[06.17.08] A cutting-edge Oklahoma pastor weary of seeing the body of Christ divided across denominational and doctrinal lines has begun a monthlong campaign to unite churches.
Dubbed “One Prayer,” Craig Groeschel, senior pastor of LifeChurch.tv, launched the initiative on June 8, joining hundreds of churches worldwide to simultaneously participate in the same sermon series.
Four different megachurch pastors are preaching a sermon weekly until the end of June elaborating on the one prayer that each pastor would pray if they had only one petition for the body of Christ. Each Sunday a different pastor preaches while the other churches watch the service via video.
“If I had one prayer that I could ask the Father in heaven, I would pray, ‘Father make us one,’” Groeschel said during last week’s message. Citing John 17:20-24 he said God is likely exhausted of hearing His children argue over nonessential issues such as which version of the Bible to use or the style of worship they choose.
The campaign was not born out of a yearning for unity but out of his desire to repent, Groeschel said. After noticing a competitive attitude he held toward other churches, he wanted to rid himself of it and focus his attention on the “true” enemy—Satan.
“The evil one is trying to destroy us,” he said, noting Satan’s strongest weapon is causing division in the church. “He wants to steal our unity. He wants to kill our churches. He wants to destroy Christianity.”
Groeschel said that believers should not only unify on a personal level, but he also encourages churches to combine resources to help build God’s kingdom.
“Think about the resources God makes available to us.” he declares at oneprayer.com. “Consider the money we control, the talent, gifts and passions of perhaps 2 billion people. Now consider the needs around the world.”
This Sunday all of the participating churches will collect an offering and the proceeds will be used to build 500 churches in Cambodia, India, Sudan and China.
Said Groeschel: “[Jesus] explained that the sign of our unity in Christ is our love for one another. Now 1,000-plus churches and hundreds of thousands of Christians will gather in His name to make a difference.”
Other participating churches include Jentezen Franklin’s Free Chapel, Perry Nobel’s NewSpring Church and Ed Young’s Fellowship Church. —Felicia Mann