The Power Of United

One of my highlights every summer since I have moved to Cedar Springs is our annual United service. All of the churches in the Cedar Springs Ministerial Association cancel our regular Sunday morning services, and join together for a united worship service in the park. How incredible it is to see people from so many churches—United Methodist, Free Methodist, Christian Reformed, Evangelical Free, Assembly of God, Church of God, Weslyan and non-denominational—praising God together!

Kevin Reed shared in yesterday’s service the blessings of being one in our worship and in our lifestyle. He highlighted Jesus’ prayer just prior to His passion:

My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in Me through their message [that’s us!], that all of them may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You. May they also be in Us so that the world may believe that You have sent Me. (John 17:20, 21)

I tweeted what Pastor Kevin said next…

I love that thought: When all who love Jesus unite, we show the world the love of God Who sent His one and only Son to reconcile us to Himself!

In the few days leading up to our United service, some of my friends in other parts of the country contacted me to say they wished that there was cooperation like this among the churches in their community. I know that we are truly blessed in Cedar Springs to have this sort of unity among our churches. But with all of these comments from my friends still on my mind, I stumbled across this great thought from Shane Claiborne…

I pray that you can begin to build the bridges that will start to start create the oneness—the unity—in your community. Start becoming the church God dreams of!

One Service. Many Churches.

I think one of the most hurtful things in the Christian world is the squabbles between denominations. So much energy — that could be used to win people to Christ — is lost in these stupid (yes, I said stupid!) territorial battles about insignificant theological or preference issues.

In Cedar Springs we are so blessed with an amazing ministerial association! I love working with all of my fellow pastors to impact our community with the good news about Jesus. These men and women are more than colleagues; they’re my friends.

On the last Sunday of August we all cancel our regular service schedules at our churches and join together in Morley Park for a combined community-wide service. Quite appropriately, this service is called UNITED.

This is going to be a fantastic morning of worship, teaching, hanging out in the park with others, and a great lunch and worship concert following the service.

If you are anywhere close to Cedar Springs, I encourage you to attend. All of the details are at unitedcedarsprings.com.

UNITED

one service. many churches. august 28 at 11am.

United In Worship

I love it when people from different denominations come together for one purpose: to exalt the name of Jesus. The Cedar Springs Ministerial Association is bringing all of our churches together for an outdoor community worship service. We’ll be gathering in Morely Park at 10:30am.

Bring a lawn chair, and an attitude of worship, and let’s make Cedar Springs ring with our united praise! And following the service, stick around for the lunch that will be provided for everyone in attendance, and there will be some fun games for the kids.

Harmony Of Unity

One of the great joys for me living in Cedar Springs has been my involvement in the Cedar Springs Ministerial Association. It is so cool to get together with pastors from backgrounds so different from mine – Christian Reformed, Wesleyan, non-denominational, Methodist, and others – and have such unity.

It reminds me of what King David wrote

How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!

That word unity (or some translations say harmony) means everyone getting together at the same place, at the same time, and for the same purpose. Sort of like a choir that shows up to sing. Some may sing alto, some bass, some soprano, and some tenor. They may not sing all the same notes, but the notes they do sing brings out a full harmonious sound. So much better than everyone singing the exact same notes!

Our Association is planning a community-wide worship service on August 29 in Morely Park. And, appropriately enough, we’re calling this worship service UNITY. Calvary Assembly of God is relocating our service that morning to the park to be a part of the beautiful harmony.

I wouldn’t miss it! Because in this harmony of unity is where David says God’s blessing is —

Harmony is as refreshing as the dew from Mount Hermon that falls on the mountains of Zion. And there the Lord has pronounced His blessing, even life everlasting.

If you are in the Cedar Springs area on August 29, come and join us.

Pastors, if you live in another community, I would encourage you to begin to harmonize with the other God-loving, Christ-following churches in your city. That’s where God blesses!

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