PRESS RELEASE 26 July 2010
"Don't just preach unity, do it"
Black and White Church leaders call churches to demonstrate true unity of purpose and join together in mission in their communities.
Pastor Agu Irukwu and Roy Crowne rallied a congregation of nearly 40,000 to not just say the words of a Gospel that unites, but to demonstrate it.
At the launch of HOPE Together at the Festival of Life on 23 July, Redeemed Christian Church of God Pastors and the HOPE Leadership team led the crowd in fervent prayer for unity of purpose, as they stood hand in hand across the stage.
Roy Crowne, Executive Director of HOPE Together, spoke about the problem when Christians speak about a uniting gospel but it doesn’t show. He warned that if people see something completely different to what they hear they won’t understand
He proclaimed: “Our dream is that we would see what the Lord Jesus sees – he doesn’t see the differences in tradition or styles of worship but he sees His Church, the body of Christ. His prayer is that we would unite in the purpose and the mission of God – that mission is to cause our church to be outward focused, to express acts of kindness and then to communicate the love of God in the good news of Jesus Christ.
“We may differ in the things we do but we need to celebrate diversity and understand that we have strengths when we work together – find a way to work together for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ and for the sake of those outside of the kingdom.”
The huge all-night prayer gathering at the ExCel Centre in London included the
presentation of the vision for this next stage of HOPE. Pastor Agu Irukwu, Senior Pastor at Jesus House, spoke about this big vision as he asked the crowd to close their eyes: “I want you to imagine a time when this nation will be great for the right reasons. A time when Baptists, Evangelicals, Methodists, Pentecostals, Charismatics, Free Church, Anglicans and so many more will all come together, no matter what background they are from. They will come together and be the Church - a Church without walls that is making an impact.”
Both preachers spoke about the need for denominations and church streams to come together, celebrate diversity and, as the body of Christ, bring hope to communities, large and small, all over the UK. Pastor Mrs Folu Adeboye, the wife of the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, prayed over the HOPE movement for the power of unity in the spirit and for God to move powerfully.
HOPE Together is a continuation of HOPE 08, which saw 1,500 areas find ways of being good news and bringing hope outside of their church buildings. It will build on the values and vision to see the whole nation reached by the whole Church. HOPE Together seeks to support and encourage the local church to speak and live its mission in word and action, in unity with other Christians.
HOPE together aims to help the Church build on mission activity and become even more outward looking over the next four years, leading toward an all-out year of mission in 2014. www.hopetogether.org.uk