categories: LifeChurch.tv, community, global church, one prayer
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May 8th, 2008

by Craig Groeschel

18 comments (+ Add)

UNITED OR UNTIED

One of the first weddings I ever performed was for two of my best friends, Scott and Shannon Streller. I spent hours carefully typing the whole ceremony so it would be just right.

Unfortunately, my spell-checker didn’t catch one of my mistakes. During the phrase, “The two will be united as one flesh… I accidentally typed, “The two will be untied…

united
untied

These words have the exact same letters, but entirely different meanings. The only letter out of place is the “I.” If the “I” is in the right place, it will read united. “I” in the wrong place reads untied.

Uniting churches seems like an impossible task. Although I can’t control the hearts of other leaders, I have committed to keep my heart in the right place.

I will do what I can do.

How about you? What are you doing to unite the Church?

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Comments

there are a total of18
  1. May 8, 2008 at 5:38 am

    To unite our church, we have got to be loyal to the vision AND the lead pastor, whom God’s entrusted the vision to. Anyone not cool with that needs to “untie” themselves and find another church to be united to.

  2. May 8, 2008 at 6:50 am

    I think too often the church doesn’t unite with ministries that individuals are actually doing on their own. I’ve been in too many churches that think that they have to run ministries, and are rarely sincerely interested in true outreach beyond their walls. To me, the church leaves the building every Sunday and spends a good 90% of it apart from the short community time they spend together.

    My efforts in uniting the church (believers around the world) can be found by listening to our podcast at http://www.GodsMac.com. Keep up the great work, LifeChurch - really enjoy your conversations and honesty!

  3. May 8, 2008 at 7:07 am

    The church I pastor has, from its beginning, kept things open for cooperation. Unfortunately, some in town see us the “bad guys” “the rebels” and “the renegades” so there hasn’t been much cooperation. So we have decided to do what we can. “My” youth pastor has become close friends to the local Campus Life guy and we have sort of taken him and CL under our wings. IT is not “our ministry” but we have worked hard to support him/it even giving them building space for their meetings. Just one example of many I am sure you will hear of.

    I appreciate what Life church is trying to do also.

  4. 4Steve
    May 8, 2008 at 7:19 am

    I have tried to particpate in community ministry with other churches lately, even when their “style” has been different than mine. Unity (without commpromise) was more important to me than uniformity. Weaving between the bullets from those that set back and watch from the church sidelines is difficult. Craig, you know this as well as anyone. Everyone has their agenda,territory,pet doctrine, etc. It takes a person completely empty of self and full of Jesus to lead the charge for change. Anyone know where I can find a person like that? One thing for sure, if Jesus prayed specifically for oneness among His people, it is not negotiable. Make us one Lord!

  5. May 8, 2008 at 8:31 am

    I recently had a pastor of a large church in our town approach me about what was going on with our church plant (Life Church Franklin). I was thinking, “oh no. here we go!”. But he was great. He was excited and saw that it was an opprotunity to grow God’s kingdom, not a another church that might try to “steal” his congregation. He was very encouraging. He even has me lead worship at their kids and youth events during the year. It is great unity.
    Does everyone in his body feel the same way? No. But If is starts with the leadership it can only trickle down throughout the body.
    We need to quit getting offended and defensive, but instead get excited and offensive about what God is doing in other local churches. Encourage each other. Let each know we are praying for each other. Share resources and ideas.
    I struggle with this, but have committed to trying to live this out in my life and leadership of our church.

  6. May 8, 2008 at 8:53 am

    An old friend who had been through Recovery, used to say all the time, “Every day I give three people the right to be wrong.”

    His point wasn’t the number. It was the understanding that becoming defensive, critical, angry or unforgiving toward someone else was a major threat to his Recovery.

    Before he died, he taught me that Kingdom life isn’t an argument to be won - it’s a relationship to be shared. Maybe we can unite the church when we stop trying to call down fire from heaven on whose who aren’t part of our merry little band (Luke 9:54)

  7. May 8, 2008 at 9:21 am

    Keeping my heart and eyes upon the Lord.

    Depend on Him for everything.

    Want for nothing but whatever God gives me.

  8. 8Steve Kirkeby
    May 8, 2008 at 9:21 am

    I pray for other churches in my community.

    I always try to involve other churches in the community events we do and involve myself with their events if I can.

    I keep them informed of what is going on in the community that is outside the church.

    I will try to defend them if they are being criticized unfairly or without the complete information.

    I will set the direction for the church I am a part of in my teaching, preaching and life by promoting unity within the church community.

  9. May 8, 2008 at 9:55 am

    Craig,

    I would imagine that you are experiencing a lot of “Spiritual” opposition because of your leadership in this. Are there any specific things we can pray for you?

  10. 10Jim
    May 8, 2008 at 10:05 am

    I am at a church that used to be so independent that they would not meet with any other pastors or church leaders in our community. They actually saw the as, their word, the “competition”. Imagine that kind of disunity in a church community not to mention the arrogance of thinking we were the only ones preaching the gospel.

    We have begun to open up our facility to other churches to use for events, have lunch with other pastors, and do whatever we can to unite the untied relationships.

    It has been hard but fun and rewarding all at the same time.

  11. May 8, 2008 at 10:07 am

    One of my best experiences in the community i am currently serving is our ministerial association. There is some genuine unity among a number of churches here. I have had the honor of helping to lead our association, what a blessing to see guys from different churches work together! Sadly i will be moving on at the end of the month but i am better because of my time with these other pastors!

  12. May 8, 2008 at 10:46 am

    We work closely with another church in town. I meet weekly with the pastor, we pray together and keep each other accountable. Prior to One Prayer we did another series of messages together so it was natural for us to get on board with One Prayer. We are working with our local food bank during One Prayer to bring in donations and also doing a charity BBQ. I can’t imagine serving in my community without this partnership.

  13. 13Mark Jr
    May 8, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    I meet for 4 other leaders in our area, all from different churches, all with different styles of ministry but all united in a big vision for the kingdom. It has been an amazing partnership and has had fruit in a regional teen worship night and an increased prayer covering for each other and our churches. I could not imagine not having this group, we are all better when we unite.

  14. May 8, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    Here in Newport, RI we are doing some uniting things with 5 churches - all of different denominations - Non-denominational, Evangelical Friends, Presbyterian, Charismatic Epicopal and Baptist. We did joint prayer service on National Day of Prayer and the churches have put together a multichurch worship band. Us youth pastors are meeting to discuss how we can reach the people of our community in our seperate settings and in collective settings via events and outreaches.

    This has been an incredible time of unity for all of our churches. I look forward to more unity happening among the bretheren here in my community.

  15. May 8, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    If I had a dollar for every time I’ve corrected “First Untied Methodist Church”…

    Well, I’d have a lot of dollars.

  16. 16Seth
    May 8, 2008 at 8:47 pm

    Thank you for posting this. The Lord has really been putting unity into my mind lately. I recently went back to my old church. And I can’t thank God enough for the work He is doing there. I know that this is a goal of ours. I sort of feel nudged to pray for my pastor more since reading this. Thanks again!!!

  17. 17Christine N.
    May 9, 2008 at 6:54 am

    In the small town we were formerly in, through the local ministerial association there were joint special meetings, guest speakers, pastoral get-togethers, ministry to the needy and pulpit exchanges. The One Prayer Project reminds me of those pulpit exchanges.

  18. 18Jared B.
    May 15, 2008 at 9:01 pm

    This is awesome…I love these kinds of stories and messages!