Church United Movement in South FLorida
There is a movement stirring in South Florida that is bringing churches together in unity. It finds its biblical basis in 1 Corinthians 12 which says:
“The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit. … God has put each part just where he wants it…. This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other.” (NLT)
This movement of churches is not about promoting individual ministries or events, but about working together like pieces in a body connecting, supporting and strengthening one another. It is also about pastors developing friendships with one another to communicate what is happening in their respective churches and homes. As pastors grow in relationships and become aware of common needs, efforts of individual churches come together creating greater momentum to reach the lost in the community.
This movement is called Church United and is spreading on a grassroots level in Broward County. Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale hosted the first gathering in August 2015 which was attended by 150 people; a second gathering was hosted at Riverside Church in October 2015. The current movement is being modeled after a pre-existing effort that has been meeting in Palm Beach County hosted by Christ Fellowship, Journey Church and First Baptist Palm Beach.
A simple MODEL
Their model is simple. Together the churches:
- pick a common initiative to collaborate on each year,
- pray and fast as a church on the first Wednesday of every month,
- build one new relationship every month with another pastor to talk about what they can do together, and
- attend a quarterly Church United gathering.
What Pastors are saying
According to Doug Sauder, senior pastor at Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale, “That’s a commitment, four times a year to meet, pray, talk and collaborate.” While all pastors are busy, Sauder likened it to “a tithe of their time to their city” when they can meet with other pastors to make that happen.
One of the most recent initiatives occurred last month with Evangelist Nick Vujicic, President of Life Without Limits, at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) Stadium in Boca Raton. Churches prayed together and collectively invited the local churches and communities to attend. Nearly 20,000 people gathered at FAU to hear Vujicic share his inspirational testimony and present the Gospel, which resulted in many souls being saved.
According to Brian Brookins, senior pastor at Riverside Church, little groups of pastors have been meeting “spontaneously on a small level… guys just encouraging one another and then those groups started to connect with one another, so it seemed like the right time to call everyone together.”
“The goal is to facilitate a sustainable movement over the long haul. This is made possible through relationships and supporting one another as God gives grace,” said Brookins, who hosted the second Broward Church United gathering in October at Riverside Church in North Lauderdale. “My role is small, but I’m very excited. I think it’s the Lord and it’s a huge thing spiritually for the county.” As a grassroots effort, Brookins said, “No one really feels they own it. We’re just trying to facilitate what we see the Lord doing.”
Want to learn more about Church United? Visit their website here.