What If….We became ONE

Here is a new concept we are going to be doing from time to time at Innovative Ministry Leader. The point is to start more movements across the world in reaching people for Christ. This will be an open dialog post so please provide insight and ideas.

What if Churches truly became engaged in unity? I’m not talking about getting together for a barbeque, but truly unified in service. We seem to argue so much of what is right, and who is right, but the truth is we all have ONE ENEMY and we as Christians serve ONE GOD. It doesn’t have to be about what type of music, service, or type of clothes we wear, but the fact is there are thousands upon thousands of people that will feel the flames of hell, because we can get our butts in the street. 

What would the impact be if every Church in one city, unified together and swept that city telling people about the love of God? What if every Church and every member went out on the streets in that city and helped the homeless? We’re talking about hundreds upon hundreds of Christians reaching out and giving food and help to those in need. Could it end problems we have?(or some of them?) Would people get saved?

It is time for Pastors to become leaders that join together the body of Christ, and challenge people that Church is more than sitting in the pews on Sunday. That it is okay to come together with Churches and reach out to the world.

A great example of this is “One Prayer,” that was organized by Lifechurch.tv. It was a joined series, that included messages, and service projects by hundreds of churches across the world. 

What if we tried this? 

Insight? Ideas?

Team IML


18 responses to “What If….We became ONE

  1. I agree. The people of God are coming together in amazing ways through the cafe ministry I manage. We have nearly 40 volunteers from 9 different churches. his people are coming together to serve and reach the lost. The cafe is a perfect place where lost young people and families can gather. These same people will comfortably enter a cafe but would never darken the doors of a church. A coffee house ministry is one way to bring God’s people together to do what you recommend. Enough of my rantings…great blog!

    Tim Van Arsdale
    Author, You’ve Got Spam! a refreshing collection of e-mails regarding mercy ministry

  2. Tim, great insight. Coffee house ministry’s are a great way to get out into the world. We are admired that you have 9 different churches. In most situations this is unheard of. Please post more information on how this works for you, and insight for other ministries if you wish.

  3. God is doing, and has done, so much through our cafe that it is hard to explain in one blog comment. It began with a calling and me following that calling through the good and the bad. Our cafe is a bit different which also intrigues the community. Everything at the cafe is totally free. This means we are completely relying on God to provide…it’s a movement of faith.

    I can also say that it’s working because God’s gracious Spirit is moving the hearts of our local pastors and churches to come together.

    Praying your guts out helps.

  4. I’ve had more time to think about how this worked. I did all the important things like cast vision, prepare a business and strategic plan, pray, fundraise, market the cafe, and create a leadership team to guide and direct the process (I involved others).

    One of the most important reasons I think it’s working, apart from God’s grace and provision, is that God had given me great equity in my community. I’ve stuck around.

    I have been a fulltime missionary in my hometown since 1999. I previously worked for Medina County Youth for Christ and then left YFC to start this cafe (in the same town). I think too many times youth pastors and pastors do not stick around long enough to see the fruits of their labor.

    What do they say now? The average time of a youth pastor at a church is like 12-18 months? That’s disheartening. Christian workers are too quick to quit when things get tough, or don’t go their way. My dad and I have this saying about ministry, “Ministry would be great if it weren’t for all the people.”

    I think it’s time youth pastors and pastors stick it out when the Church eats us up and spits us out. I could’ve left YFC and gone to a church in California or Pennsylvania, but the relationships I’d built working in the community gave me equity…enough so to start something as crazy as a free cafe.

    Hope this helps…it’s a start,
    Tim Van Arsdale
    Author, You’ve Got Spam! a refreshing collection of e-mails regarding mercy ministry.

    Check out http://www.cafe4111.info for more information about the cafe and what we are doing…scratch that…what God is doing. Or check out http://www.youvegotspam.info to see true stories of God’s work, through His people, at the cafe.

  5. Great insight, Thanks Tim, We will check out your sites.

  6. There are some movements like this in cities, and these cities have joined together with other cities. It’s in the strategic world right now, but there is real forward motion. With a stated purpose to “unveil the kingdom of God to every man, woman, and child throughout the world by starting and partnering with missional churches”, you can get a feel for it.

    We are paying attention to the practical ways this can be done, so thanks for the posts and the comments.

    Check out http://www.theinfinityalliance.com

  7. Jerry, thank you so much for writing. I want to find out more about the Infinity Alliance. The site looks great. Could you give us some more insight to the type of projects you do. I would like to do a review for it.

  8. Greetings from Portland, Oregon! I got so excited by your question, I wrote a post about it over at the Portland CityFest blog.

    Portland CityFest sounds exactly like the answer to your question. I hope at the end of August we’ll be able to say, “look what Portland – a city known for being secular – was able to achieve when the churches and city came together in unity in Christ”. I cannot believe the excitement in this city (my hometown as well).

    I think Jerry is on to something about there being a movement in the cities:

    We’ve been having many discussions internally around the word “movement”. While I resisted the idea initially, the fact is that I’ve used that word to describe what it is that our ministry is a part of. There does seem to be a renewed spirit at work in the great cities of our world

    Love to hear what you think. Blessings!

    PS – what city are you based in?

  9. Sean, thanks for your comment at the catablog on this! I’m not sure how we bring this about, but it’s HUGELY important and would really be … a gigantic change and step toward biblicalness in my opinion.

  10. Allan, Thanks for your response. I look forward to checking out more of Portland Cityfest. We at Innovative Ministry Leader are based out of Nashville, TN. Thanks for following up, look forward to talking more with you.

  11. We had a festival there in Nashville last year downtown. Portland is really a turning point for us, as we try to expand the service & outreach components of CityFest.

    What you haven’t seen yet are the videos (I’m a producer) that we’re working on, that show the scope of the Christian outreach in Portland & Vancouver, WA – it’s breathtaking. More to come!

    @ Jerry: thanks for the link, will check it out.

  12. Wow! That Infinity Alliance site is stunning (former Flash developer speaking). Looks very promising.

  13. Allan, I am very familiar with the Event from last year in Nashville. I was traveling the week it took place, but I heard it was a great success. I love your heart with events like this. Check out some of the artist on our Top 10 list, many of them have a heart for outreach like this and are amazing live. I’m sure you have heard of many of them.

    One idea I have been throwing out, is getting these influential leaders such as Groeschel, Stanley, Hybels, Warren, Driscoll, Bell, Noble, Young, and others together for a Round Table to start a Nationwide movement. It is so easy for the larger churches to start a movement because of the resources and connections. Imagine if they all worked together. What would be the Nationwide movement. It would be a big revolution. It could be as simple as everyone saying on this day we are going to tell everyone outside the world ONE thing that Jesus did for me, and invite them to church.

    Wow I can only imagine.

  14. I think the idea of getting all the “influential” leaders together is a good idea. However, how would you define influential?

    I would say that those involved with our small town cafe ministry are influential leaders. I do not think a nationwide movement begins with mega churches, or famous Christian artists or writers.

    I believe it has to begin with one person; one heart at a time. It needs to begin with you and me. A movement to bring the Gospel to the world needs to begin in our own homes, in our own backyards, neighborhoods, and communities.

    Tim Van Arsdale
    Author, You’ve Got Spam! a refreshing collection of e-mails regarding mercy ministry

  15. p.s. it’s time Christian’s stopped talking about what we should do or how we should do it, and started doing it.

  16. Hey Team IML,
    Sorry for my delay in getting back to you – I just realized that my post was responded to.

    The Infinity Alliance is not really about a program per se. It is fundamentally about renovation. Renovating how we think about church and the Missio Dei, and then ultimately acting like the call of Scripture to join God on His Mission with One Church is reality. The focus is on helping our ecclesiology match up with our missiology – and that can be a tall order.

    Be glad to answer anything I can, but you should see in the next couple of weeks some more stuff on the website that gives a little more clarity to the vision.

  17. I agree 100%. When we stop worrying about the type of music in church, what people wear, what their hair looks like, what they’ve done in the past . . . only then can we realize our full potential as Christ-followers.


  18. Oh My goodness! I was thinking about this very thing durring the Christmas season. As our pastor was prompting everyone to “give” in the season, I was thinking in my heart “wouldn’t it be cool, if everyone showed up for church on a Sunday, but we wouldn’t do “church” as usual, instead, as a body, we would Go Out and Engadge, Serve, and Love in our community in some form or fashion, and truly be The Body of Christ. I share your passion!! Looking forward to hearing more and sharring ideas to truly be His Hands and Feet!! Blessings. Robin

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