categories: YouVersion, working together
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December 27th, 2010

by Bobby Gruenewald

YouVersion: 1 Month. 1 Billion Minutes

bible-app-iconDuring the YouVersion webcast we hosted in November, we shared a God-sized goal: To see users of the Bible App spend at least 1 billion minutes reading the Bible during just the month of January. Now that time is here, and we could really use your help to see this vision fulfilled.

Around New Year’s, many people want a fresh start, often deciding that this will be the year they’re going to read the Bible. We’ve literally been preparing for this moment for months. We’ve brought the Bible App to iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone 7, PalmOS-even Facebook. Reading Plans have proven to be a great tool to help both new and seasoned readers walk through the Scriptures, so we’ve added several new ones (like the One Year® Bible NLT), with even more on the way.

We’ve shared simple things everyone can do-rate the Bible App in iTunes, help connect friends with the Bible, and share on Facebook and Twitter. We’ve even added a resource page to YouVersion.com to help people be part of the challenge. Here’s how you can help specifically:

  1. Read as much Scripture in the Bible App as you can during January.
  2. Encourage everyone you influence to do the same.

YouVersion saw some amazing numbers during 2010 (installed on more than 12 million devices, used to engage with Scripture for more than 4 billion minutes). We’re convinced God is up to something even bigger. And we believe that helping other people fall in love with His Word is the most important thing we can all do to be a part.

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categories: one prayer, working together
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December 21st, 2010

by Craig Groeschel

One Prayer Update

Over the past three years, over 2,000 churches participated in a unifying movement called One Prayer.

What started as a little idea, God turned into a movement. By His grace, God used those churches to help plant over 2700 churches in China, Cambodia, India and Sudan. According to estimates, over 43,000 people have been baptized through these church plants. May God get all the glory!

It is humbling to play such a small role in something with such big results.

After a lot of prayer, our team has decided not to do a One Prayer series in 2011. We’ll be prayerful about future opportunities for Kingdom initiatives.

Keeping with the spirit of One Prayer, we encourage you to look for opportunities to work with other churches. I know God is honored when you reach out to other church leaders and partner to serve your communities together.

I’m hoping our churches can be an answer to Jesus’ prayer for unity in John 17. May God continue to raise leaders to unite his church and impact the world.

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categories: one prayer, preaching, working together
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April 8th, 2010

by Bobby Gruenewald

Why Participate in One Prayer?

OnePrayer.comIf you’re trying to decide whether your church should take part in One Prayer, I wanted to share some potential benefits:

  • People who don’t go to church take notice when churches bicker and tear each other down. You can show them something different with One Prayer. Instead of just talking about Jesus, we display His love through a unified and global biblical community.
  • It’s a great way to bring energy to your church during what typically might be a slow season.
  • One Prayer can help your people shift their focus outward through community service and outreach projects, as well as an offering to inspire generosity beyond the four walls of your church building.
  • It’s the perfect opportunity for corporate prayer and fasting.
  • If you’ve been wondering whether video teaching would work at your church, One Prayer is a low-risk way to try it out.
  • You can build new relationships with churches in your community. Team up with them on a service project or simply use it as the reason to reach out and make a connection with other pastors. You never know what might result from those relationships!
  • One Prayer is a chance for your church to experience something global. So far, churches from South Africa, Guatemala, Great Britain, India, Nigeria, Honduras, Australia, Bolivia, and more are participating.
  • It gives pastors 3-4 weeks off from teaching, while other great spiritual leaders bring new perspectives to your church.

Now is the ideal time to register your church for One Prayer 2010.

If you’re already signed up, we’re glad to have you on board! We’d love it if you tell other pastors about One Prayer.  We don’t want to leave anyone out that wants to participate.  Don’t assume that everyone knows…they don’t.  Please take the time to invite your networks of relationships to join with us all. We’ve prepared some resources to make it easy for you to spread the word.

I’m really excited to see what God does in and through our churches during the third year of One Prayer!

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categories: one prayer, working together
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March 25th, 2010

by Bobby Gruenewald

How One Prayer is Influencing Churches

OnePrayer.comLately I’ve been learning that One Prayer has an influence and reach far beyond what I had ever realized. For some churches, it’s been the impetus to partner with other churches in their community. For others, it’s opened the door to video teaching in their church. And for many others, it’s been a network to plant and support new churches…there are churches around the world that call themselves One Prayer Churches.

For those of you who’ve been a part of One Prayer over the last two years, thank you for making all this possible (and I hope you’re already signed up again for this year!). If you haven’t had the opportunity to participate in One Prayer yet, I strongly encourage you to join us this June. Now is the time to register your church and start making plans.

We just released a new version of OnePrayer.com today to help you make it a great month of unity and outreach at your church. You’ll find new info and resources, so check it out!

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categories: church, church planting, global church, one prayer, working together
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March 19th, 2010

by Bobby Gruenewald

India: Global Partnerships

While we were in India, we had the privilege of visiting some groups and organizations we’ve partnered with. We got to spend time with Jack Magruder from Granger Community Church, and their partner in India, Life Mission International. opchurchindiaWith the help of the One Prayer initiative, hundreds of churches have been planted there and tens of thousands of evangelistic contacts have been made.

It was a great reminder of the importance of churches and ministries working together to accomplish more than we could on our own. If we were truly united, I believe the Great Commission could be fulfilled within our lifetime. The Church has the resources and the connectivity to make that happen if we were all pulling together.

This is why we’re excited about the 3rd year of One Prayer coming up in June. If your church hasn’t signed up, we’d love to have you on board! You can learn more and register at http://oneprayer.com.

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categories: church, community, culture, priorities, working together
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March 9th, 2010

by Craig Groeschel

Joel A-Bell - 2

“Heart for the House” is a phrase that is common at Hillsong. It speaks of the loyalty, honor and single-mindedness that is felt for the local church. In this segment, I asked Joel to explain how they develop a “heart for the house.”

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categories: NETWORK, working together
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March 4th, 2010

by Bobby Gruenewald

100 Network Churches and Growing

Recently, we celebrated a significant milestone as we welcomed the 100th church into our Network partnerships!

We’re thrilled to partner with churches around the globe as we work together to spread the love of Jesus. If you want to learn more about how these partnerships work, check out Network.LifeChurch.tv.

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categories: church, working together
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February 25th, 2010

by Craig Groeschel

UMC - Part 5

The United Methodist Church (and other mainline denominations) have many (mostly) empty buildings. To survive and thrive, these churches must learn to work together.

I’d suggest that many UM churches consider merging and become multi-site churches. If you have a strong UM church with limited space and a struggling UM church with an empty building, why not link arms?

(For more thoughts on “merging churches,” click 1) here, 2) here, 3) here, and 4) here.)

While I acknowledge that this is a complicated suggestion, the UMC church could also consider partnering with other churches outside its denomination.

Currently, we are partnering with many UMC churches that use our teaching for no charge. The possibilities of these partnerships are enormous. I’d suggest the leaders of the UMC search for other Kingdom-minded ministries and churches to unite with for a greater impact.

I can’t help but wonder how many struggling churches could have a chance for survival (and more than simply survival) if they shared resources with other churches in their communities or from around the world.

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