Finish the 'One Prayer' and Help Unify the Church

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One Good Idea Mushrooms from Four Pastors to 1,000 (at Last Count)

If you could ask God to do ONE thing for the church, what would you ask? "Lord," you'd begin, "Make us ..." Make us what? Generous? Forgiving? Compassionate?

Recently one pastor -- Craig Groeschel of LifeChurch.tv in Oklahoma City -- asked three pastors -- Ed Young Jr. of Fellowship Church in Dallas, Perry Noble of NewSpring Church in Anderson SC, and Jentezen Franklin of Free Chapel in Atlanta -- that question and from there came up with an idea. Why not answer the "Lord, make us" question in a video sermon that each of them would air in the others' pulpits?

They blogged about it and the world eavesdropped. Quickly "one prayer" for four churches mushroomed to approximately 1,000 churches (and is still booming) across the globe. This June an estimated 600,000 people in 19 countries will see four different sermons in four weeks on how to end one prayer. But it's no longer four sermons that participating churches can choose from. Other pastors wanted to submit sermons too. And the final count in the pool of video sermon options will be around 65.

By way of sample, Craig Groeschel's sermon prays, "Lord, Make Us One." Ed Young, Jr: "... Make Us Wake Up." Jentezen Franklin: "... Make Us Passionate." Perry Noble: "... Dangerous." Kerry Shook: "... Intentional." Greg Surratt: "... Obedient." Wayne Cordeiro: "... Wise." Chris Hodges: "... Authentic." Mark Crow: "... Irrationally Loving." Stovall Weems: "... Unshakable." Dino Rizzo: "... Extremely Generous." Mark Beeson: "... Courageous."

And now these prayers 'round the world will bless the Church and individual church communities. "Churches in Sydney, Australia, will be praying with churches in the Memphis, Tennessee, as well as churches in Karachi, Pakistan ... and the chain goes on and on," Groeschel said of Oklahoma City's LifeChurch.tv, known around the world (and to national media) for its earlier MySecret.tv campaign.

By the end of June 2008, four weeks of varied sermons on one prayer will have unified half a million Christians, around the globe, in thought and action. And now for the action: week three, each participating church takes a special offering. The combined money goes to four international organizations that work locally to build 500 new churches where building churches is particularly tough: Sudan, India, China, and Cambodia.

On week four, clusters of local churches will work together in community projects. The idea can go on a long time but the bulk of the idea will surge through four weekends in June.

Pastor Groeschel summarizes a lot of the pastors' thinking: "Think about Christ's Church. By that I mean every living believer. Think about the resources God makes available to us. Consider the money we control ... the talent, gifts, and passions of perhaps 2 billion people. Now consider the needs around the world.

"Jesus promised that when two or more gather in his name, he would be there. He also explained that the sign of our unity in Christ is our love for one another. Now a thousand-plus churches and hundreds of thousands of Christians will gather in His name to make a difference."

"The idea is brilliant," says Steven Furtick of Elevation Church in Indian Trail NC, one of the 1,000-plus participating churches. "This is the most exciting time in human history to advance the gospel. With all our technology, it would be unpardonable not to leverage that for the unity of the body of Christ."

Churches may sign up to participate with LifeChurch.tv and the 1000+ churches participating before, during, or after the official June series--as online sermons will still be available. For more information, log on to http://www.oneprayer.com. For media information visit http://www.oneprayer.com/contact-us/press.

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Katie Moore
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