"In the end, the good news is people of all ages speaking, sharing, and praying the words that Jesus taught us."
The Lord's Prayer Challenge
Last Summer St. Andrew’s Church took the Lord’s Prayer Challenge. The concept was simple: 1) Invite parishioners of all ages to recite the Lord’s Prayer, and 2) Challenge people to learn the prayer in as many languages as possible.
Led by Family Minister Day Smith Pritchartt, the project was a huge success. Many children and families learned the Lord’s Prayer by heart, and that alone is worth celebrating. The additional surprises were wonderful to see: adults challenging themselves to learn the prayer in languages they had studied long ago, participation both in person and online, and churchwide enthusiasm across generations.
Video Recap (2 mins)
Instead of telling you every detail of the Lord’s Prayer Challenge, we invite you to watch the video below. This video is also a reminder to all of us in ministry: when you have a successful event or program, create a video to showcase and celebrate it! The video was a big hit at the Annual Parish Meeting.
Transcript: In the summer of 2015, St. Andrew's Arlington took the Lord's Prayer Challenge. We wanted a project everyone could do together. The challenge was to learn the Lord's Prayer in English and in other languages. It all started with the Haiti mission team who suggested we learn it in French. So our family service said the Notre Père every Sunday. By summer's end, over 60 people participated, with a dozen languages being offered. We gave awards for the youngest participant and the oldest. And also for the most enthusiastic adult and child. There were so many surprises, and everyone connected to the Lord's Prayer in a new way.
Details for Success
Several factors helped make the Lord’s Prayer Challenge successful.
Online Sharing: We posted videos on our website of parishioners saying the Lords Prayer. These videos were inspiring and entertaining for other church families. The website also helped those who were away on vacation remain connected.
On-Site Sharing: A bulletin board at church displayed photos of every person who recited the prayer. Everyone enjoyed the recognition, and it was fun to watch the collage grow!
Spreading the Word: We used an infographic-style poster to promote the Challenge - click below to view.
Take the Challenge at your Church!
Perhaps you will consider the Lord’s Prayer Challenge at your church, or some other simple formation activity that engages all ages. No doubt you will find your own ways of building excitement and celebrating progress. In the end, the good news is people of all ages speaking, sharing, and praying the words that Jesus taught us.
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Day Smith Pritchartt is Executive Director of the Episcopal Evangelism Society, as well as the Minister to Families at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Arlington, VA. A Christian Formation specialist, Day is a graduate of the VTS Master of Arts in Christian Education program.