As I’ve said before, I firmly believe that collaboration among local churches is the new reformation in our nation–and the world for that matter.
Local churches from various Christian traditions are coming together to solve problems, heal hurts, and extend the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ as ONE.
Seven years ago, young adult pastors in Charlotte began a friendship with one another that led to a deep trust in one another. It was from this foundation of friendship and trust that CharlotteONE began in May of 2006 to reach young professionals in Charlotte with the Gospel of Christ and connect them back to a local faith community.
In a recent survey, 48% of those who attend CharlotteONE stated that they have connected to a local church through our efforts with 31% stating that they were introduced to the person of Jesus Christ. 78% stated that they have chosen to remain in Charlotte due to the connections they’ve established through CharlotteONE.
Over the years, this collaborative outreach model of churches helping other churches reach 20-30somethings for Christ has proven wildly successful.
In April of 2011, PhoenixONE in Phoenix, AZ began and now empowers over 30 local churches in the Valley and reaches well over 1,000 young professionals every other Tuesday. They too have seen hundreds of young adults reconnect to their faith and a local church in the area. Further, the spirit of collaboration and unity among the churches in the Valley has increased dramatically (as it has in Charlotte) as churches are starting to do more things together in the spirit of Christian love and unity.
Over the years, local churches have approached us with how they can start a “CharlotteONE” type outreach in their city to reach young adults.
As a ministry that has been practicing missional ecumenism for a decade now, we have been through it all and have come out on the other side with learnings that are priceless. Further, we are passionate about helping local churches and ministry leaders understand the theological, biblical, and ecclesiological foundation for unity among local churches who tend to approach unity and collaboration from a more emotional and practical standpoint. Emotions and practicality are important, but emotions and practice divorced from a good theology and ecclesiology as it pertains to churches working together typically leads to frustration, further division, and unified efforts that fizzle.
We don’t want that.
So, today we have taken a big step forward in helping to empower local churches to reach 20-30somethings together.
We just launched a new website that is a part of a larger national effort to offer CityONE Network and our learnings to local churches in cities across America.
My hope is that www.CityONEnetwork.org will be a national hub for up-to-date information on the Millennial generation that local churches can access and utilize. Further, the site clearly lays out the process a city can take to become an affiliate along with Phoenix and Charlotte.
My prayer is that other local churches will utilize this collaborative model and experience the “good and pleasant” spirit when brothers and sisters not just dwell in unity but work together in unity.
Please pass this site along to any friends you have in churches in other cities as we would love to start a conversation about how CityONE Network can better serve their efforts to engage the Millennial generation for Christ and His Church.