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Unity is special in any context, but particularly among churches. And also rare, unfortunately. However, God is doing something special in Moore County, North Carolina.  

Unity is an identity mark of followers of Jesus (John 17:21), but it is also a work of the Spirit to produce unity among believers (Ephesians 4:3).  

When I became the Senior Pastor of Christ Community Church in Pinehurst, I began to invite our congregation to pray weekly for other churches in our county. I would constantly remind them that we were “a church that was part of the Church”. I would email different pastors each week to solicit specific prayer requests that I could include when I prayed for them.  

My favorite part of this initiative was the reports from people in our church running into people from other churches out in the community and excitedly telling them that we had prayed for them that week in our services.  

This initiative eventually led to hosting a Pastor’s Networking Luncheon in an effort to get more pastors in the room to build relationships and pray about what God might do if we co-labored together for the gospel.  

We hosted our first Luncheon in March of 2023 and have hosted four more since. The format of these gatherings included fellowship over a shared meal followed by potential opportunities to collaborate together in Moore County. We also invite various para-church leaders to join us. We remind ourselves that we are not in competition with one another, but rather ought to be co-laboring together.  

These collaborative gatherings have birthed a variety of partnerships, including an annual Prayer Walk around our local schools every August in preparation for the start of the school year. Along with a united effort to pray for a specific local church every week in our respective Worship Service.  

But the biggest win for me personally has been the development of relationships with two other Senior Pastors at like-minded churches resulting in a collaborative pulpit-swap, sermon-series last Fall where we each rotated through one another’s churches preaching a series from Ephesians 4 called: We Are One.  This pulpit-swap was very well received by our congregations and reinforced our commitment to being One Church in Christ. At the conclusion of the series, all three churches gathered at the local high school auditorium for a Night of Worship with over 1600 people in attendance. 

This effort continues to bear fruit and, this year, all three churches (along with several others) will be gathering at a local high school football stadium on a Sunday morning for a combined Worship Service. 

The best part of this entire collaboration has been the way that God has moved and united the hearts of churches and pastors. We all come from various doctrinal positions but can agree on the essentials of the nature of God, the power of the Gospel (by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone), and the authority of the Bible.  

God is moving in Moore County North Carolina and our job is simply not to get in the way of what He wants to do. Rather, we want to see where He is moving and join Him there.  

What a testimony to a watching world when the Church of Jesus Christ lives out the prayer of Jesus to be One.  

Dan Francis serves as the Senior Pastor of Christ Community Church in Pinehurst, North Carolina. He has served in local church ministry for almost twenty years and believes whole-heartedly that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the hope of the world. 

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