Fifteen years ago eight churches had a dream – a multi-cultural, multi-denominational network of churches partnering to see kingdom transformation ripple across Atlanta.We envisioned the next generation of Atlanta reaching their God given potential and flourishing. We knew the power existed in doing it together. Networks of relationship began to develop in several counties and we got to work.
Fifteen years later, more than 100 churches have joined the movement and seen great success in promoting flourishing in the areas of education, family and justice through dreaming, partnering with each other, and coming alongside of leaders in various sectors of their community. As we head into the future we continue in our passion to see the next generation and their families flourish. We are excited about the avenues the Lord is opening up for even greater impact.
When young people thrive, the leaders of tomorrow are thriving and the communities of tomorrow will see unimaginable transformation. We envision all kinds of different churches working together and partnering with other community leaders to accomplish this reality. We see the city feeling tangible impact and blessing through the vehicle of the church. We see gospel influence. Lives changed. Communities transformed. Kingdom expansion.
Life the way it ought to be
The webbing together of God, humans, and all creation in justice, fulfillment, and delight is what the Hebrew prophets call shalom. We call it peace but it means far more than mere peace of mind or a cease-fire between enemies. In the Bible, shalom means universal flourishing, wholeness and delight…a state of affairs that inspires joyful wonder as its Creator and Savior opens doors and welcomes the creatures in whom he delights.
Shalom, in other words, is the way things ought to be.
– Cornelius Plantinga, Not the Way it’s supposed to be: A Breviary on Sin
The Church United…
The Church as it ought to be
Jesus calls the church to function as an interdependent body of believers, and promises that as we do, the world will see him and know him. The Body is so fractured and divided! We don’t have oneness but instead separation and jealousy and a little “k” kingdom mindset where we operate such that our church, organization, or our denomination is ultimate. The watching world experiences this division. Our witness is compromised. Our impact is less than it could be. The people in our cities don’t experience the life-giving reconciliation that Jesus empowers us to accomplish. Unite is seeking to be a living picture of what the kingdom is all about and in doing so, invest in our communities so that they experience life the way it ought to be in every dimension of life….spiritually, physically, socially, economically, emotionally.
The City Flourishing….
The City as it ought to be
God created humankind in a state of wholeness, completeness, harmony, and perfections. Life was exactly the way it was supposed to be. Shalom reigned! When sin entered the world – shalom was vandalize – and nothing was the way it was supposed to be. Our communities experience the vandalism of Shalom (or a lack of flourishing) in countless ways. From conflict, divorce, and mental illness to poverty, racism, and dropout rates. As Christ’s ambassadors we seek the welfare (flourishing) of our cities. We do this by uniting, empowering and equipping the church to be a reconciling and restorative presence in our communities.