ABLE to Pursue City Unity
Today Pastor Alex was joined by Rob Kelly, Executive Director and Founder of For Charlotte. Rob and Pastor Alex passionately shared God's heart for our city. Jesus gives us a clear blueprint for how to build unity in the city. During His time with the disciples in the upper room, just hours before being arrested, Jesus spoke very clearly of His desire for His disciples, including us. John 13-17 records His desire for us to love one another, abide in Him, and to be one "so that they will know you sent me".
Theology of Oneness
The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are in perfect unity. They are one. We are hidden with Christ in God. When we are baptized, we are united into Him. Paul shows us in Ephesians 5 that "two becoming one flesh" in marriage is a mystery. He goes on to share that this mystery represents oneness of Christ and the Church. When we place our faith and trust in Jesus, we are not only saved from sin and separation, but we are saved INTO a oneness with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Theology of Place
Cities matter greatly to God. The Bible shows His love for cities in numerous places. We will spend eternity with God in a redeemed city, The New Jerusalem. God calls His people in Jeremiah 29:7 to "seek the shalom of the city." Today, we are called to pray for the peace of the city. When the city is at peace, we find our own peace.
1. They show us who the Church is. City churches are talked about throughout the New Testament.
2. They are the center of commerce and culture - In 2011, the world became an urban society for the first time in history. Cities are growing rapidly.
3. They are the place where God calls us on mission - We are each called specifically here, specifically now!
4. They show us how God loves people and places - Jesus wept over Jerusalem just as He was entering the city for the Triumphal Entry.
The greatest declaration of the gospel is the unity of the church. What we have been doing for the last few decades in not working.
-5% of Gen X identifies as "none"
-29% of Millennials identify as "none"
Good things God is doing through For Charlotte:
-Creating environments where people can be the body of Christ in the city.
- Bringing Pastors together
- City Initiatives like the unified sermon series
-New technology for collaboration
- Research and resources
- Creating practical expressions of unity
-15 Pastor Networks
- 285 local churches engaged
- 740 churches served by For Charlotte
- 100 churches (representing 60,000 people) participated in the unified sermon series
To Discuss Today:
1. If the theology of place matters, where are you?
2. Are those places united or divided? What part did you play?
3. You must fight for unity. Are you dividing or unifying the church?
4. Do you really care that the church is losing ground to the next generation?
5. Pray for the shalom of the city. Ask God to move. Ask for unity.