God-Shaped Praying

, ,


“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” So wrote A. W. Tozer some 55 years ago. Allow me to add to that with I hope Tozer’s blessing: “What we think about God shapes how we pray.”

Jesus in Luke 11:5-8 presents us with a picture of God as a loving Father who readily gives good gifts to his children. So we, with shameless audacity, should ask for them. With all the needs that seem to flood our lives we grab on to this idea of God and, wow, do we ask! In fact, such asking consumes and almost completely defines our praying. We come to God with a long list of suggestions for what he should do in response to the particular needs of our own lives and the needs of those who make up our spiritual family.

When this view of God is primary to our thinking, our prayers become reactive, seldom moving beyond our immediate need-based requests.

There’s another picture of God that when taken seriously takes us beyond reactive to proactive or even visionary praying. Psalm 23 presents the Lord as our shepherd and in light of that reality, needs move from primary to secondary. In fact, in him we “lack nothing.” Why? Because he is primary. He makes us lie down; he leads us; he guides us along the right paths.

Don’t there need to be more times in our prayer lives that we simply stop asking for things and favours and start seeking and asking for him? “Lord, guide us, lead us. Help us as we plan. Show us where we should go. Show us who we should be.” And don’t we need to pray the same types of things for others? This kind of visionary praying does a lot more listening and surrendering and worshipping than asking and demanding and worrying.

Wasn’t this more the kind of praying the church at Antioch was doing in Acts 13:1-3? Not a bad model to follow!

E4H Headed to Toronto in 2015! (Updated)

, ,


E4H stands for Equip for Harvest – a Church Planting Boot Camp Learning Experience.

It is designed so that you and your board or leadership team will come away from this training experience better equipped to make disciples, especially through church planting, but also through your existing church ministries.
In this training experience you will explore questions like:

  • What is the church and what is church planting?
  • What are the qualifications needed in a church planter?
  • How do you make and multiply disciples of Jesus through church planting?
  • What are your church’s building blocks? (What needs to be in place for health and multiplication?)
  • How do you get from the dream stage to launching that first public service?
  • What does a core team and launch team look like and how do you build the core?
  • What is a disciple-making pathway for my church and how do I develop one?
  • What internal and external systems are needed for a successful church plant?
  • What do I need to know about my church neighborhood and the people we are trying to reach?

The Schedule for E4H:

  • October 23 – 26, 2015
  • Friday, Saturday, and Monday — 9am-5pm
  • Sunday morning visit to a church plant; 2:00pm – 5:00pm class training; 5:00pm – 8:00pm visit Mercy City Church Plant


Where will it be held?

Toronto, Ontario – Mercy City Church facilities, 100 Halsey Avenue – Unit #7, East York, ON M4B 1A9

What time will it be held?

Friday, Saturday, Monday: 9:00am – 5:00pm Eastern Time Zone; Sunday schedule: Visit church plant in the morning; 2:00pm – 5:00pm for class training; 5:00pm – 8:00pm visit Mercy City Church (includes meal) with followup discussion.

How do I prepare?

Read one of the following books: Aubrey Malphurs, The Nuts and Bolts of Church Planting (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2011); Ed Stetzer, Planting Missional Churches (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2006)

What is the cost for registration for the 4-Day E4H Training?

$199 (includes 1 meal, snacks & resources); spouses of church planters are $40

$500 special group rate for 3-5 people from your church or church planting team

What resources will be available?

When you register, you will receive a link to access and download all the Power Point slides used in the E4H experience as well as a folder full of additional church planting resources and recommended links.

What do I need to bring?

Bring your laptop or tablet for personal access to the presentation slides and for in class research. Also, bring your Bible and note taking resources.

What do I do if I have any questions?

Call Charlie Worley, Lead Trainer and Coach, at the EFCC Home Office 1.877.305.3322 (toll free) or 604.513.2183 (PST). You may also email him or text him (call the phone number listed for access information).

Meet Your Trainers and Coaches

Bruce Redmond
E4H_bruceA veteran church planter and church planting leader, Bruce is the Director of Church Planting for the Evangelical Free Church of America Southeast District. Prior to that, he was a Church Planting Missionary and the Director of Church Planting in the Rocky Mountain District (EFCA). Bruce has also been a Sonlife Ministries trainer and a church health consultant and has served as a youth director, an associate pastor and a senior pastor of a church that daughtered three new churches. He has a passion to see new churches in the USA and Canada intentionally making disciples and reproducing new churches.

Chris Yu
Chris YuChris Yu  is currently the Pastor at Mercy City Church in Toronto. This EFCC Plant is a missional inner city church plant focusing on serving the socially marginalized and disadvantaged people groups living in the community.



Charlie Worley

charlieDr. Charlie Worley is the Church Planting Catalyst for the EFC of Canada. With over 38 years of ministry experience, most of it in church planting leadership, he brings wisdom and knowledge about  church leadership to the #E4H experience.


Download the brochure here!

20150817 E4H brochure