Last weekend we held a youth service, One, which was the first of hopefully many, the start of a new adventure of a joint church once termly youth service. Three churches youth pastors/ workers joined together to plan this event months ago, and it was kicked off to an incredible start. Other churches joined in on the journey and about 6 churches were represented on the night. We had a round 40 young people, which for the first event is a brilliant number. Matt Summerfield from Urban Saints spoke, and he spoke so well, with 17 young people responding to the message, another Church led worship, another hosted and we each took a different role. There was a lounge which involved a local youth pastor interviewing our guest speaker, we played games and ate pizza, united as a group of young people and youth workers from the local area. The atmosphere and vibe was amazing, we really sensed God’s blessing in what we were doing and in the unity that this event has bought to Churches locally.
When Churches unite together there is a visable declaration of a shared passion; Jesus. And this can speak volumes to those not involved in Church or on the borders of Church to show that Churches can and do work together, and that this can have an impact on the local community, it is also a reminder to those within Churches that we are family, united, ultimatley, because of Jesus. The little differences in the Churches beliefs and traditions do not affect us working together, and there is beautiful moments of togetherness created if we can put these aside. We, the Church, want to express that Jesus saves and loves everyone, and the events like One highlight this common message.
On Saturday there was also a huge kid’s event, with 110 children, which also bought together many of the local Churches, and their children. Although I did not attend, I have heard brilliant things, a really blessed time with unity at the core.
Church is a community, a group of people, and when the local Churches can look past tradition, denomination etc, new communites are formed and an example is set to adults, children and young people alike that we are all family, who love Jesus, and love people. The message version speaks of God being Lord in our community, it says “The word became flesh and moved into the neighbourhood.” This is what these events are about, showing our community that the Church is one. That the Church love their neighbourhood.
Since moving to the South Woodford area I have sensed a really good vibe of togetherness between the Churches, especially with the youth workers, but even more so in the last few months, with monthly youth workers breakfasts and events such as One, and a The Big One, as well as joint work in schools, with Christian Unions and mentoring.
This togetherness is something we should be celebrating, as we see God’s blessing on what we are doing.
My challenge to you is what does the Churches unity look like in your town or area? What examples are you setting in your working together? Is there scope for local pastors or youth pastors to meet regularly or run events together?
Have a think, and a pray about it. Feedback is very welcome.