! Prayer bulletin inserts during weeks 5, 6, 7 and 8.
  6. Prepare for Prayer Vigil site set-up and take-down.
  7. Establish plan for and brainstorm a list of volunteers to recruit to help with the vigil – include all ages, church and school. (greeters/hosts--2 each hour, bulletin insert helpers, Prayer Guide helpers/folders, Prayer Request card organizer,  sign-up helpers, site set-up & take-down helpers)
  8. Provide for safety during the vigil (i.e., one entrance, one exit, access to telephone or cell phone and emergency phone numbers, lock-up arrangements before and after, etc.)
  9. Begin to prepare, display, and distribute vigil posters and other publicity.
  10. Provide vigil publicity announcements to those responsible for church/school newsletters.
  11. Set date/time/place for next meeting.
  12. PRAY!

Six Weeks Prior

  • 3rd Prayer Vigil Team meeting
  • Begin sign-ups for Prayer Vigil hours (for participants and for volunteers – need name, contact information, times available). Encourage participants to “bring a friend” (especially one with no church home) to the vigil.
  • Begin distributing Prayer Request Cards from church/school. Provide receptacles in various locations (narthex, church/school entrances, fellowship areas). These requests will be for prayers to supplement those in the Friendship Ablaze! Prayer Guide and prayer list(s).
  • Produce prayer inserts for weeks 5-8.
  • Prepare/arrange for weekly worship announcements about the Vigil.
  • Continue to pray for the Friendship Ablaze! celebration.
  • PRAY!

Five Weeks Prior

  • 4th Prayer Vigil Team meeting.
  • Continue sign-ups for vigil participants and volunteers.
  • Encourage those in church/school to invite friends (bring a friend), especially unchurched, to participate in the vigil.
  • Arrange for volunteers recruited to help with prayer inserts for Week 5 bulletins.
  • Continue weekly worship announcements.
  • Review vigil plan with all leaders and volunteers.
  • PRAY!

Two to Four Weeks Prior

  • Weekly meetings to check progress, discuss future plans/changed plans, etc.
  • Continue sign-ups.
  • Continue weekly worship announcements.
  • Volunteers insert prayer bulletin inserts for worship.
  • PRAY!

Week Prior and Week of Prayer Vigil

  • Prepare and fold Prayer Vigil Guides.
  • Finish collecting Prayer Request cards for church/school.
  • Before the Friendship Ablaze! celebration, set up for Prayer Vigil on Friday afternoon/evening, depending upon day(s)/time(s) of vigil, availability of site, etc. (Set-up includes place of prayer and reception/greeting areas, signs indicating site entrance, and welcome participants and offer them a prayer guide and other materials.)
  • Place a copy of the hourly greeter volunteer schedule (with phone numbers) at the table in the greeting area.
  • Provide a sign-in sheet and ask each participant to print his or her name on the sheet. (Review these sheets after the vigil for evaluation & follow-up purposes.)
  • Greeters/hosts give participants a copy of the Prayer Guide and any other items that might help guide their prayers. (They can keep these items.) Make Bibles available, so that they can use the verses suggested for prayer if they choose. They can also pick up Prayer Cards in the vigil site area and pray for the needs as written by others. Ask that they return the Prayer Cards to their original place so that others can also pray about them.
  • After the last hour of the vigil, the volunteers collect the prayer cards and other items, and clean up the vigil site area.
  • PRAY!

Prayer Vigil Follow-up

  • The Planning team should have a follow-up meeting within one week after the Prayer Vigil to celebrate, to evaluate and to address possible follow-up publicity and continuing encouragement of the purposes of Friendship Ablaze!
  • Continue to pray for the unchurched and the lost.
  • Throughout the church and school, encourage people to keep a prayer list or prayer journal (see sample page) and to pray daily for those on their lists or in their journals.
  • Develop a Prayer Chain ministry, if your church does not already have one.
  • Develop a group of Prayer Warriors to pray specifically and on a regular basis for your church/school families, staff and leaders – for their spiritual welfare, and for their work in saving the lost.
  • Thank all who assisted with the Prayer Vigil and with other prayer-related activities in the past 8 weeks.
  • Start planning for other prayer ministries, including the next Prayer Vigil!
  • Pray for the Friendship Ablaze! results.
  • Continue to share the love of Jesus with others!
“For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” Acts 4:20