In January we will be returning to Northeast Brazil to plant churches. In the meantime we are on furlough ministry, which means we travel to churches, look for speaking opportunities, see family and friends, rest, get more training, etc. When I was in Michigan I went to a couple of prayer services. They were great and when I came back down south I organized one here. On Friday someone else did a variation of the prayer service and it went well.
Then I started thinking about doing this same style of prayer service for normal church services. I have been listening to a Church planting movement class online and the Professor talked about key ingredients to a church planting movement. Some of those elements are prayer, indigenous bi-vocational leadership, and something that can be copied without outside resources.
The format of the prayer service is something like this: worship, 5-10 minute devotional, 15-20 minutes of prayer and then repeat all those. Time has flown in every one of these services I have been in and people have gone away blessed. There were various speakers and so it did not depend on one person's dynamic message. There is a huge focus on the Word, Worship and Prayer; specifically prayer. The prayer time promotes application to the message and can be divided up into large group prayers, popcorn praying, small groups, pairs, alone, etc...
So what if I use this format in starting churches in Brazil? I would immediately start using nationals in the service. They would learn to pray starting with simple phrases (which is probably what God prefers anyway) and they would learn to teach as well. They would not start out preaching 45 minute services, but rather would start out leading a prayer time, then move to teaching a short devotional, then being more involved, get more training, and then leading a service somewhere else as a national Pastor/leader.
We could do this service once a week, probably on a Sunday morning or night and include a meal together. So they could arrive at 10:30 in the morning, have lunch at 12 and continue until 1:30 or 2. Or a night service could start at 5:00, have service for an hour, then a snack/meal and finish around 8:30.
The service would cover different topics each week as well. In 3 hours there is time for 4-6 devotionals. So each week you could possibly have a salvation part, an OT story, and several different topics that would give them a variety. The prayer part really focuses on the application of the devotional as we ask God to help us put into practice a certain principle, worship God, confess sins, or learn to trust Him.
Time available on the weekends or during the week could be used for further training for your leaders or whoever was interested.