Why a “Prayer Summit”?
We thought it might be good to give you all a little personal insight to who we, Bill and Barb Herzog, are. First off we are parents to two amazing grown up kids and grandparents to six awesome grandkids! Barb is a P.K. and being in a small church most of her Christian life she always wondered why other churches seemed to be off limits. No fellowship or working together rather mostly being protective of who they were. I, Bill, was not raised in a church environment at all yet when we married we knew there had to be more to this church thing than what we were experiencing. So one of the first things we did was help organize a youth event where we attempted to bring Methodist, Baptist and many others together for a week long revival meeting held at the local high school nearby. It was not very large but groups like Campus Crusade helped out and friends we had made in a variety churches came on board and we were hooked. We knew the Church was much better together than scattered about. God birthed His heart of unity deep inside of us.
Over the years we have cultivated many friendships with like minded men and women wanting to see God’s kingdom break in knowing His Church was the vehicle He loved. Barb directed an event called March for Jesus back in the 90’s, yes that long ago. This event was primarily a vehicle to worship Jesus in the streets and to bring His body together. At the pinnacle a reported 20,000 participated...marching in the streets, worshipping Jesus together under one banner. One thing we discovered doing March for Jesus is that the average believer had very little problem working together...many of the leaders did. It seemed odd to us that this would ever be a problem. Didn’t Jesus infer that our love for each other would speak to those around us who do not yet know Him? Didn’t He pray for our unity?
So our hearts are for the whole Church. We planted our church in 1994 not thinking we were going to be bigger or better but sensing the call of the Lord. We so relied on our friends who were already doing it, asking for help, counsel and friendship. Every Sunday after worship we take time to pray for one of the local churches around us. This has worked to remind our church family two things...we are not the only show in town and we are not alone in taking the message of Jesus to a lost and confused world. At one point, just a few years ago, we were part of some “Worship and Healing” nights held at a Lutheran church with a number of churches leading and working together. About three years ago four or five of us gathered to help some friends put an event together. We kept meeting, moving around the city, well, around northwest Ohio and asking other Pastors to join in. The group eventually put the name Merge on what we were doing because that was what we saw God doing, merging our hearts together for each other, for our city and region. We worship, pray for our cities, the local church we are meeting in, for each other and then we eat together. It has been amazing to watch leaders clear their calendars to be together. So many stories of lives touched by the prayers prayed and the relationships developed. Two summers ago we put our heads and hearts together and brought in a equipping event called Power and Love. About 25 churches supported the event and up to 800 people gathered to be encouraged and trained to go and share our faith
We now sense God moving us towards the Prayer Summit. To maybe go to another level relationally and spiritually. What might it mean for the pastors in our area to gather with no agenda other to pray and listen. Then to sit together and discuss what we heard. Don’t you think that might be pleasing to the Lord? Do we have faith that He might actually speak to us? A time of fasting, a prayer event in the city and the leaders of his Church praying together and talking….sounds like a God thing to me. Why listen to us? No real good reason...we are just two of His children that love the Church and have a strong desire to see Him lifted high in our city. Don’t let us persuade you...let Him.
Bill and Barb Herzog