Awakening, momentum, mobilization and being student–led.
These are the areas local organizers are focusing on for the 2014 Cry Out America event.
While the annual event will be held on Sept. 11 as it has in the past, the Bradley County team has been brainstorming ways to have smaller prayer gatherings in visible places around town.
Prayer walks around schools, encouraging people to pray at a set moment and establishing prayer spots on the Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway have been discussed as possibilities.
During a meeting Monday, local co-chair Iris Ray reiterated she would like to have the event outdoors.
The group has already established the event will be held at 7 p.m. A location is still being determined.
Ray said she liked the idea of choosing a highly visible location and having a tent there to draw interest in the event.
This year the team is focusing on crying out to God for the nation and the next generation.
“God wants to raise up intercessors,” Ray said.
Two high school students offered input on how this could be accomplished during Monday’s session.
Walker Valley High School students Mallory Wickam and Savannah Stone said the school has time set aside for clubs or study hall each day that could allow them to organize a prayer at school during the day. Each said they felt the principal would be receptive to letting them have an open meeting in the gymnasium.
“There are some really good kids out there. I think it is important for us to scope out examples of that. I would like to see half of the people ... involved in this effort be young people, almost like passing off the baton,” said Dr. Phil Griffin, local co-chair and pastor of The Church at Gracepoint.
He said including and trusting the next generation when they are doing good things is important.
Lee University students have been discussing getting involved as they have in the past. Bradley County Cry Out America also plans to invite Baptist Collegiate Ministries, which works with Cleveland State Community College students, to participate.
If an outdoor venue that can have a tent set up for a week is secured, the group hopes to have daily prayer from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Ray said she would also like to talk to pastors about having churches available for people to come in and pray on Sept. 11. Griffin said he wanted to contact pastors and ask them to hold prayer walks around schools near their church.
Worship music to open and close the Sept. 11 event was discussed as well as having choirs participate in a “flash [singing] mob.”
Ways to connect with the younger generation and pique interest through technology and social media was also discussed. Stone said high school students use Twitter and Instagram the most. Possibly using a short code (for example, Text “Pray” to 55555) to give people the opportunity to RSVP or request more information was also discussed. John Gann of J103 Radio said he would look into this.
Ray said she hopes to end the event with the song “Break Every Chain,” and prayer for the youth in attendance.