In 2001, Noah (one of the team leaders) passed through Christchurch with YWAM and sensed he would live here in the future. During that trip, he envisioned what it might be like to have a citywide prayer room & missional hub in the CBD. In 2005, Kate (his wife & the other team leader) was introduced to the 24-7 Prayer movement and caught the vision and desire for a central space where people could gather to pray around the clock. They married in 2008 and continued dreaming about what involvement with a city prayer space might look like.
When moving to Christchurch in 2010, Noah and Kate felt the Lord lead them to spend the next season acclimating, getting to know the culture, building relationships and waiting on Him to direct their steps. They spent the first few years meeting up over coffees with other believers, visiting churches, and got involved in a myriad of missional initiatives not specifically related to prayer. In those early years, they hosted a monthly prayer gathering among the house church network that was focused on praying for the city.
In 2014, Kate began to feel the nudge to re-read Red Moon Rising by Pete Greig and Dave Roberts which tells the story of the 24-7 Prayer Movement. At this time God began to download vision for Prayer Collective Christchurch to Kate.
She sensed God say that before a prayer space could be launched, a prayer community must be developed. He also said, "Build it (the community) and they will come."
Behind the scenes, Kate was dreaming with the Lord on the functionality of PCC and began to connect with others who had a similar heart for prayer in the city. At the end of 2014, Noah and Kate were helping three visiting YWAM teams stay and serve in Christchurch during their outreach. It was then that Kate felt to bring all three teams together under their roof for a meal and combined worship. What was going to be one casual night of worship turned into something much bigger. When Kate shared her idea with Noah (who is always rife with larger, more strategic ideas) he suggested it be a city wide gathering. "What if we ran with it for 24 hours and invited other worship teams to take turns playing?"
In January of 2015 we brought together a handful of local believers and one visiting YWAM leader to pitch the idea. We prayed together and dreamt about what the gathering could look like. We sensed it should be relaxed and creative. A space where everyone felt welcome. A place where ongoing worship could take place to foster deeper intimacy with God. During the group prayer, Kate felt to name the event "DEEP". Many hours of emails later, the venue (South City C3) was secured and the roster was scheduled. We lined up 4 worship bands, a few duos and six individuals to rotate through the facilitation of worship for 24 hours.
It wasn't until the final hours of that first DEEP that God put a spark in our heart for more gatherings like these. The response was so positive from those who attended that we realised there was a hunger for more. "When's the next one?" people began to ask.
Since that weekend in February 2015, we have hosted 10 DEEPs and we have expanded in purpose as the community has grown. We pursue a variety of initiatives in addition to DEEP and are in the early stages of pioneering a citywide prayer space.
(Thank you to the original core team: Anna Chirnside who was instrumental in helping get PCC & DEEP off the ground in the early days. She is gifted at bringing people together and we value the part she played to spur things forward! Thank you to Zion Tauamiti who helped steward the heartbeat and culture of DEEP through song. Thank you Miliana for your passionate prayers & contagious depth of faith. Thank you Jesse Fahey who helped create the backbone of PCC through our city prayer group. All legends!)
The underlying why of what we do
to connect with God through prayer & worship
to unite the church through prayer & worship
to lift up Christchurch, Canterbury & the nation in prayer
to usher in transformation & revival through prayer & worship
to unite Maori & Pakeha through prayer & worship
Prayer is at the center of the Christian faith. It's the words we use, yes, but it's also the thoughts of wonder, reflection and thanksgiving we offer God. It's the cries of desperation and the whispers of exhaustion. Prayer—a two-way dialogue with God—is a place of refreshment and refuge, hope and communion. It's a steady conversation and a place of mission, rather than an event marked in our diary.
We want to be clear that though we support events and gatherings, we acknowledge that prayer is an ongoing, daily lifestyle. Gatherings and events have power to spur us onward together and individually in our walk with Jesus, but we promote the idea that prayer is a LIFESTYLE. We also recognize and strongly believe that obedience to God in one's daily life (and corporately) is vital to seeing transformation in a place. Prayer is just PART of the equation. It must be met with radical obedience. We are God's hands and feet.
Our heartbeat is founded on citywide unity. We believe God is weaving His Church as one and for future purposes, He is calling us all to work together side by side. While we each might have different strengths and focuses, we are all the Church, functioning as one body.
We love networking with believers to help empower communities to embrace and facilitate prayer & worship initiatives and meet around a common belief. Worship and prayer are central pillars of the Christian life. Citywide worship creates a beautiful space to gather together under one roof and focus on God. This has the power to deeply knit us together and shift atmospheres as we declare His truth in our songs and prayers. We believe that prayer changes things. It changes us. It changes our families. It changes cities & nations.
In times of prayer and worship, it is easier to connect to the Spirit of God, hear what He is saying and be empowered for what He is speaking individually and corporately. By coming together in times of prayer and worship, we hear God collectively and can more easily come into alignment together as a city.
The hope of PCC is to come alongside the Church to help spark transformation in our neighbourhoods, schools and workplace through prayer spaces and prayer/worship events.
It's our belief, and proven throughout history, that a culture of prayer often precedes seasons of revival and transformation. Many here in Christchurch sense that God has been speaking about both of these things, placing value on them equally; prayer and revival go hand in hand. Revival does not happen through waiting passively nor through pushing forcefully. Revival happens when a people humble themselves before God and enter into a lifestyle of prayer and obedience. Revival also happens when people collectively tap into what God is doing or restoring in a region & praying along those lines.
It's been said by some that revival in the nation is specifically tied to God's desire for Maori and Pakeha reconciliation. Many sense God is calling the Church to spearhead this effort of reconciliation, creative restoration and unity.
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
—God, 2 Chronicles 7:14
Many in Christchurch agree that prayer is at the center of God's heartbeat for this city and that together, with a unified heart and mind, we can truly embrace the transformative season that is upon us. It's easy to do nothing, but would we rather agree it's time to get our hands dirty and live a life of radical obedience?
Christchurch itself was pioneered and established as a a city of faith. A city after God's heart. It's seen many seasons in its lifetime, and it seems God is beckoning us into a new season of revival, transformation and influence. God's heart still burns for His children here. He still speaks hope and vision over this city.
Christchurch, let's pray!
To learn more about the nation's Christian past, the Waitangi Treaty, and what God's breathing afresh together for this nation, have a listen to "Mission Interrupted" by Dave MacGregor of Grace Vineyard.
Making room for growth
As you may have read on the What We Do page, PCC is currently engaged in a number of initiatives with more on the horizon.
Over the years God knit together a citywide community through people's involvement with DEEP. We love the community God has grown & are seeing the fruit of individuals growing in their prayer life and seeing their confidence soar in their ministry and team leading capabilities. We love seeing other fruit like some churches embrace DEEP style setups in their services, seeing other churches run 24 hour worship & prayer gatherings, and watching individuals be inspired to launch other creative initiatives in the city. And we love the stories of people meeting Jesus, being set free and physically healed.
What about a Prayer Hub in the City?
We continue to meet & pray with a small group of like-minded people around the idea of a citywide prayer and mission hub. We all have lots of different ideas but we continue to lay down our personal vision because we strongly believe that "Unless the Lord builds this house, the builders labour in vain." Psalm 127:1. We don't know exactly what the Lord has in store in the longer term, but we are currently experimenting with a small space where we can develop team dynamics and ethos. We believe a city prayer hub could be a beautifully powerful & connective space in the city and that the prayer & worship network in the city is growing more and more to be capable of sustaining something of that nature.
Prayer aligns & sustains your walk. Prayer precedes revival.
Collective prayer is often a launching pad for personal and cultural transformation as well as the backbone of missional outreach.
For many years, many have sensed God bring prayer to the forefront of His mission for Christchurch in this current season for the city. Prayer precedes revival. Over the past several decades, many faithful believers—young and old—have passionately pressed into various modes of prayer and senses that God has big things in store for this place. Prophetic words have been consistently spoken over the years and recent months through locals, missionaries and voices abroad, that God wants to not only revive the nation of New Zealand, but specifically for us, revive Christchurch. Many sense God is speaking that PRAYER (individually, church-wide and city-wide) is the key to sparking authentic transformation in the city.
We're starting to see more individual and multi-church wide prayer events and expressions in the city. Individual churches have pressed into various prayer expressions like monthly gatherings or weekly meetings. There have been city-wide prayer and worship celebrations in the past. Even house churches and small groups are gathering amongst one another regularly to seek the Lord and pray for the city. Some churches are setting up 24-7 prayer rooms or praying more intentionally as a church body. Pastors are gathering to pray and God has been stirring suburb regions to pray.
Though prayer is a practise that's always been a part of the DNA of the Church in Christchurch, we've definitely stepped into a season of embracing new prayer initiatives and platforms. And it's exciting that God is stirring ideas for new modes of individual and collective prayer in order to spark significant change in the city.
We are a city full of passionate and creative people. In this rebuilding season, let's unify through prayer to help build strong foundations. Let's join God in igniting more prayer spaces and prayer events to provide places of reflection, refuge, worship, meditation, transformation and impartation for the people of this city. Let God shine! (Read more about the Prayer Collective here.)
To learn more about the nation's Christian past, the Waitangi Treaty, and what God's breathing afresh
We value hearing the voice of God—"Unless the Lord builds this house, the builders labour in vain."Psalm 127:1. Therefore, we aim to create out of being prophetically led. We continue to grow & re-structure our focus as the Lord directs and inspires. We are not a church but aim to complement the Church of the city by networking believers & giving them opportunities to grow, serve, step out & pioneer in the areas of prayer, ministry and worship—all which benefit their home church, their work environment and local community and the wider Church body. We continue to have a heart for the citywide Church & champion what others are doing in the area of prayer & worship.
While PCC often naturally gathers prophetically-minded people and we do aim to nurture and mature others in that gift, we are intentional about being a well-rounded community centered on championing all five-fold gifts. We are slowly growing into that as God leads.
With everything we do, our heart is to weave together all the gifts of the Spirit and create opportunities for others to share their gifts and grow in wisdom. We are passionate aboutwalking together (organic pastoring and discipleship). We value encouraging one another to extend ourselves into the local community to serve, champion and share the gospel of Jesus (evangelism). We value learning and seeing others grow in their leading, facilitating & teaching.