Following a rhythmical protocol of prayer, care, and share, groups of Christians plan to proclaim the gospel throughout the United States by the end of December 2000.
As members of the Light house Movement, small prayer groups from more than 200,000 local churches and 300 national ministries believe they can reach every person in America with prayer, friendship, and a video depicting Jesus' life.
"Many Christians are shy about sharing their faith," says Paul Cedar, chair of the Light house Movement. "What we're saying is: Don't worry about that. Pray for your neighbors, and God will give you opportunities to care for them."
Organizers of the Light house Movement hope to in spire Christians with the light house strategy in a nationally televised ceremony on October 16.
Ed Silvoso, the founder and president of Harvest Evangelism, will host a presentation of the Lighthouse plan on the Pax network live from Madison Square Garden. Light house families and prayer groups will share their prayer and evangelism experiences, and Alvin Slaughter will lead worship.
"The exciting thing about this movement is that real people are doing the work of the church," says spokesperson Sandy Bloomfield. "Big names might be involved organizing Lighthouses, but everyday people are the ones who pray to God and watch him change their neighborhoods."
Lighthouses are also being developed to target people often ignored by mainstream Christianity.
Native American leaders hope to establish 10,000 lighthouses by sending Christian Native American representatives to every reservation in the U.S. And in retirement communities, prayer groups to support both residents and staff are gaining popularity.
"I am excited by what God is doing here," says Bev Weddle, chaplain of John Knox Retirement Village in Lee's Summit, Missouri. "I'm excited about what is happening all over the nation."
The Lighthouse plan grew out of a 1995 meeting for 170 evangelical leaders in Wheaton, Illinois, in which evangelist Billy Graham, Cam pus Crusade president Bill Bright, and Cedar committed themselves to taking the gospel throughout the nation. Now more than 75 denominations and 400 Christian leaders (including Charles Colson of Prison Fellowship, Bill McCartney of Promise Keepers, Loren Cunningham of Youth with a Mission, and James Dobson of Focus on the Family) support the Lighthouse prayer groups springing up. Mission America, a coalition of Christian leaders and parachurch ministries dedicated to evangelism, predicts the genesis of 3 million lighthouses by the end of next year. Currently about 500,000 lighthouses exist worldwide.
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