This July, a team is heading to East Africa for a three-country tour of The Genius of One Conference. Close to one thousand pastors and church leaders in Uganda, Kenya, and Rwanda will gather to consider a better way of working together. This is not a new thought or innovation, it’s actually the ancient way of doing things, for it reaches back to the very love that flows between the Father, Son, and Spirit.
It’s the unity found at the heart of Jesus’ prayer in John 17.
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you…”
– John 17:20-21
Now it is our prayer—both close to home and far away—that we can begin to live out what Jesus longed for on the night of his betrayal. Oneness.
It turns out, a door has continued to open wide across the continent of Africa for this message of unity. So far the conference has been hosted in Sierra Leone, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Over the last few years the team and I have been humbled by the opportunities and invitation to share words of healing, unity, and hope.
It’s a miracle, really, to think of all that is beginning to happen, but it would not be possible without the specific partnership of Living Water International. Years ago, LWI began to see that communities flourish when a global water organization provided not only water, but the Word of God through local churches that have been empowered. Churches grow, sanitation and hygiene practices change the health of a village, darkness is pushed back, and the name of Jesus is glorified. Amen!
All of these changes are because of an intentional partnership.
It’s been our privilege as The Crossing to be a small part of coming alongside pastors throughout the world as churches are mobilized. Other non-profits, churches, businesses, and community leaders from Africa and the U.S. are now dreaming of ways to work together as partners rather than as competitors.
Something is beginning to happen that is hard to describe. The kingdom is advancing and the oft-quoted phrase from Narnia still fits: Aslan is on the move.
If you’re reading this post as a member of The Crossing community, I want to say thank you.
Thank you for believing that the great name of Jesus is worth proclaiming close to home and several time zones away. Thank you for dreaming big dreams about God’s Kingdom and praying bold prayers. Thank you for being a part of developing classes and curriculum around healthy culture. Thank you for supporting a partnership with Living Water International.
This is part of your legacy as The Crossing… Communities around the globe are hearing about Jesus, unity, collaboration and conflict resolution, because of you. The same principles taught in the Body Life classes will be shared with pastors, community leaders, and heads of state.
But this isn’t just about what our teams bring. Hear me on this. Every single year, these local pastors teach me and the team about how big and good our God is. We are constantly learning from one another. We are called to be one, not only with our own teams, but also with our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world.
Jesus is the answer to what we see happening in Africa. He is also the only remedy for our communities back home in the U.S. As the Church, let’s vow to keep learning and growing together.
“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.”
– Philippians 2:1-2
If you are so led, join us in prayer for the rest of July. Pray for safe travels, pray for hearts to be open, pray for the local pastors who will be traveling miles to be a part of these conversations. Our teams will do our best to keep you updated and most certainly we’ll have some stories to share in the coming weeks.
Remember: this is more than a conference. This is God’s kingdom alive and at work in our world.
Local churches are now partnering with global organizations to serve communities. Pastors are reaching out to other pastors to serve their city together. Denominational lines are being crossed. Entire regions and countries are now dreaming about what it looks like to be one. Take note, this global movement is starting in Africa but it’s a movement we long for in the U.S. too.
Not a new thought but it’s one we seem to forget – we really are better together.
Collaborating. Submitting. Suffering. Listening. Serving. Encouraging. Forgiving. Championing.
This is God’s plan for all his children and it is sheer genius. It is also the most powerful thing we can do in this world. To love as we have been loved. As the Church, when we do this, the words Jesus spoke to His Father on the worst night of His life come to life as an answered prayer.