This week has been the six monthly 24/7 Prayer Event in the town that embraces Dibley. It is, I think, the fourth 24/7 we have done and it has been by far the quietest. In 9 hours of hosting, I had 3 visitors, all of them in the same 1 hour slot. Many hosts have seen no-one, and we have been wondering why this might be.
In recent months one of the stalwart clergy has moved on, and there have been no visitors from that church. Another minister has stepped aside from this initative due to other pressures and again, no one has attended from that church. How much are these things linked to the minister? It's a question I constantly ask myself in relation to Dibley initiatives and, as time goes on, try to adopt a more 'hands off' approach (difficult when you are a born organiser!)
I do wonder about the frequency and necessary energy to sustain these 24/7 events. I have been less involved in this one than in the past, as have other ministers, simply because we cannot sustain the time commitment, essentially an additional week's work (in previous events I've hosted for over 30 hours on top of my week's work - it's too much). Maybe an annual event would be more sustainable, or shorter 24/2 or 24/1 events (since experience shows that most of the same visitors come whatever the overall duration).
I guess having few visitors had its plus points - I did get to read a couple of books on 'Emerging Church' stuff and plan out a service uninterrupted. Not sure that is quite the point though!
Have any loyal or visiting readers any thoughts to share on similar intiatives? If so, please comment!