In 2005 the Lord spoke to me about how to gather the elders at the gates of a city today through the formation of strategic councils. In 2006 I began to pioneer the concept as I tested God's word through Operation Rolling Thunder. This year the theme for Operation Rolling Thunder is captured by Psalm 24. Verse 7; Psalm 24:7; contains a key. 24/7 prayer is the key to "Lift up your heads oh you gates and be lifted up you everlasting doors and the King of glory shall come in."
Who sits in the gates? Kings and elders (Prov. 31:23 and 2 Sam. 18:24). What invites the King of glory, the Lord of Hosts to enter the gates? I submit to you it is the key of David (Isaiah 22:22) which is 24/7 prayer, praise and worship (Acts 15:16-17).
Here is a testimony from Pastor Paul in Gig Harbor as to how Operation Rolling Thunder helped him and the Church in Gig Harbor to form councils in all 7 spheres while establishing 24/7 prayer in the spirit of the restoration of David's tabernacle.
Mar 2012 Gig Harbor ORT Kick Off
(Email - 4/19/2012) Tim -
It is a joy to see what God is doing in Gig Harbor as we are implementing the ORT strategy in our community. (TT adds - click here for the ORT strategy & click here for the website) At the time of our kick-off event introducing ORT, there were twelve different congregations represented and over 50 persons present. During that time, we broke up into the 7 councils, with leaders previously secured to chair each of the spheres ... Church, Family, Education, Government, Business, Healthcare, and Media/Arts/Entertainment.
Since that initial weekend, the councils have each met one or two more times, continuing to reach out to community leaders, seeking out the prayer needs, and compiling a list of the prayer targets in each sphere.
Last Monday (April 16th) , the council chairs and CONECTers met together, compiling all the prayer targets together. It was so powerful to hear the stories of contacts made, and how God is opening the hearts of many to share the needs, and long for the power of prayer to make a difference.
We now have 16 days committed for 24/7 prayer for the month of May, and fully anticipate the full calendar to be covered soon. We will be celebrating and praying together on the National Day of Prayer (at 7 pm at the Harborview Fellowship, 4819 Hunt St NW , Gig Harbor) as we establish the canopy of 24/7 prayer over our city and region.
(TT - I took the liberty to bold the next statement) The simplicity of the ORT strategy for united prayer makes so much sense--- and it is working here. I am excited to see the way God's Hand is moving throughout His Body as we turn our hearts to the Lord in humble and united prayer. And I look forward to seeing the powerful transformations that are about to unfold before our eyes.
Christ is All,
Pastor Paul B. Jones
Peninsula Baptist Church
Gig Harbor, WA
ORT's simple strategy is that we help the Church take the first two steps King David took when he began to build the kingdom. First you gather all the leaders together (1 Chron. 11) and then set up the administration to ensure 24/7 prayer, praise and worship is occurring in the city (1 Chron. 13-16). Since 2006 I've seen many Kick Off's and I've learned why some work and some do not. Here are the keys I've learned produce long term fruit.
Key 1 - Continue in the Apostle's Doctrine - Acts 2:42
Operation Rolling Thunder (ORT) is certainly not scripture, but it is my Father's strategy. I received it by revelation just like King David received the plans for the temple "by the spirit"(1 Chron. 28:12). There is tremendous liberty in how the strategy is actually executed city by city and church by church. In fact, that is one of the core reasons for its success. However, I've found that whenever leaders feel compelled to water the core message and testimonies down, so as to not offend people, they see a corresponding decrease in results.
My recommendation is to use the tools (book, ORT Kit, brochures click here) that are proven. Don't deviate from the core message nor strategy but "pray and obey" regarding the specific execution in your city.
Key 2 - Discipline
An ORT Kick Off is the most common kind of event that launches the strategy. We accomplish all of the core tasks at one time and it provides a way to harness the momentum so the Church in that community (made up of many local congregations) can continue to build over time. It requires leaders with the discipline to follow and execute the core strategy to set the Kick Off up. In that process we will discover other key leaders who serve as the Chair person for each council as well as those whom our Lord calls to serve as CONECTers (coordinates 24/7 and facilitates corporate communication). It requires discipline to follow through with the steps necessary to see long term fruit.
The strategy is simple, but that does not mean it is easy. You cannot microwave these results. It takes time and effort just like a gardener who tends a garden. It takes time to nurture and care for the seeds that are planted until the time for harvest comes. But I promise you if you follow through you will see a harvest of testimonies and souls brought into the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I believe a key to follow through is leaders need to understand the strategic principles ORT is built upon. Click here for Developing Apostolic Strategy. I've found that most leaders who do not understand the principles usually do not have the discipline to follow through.
Key 3 - Honor & Teamwork
Ephesians 4:16 teaches us that "when every part does their share" it causes the body to edify itself in love. 1 Corinthians 12 teaches us about the value of necessity for every single part of the body to do its part. If one part does well we all do well and when one part suffers we all suffer. Teamwork is essential!
Honor is expressed in many ways such as respecting boundaries and jurisdictions. That is one of the reasons why we form councils. We want to discover not only who has an interest in a certain area such as government, but also who has actual responsibility. I promise you that when a mayor or a police chief invites us in to pray it is much more powerful. Second, we recognize roles and gift mixes. Many people expect the pastor to do everything. They cannot! The key to stewarding much of this falls upon people gifted to serve as a CONECTer. In the ORT strategy these are the ones who facilitate the 24/7 prayer and the corporate communication necessary to connect the body of Christ so it can work together corporately. The key in David's tabernacle was not the physical structure (a tent) but it was the administration and coordination of people; ministers who prayed.
Finally, honor requires provision. King David was so concerned with ensuring that 24/7 prayer occurred in his city that he ensured the tithe was distributed so that this function could be performed so that the Lord of Hosts would be welcome in the gates of his city. In every church, city, county or even state where I've seen long term fruit you will find a level of financial and resource support provided by the community that is being served. I'm never surprised to see transformation occur there because Luke 12:34 teaches us that where your treasure is there will your heart be also. Today treasure is defined by money and time. The old adage of of you get what you pay for is true.
Every reformation that occurred in scripture followed King David's pattern. The question is, how bad do you want Christ's abiding presence in your city? When city leaders CONECTers to facilitate the 24/7 prayer church by church and to facilitate the formation of these strategic councils you need to be willing to ask them and what do you need from me in order for you to perform the task. In a Church it is possible for the CONECTer to serve as a volunteer. But whenever you start moving towards transforming a city it requires more time and tools. Many are led to launch a city prayer center to support this effort. My encouragement in all of this is that you "pray" and discover what our Father's plan is for your community, apply Luke 14:28 and count the cost and then "obey" the leading of the Lord.
Building and war require resources. I urge you to discover what would please our heavenly Father and then make sure those who will execute His plan have the tools, resources and people needed to manifest our Father's plan.
'After! this I will return And will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down; I will rebuild its ruins, And I will set it up; So that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, Even all the Gentiles who are called by My name, Says the Lord who does all these things.'