Sunday, May 31, 2009

One Prayer

Starting next week, our church is going to be joining thousands of other churches around the world to participate in One Prayer 2009. Last year, the inaugural year of One Prayer, over 1800 churches worked together to plant over 660 churches in four countries. As a result of those efforts, over 7000 people have been baptized, and over 44,000 are enrolled in Bible studies.

This year, in addition to continuing and expanding those efforts, One Prayer churches will help transform communities through humanitarian projects such as providing clean drinking water, literacy instruction, safe housing, and micro-finance training.

Here's the plan:

  • Plant another 500 churches in each of the currently engaged target areas through current partnership networks. Working in Southern India, Sudan, Cambodia, and Northern China, we'll be supporting indigenous church planting in the most densely populated, difficult, strategic areas remaining on the planet.
  • Start pilot programs with holistic community transformation initiatives in at least two (and up to four) of these geographical target areas. We'll be equipping the best and brightest of church planters in the existing One Prayer network to begin community transformation initiatives geared towards improving the living standards in their communities. These initiatives will be easy to deploy, grass roots, micro-interventions that make sense in their communities.
  • Add one additional target area in Northern India and plant an additional 100 churches. Northern India is densely populated with unreached populations that are predominately Hindu, Muslim and tribal/animistic, and this new church planting movement will allow One Prayer to make inroads into those communities. With the outbreak of terrorist attacks in Northern India, the One Prayer movement will be strategically positioned with a relevant and powerful response to the violence.
The One Prayer network tears down all sorts of barriers--big church/small church, evangelical/mainline, high church/low church, traditional/contemporary, Reformed theology/Wesleyan-Arminian theology. In so many ways it is the answer to the prayer of Jesus in John 17: "I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me."

Imagine what could happen if the churches of the world that claim the name of Jesus Christ were all united in the same effort--to bring massive change to the areas of our globe that most desperately need it! Planting churches, training pastors, and starting Bible studies in regions where very few, if any, people follow Jesus. Think of the difference that we can make!

One Prayer's vision is not just global, however. We'll also have the chance to impact our local community through serving them with tangible expressions of God's love. You'll be hearing more about these opportunities throughout the campaign. But make sure you're here next week as we kick it off and join in this exciting movement to literally change our world for Christ and his kingdom!

This June, let's take part in an extraordinary worldwide experience: One Prayer 2009. Unite with churches around the globe to share, serve, and give:

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