In his book, Fasting with the Lord Prayer, Elmer Towns talked about the growth of the Methodist Church. When the Revolutionary War began in 1775, there were 243 Methodist Churches in the United States. By the War of 1812, there were more than 5000.
Wesley had called upon the leaders of the church to fast for 10 days leading up to each monthly conference where he and others would preach sermon after sermon while the circuit riders would take notes. The circuit riders would take those sermons and preach them over and over to all their churches. The emphasis they put on preparation of the heart while preparing for these sermons proved to be powerful. They fasted, prayed and relied on the Holy Spirit to take their basic abilities and build a tremendous church.
Churches don’t grow because a leader withholds food. But, leaders who are seeking God through prayer and fasting tend to have the intentional, spirit led power and presence to help move their congregation forward in God honoring systematic ways. The emphasis is not on the fasting, but on God who is drawn near to those who are seeking him wholeheartedly.