By now most churches are not meeting in buildings due to the Coronavirus outbreak. BUT, we are still the church, even more than we have ever been…for the church is not a building! Could it be that revival has begun and that God is on the move in unprecedented ways through believers who are reaching UP and then reaching out to be the hands and feet of Jesus during this time?
The governor of Indiana stated recently to the faith community …”Thanks for staying home and spreading the Word…not the virus!” We wholeheartedly agree and want to share a unique and cost-effective way to have free prayer calls with your congregation, or in unity with other churches and believers you would like to engage in prayer!
This technology is offered through FreeConferenceCall.com. Data and usage rates may apply for some, so you need to check on your cell plan; however, the service is completely free and SO SIMPLE that anyone can participate.
Here are simple instructions for a Church to have from 1 up to 1,000 participants on a prayer call:
If you are the prayer call leader hosting the call:
- The main phone number for you to call as the leader is 720-820-2020, which sets you up as the host on the call.
- The instructions will give you two options: “To enter a call, put in the access code. OR, to host a call, hit #.”
- As the host, you will hit #. It will now recognize your phone number as the host of the call. You do not need an access code as the host.
- The access code (for those who participate on your call) will be the phone number with the area code which you are calling from. It can be your cell phone, the church phone or another PLUS the pound key #: Example (555) 555-5555#. Or, you can simply give it out as a 10-digit number: 5555555555#. Then it doesn’t readily appear to be a cell number if you don’t wish to give out your cell number. You could also get an inexpensive trac phone with a separate number to use just for your prayer calls. Or, you can create a google voice phone number that links to your cell phone. Here is a link to set up a google voice line. https://voice.google.com
- As people join the call, you will hear a ding (or many at once depending on how many are joining the call). You can welcome each one by name (which they are instructed to give) or just welcome everyone when you are ready to start.
- Ask the group to mute themselves by pressing *6. You can ask any individual(s) or the whole group to unmute by hitting *6 if you want everyone to pray at the same time.
Here is a sample instruction for the leader to give those you wish to invite:
- To get to the prayer call, dial 720-820-2020
- Here is the access code to put in when you are instructed: (insert 10digit number plus # as described above)
- Please mute yourself on the call by pressing *6 if you just want to listen or if you have background noise where you are calling from. To unmute yourself in order to pray out loud and be heard, hit *6. When you are finished praying, please mute yourself once again by hitting *6.
If you want to engage more than 1,000 people, you will need another leader using a separate cell number as an access code OR, repeat the call at a later time.
It’s that simple! We highly recommend that you try this with church staff or others first before initiating a church-wide call so that you are familiar with the instructions and to make sure it is working for you. Be sure to practice the mute/unmute feature.
You have probably already thought of several innovative things you could use this simple tip for! One church has trained several prayer team and staff members and is utilizing this on Sunday mornings to pray with those who are utilizing the “chat” feature while participating in church online. One person is assigned to watch for those asking for prayer (usually prompted by a few messages posted like, “Let us know if we can pray for you!”) When this comes up in the chat, the leader will respond, telling the person to call 720-820-2020 and uses the cell number (access code) of one of the volunteers for that morning, who is already on the line waiting to pray with people. The next person who asks for prayer is directed to another prayer leader using their cell number as an access code. And so on. The one who is directing the process will text each prayer team member telling them the name of the person needing prayer. When they dial in, there will be a friendly voice saying something like, “Hi Ann! This is Joanne. How can I pray for you?” We also suggest that women pray with women and men with men, even on the phone. If a couple is praying on a speaker phone, then any gender works!
This is a great way to have focused prayer together for small groups, or when you do a prayer initiative together on the phone when you are unable to be together in person.
Individuals can use this technology in the same way that a church does!
We hope these tips are helpful to you as we all learn to be the church in some new ways!
Please feel free to share this information widely!