So what happens when five local church pastors show up for four Sunday mornings at the wrong churches?
That’s what’s happening right now where I live. Actually, it kicked off last weekend. The concept has been in the planning stages since early fall, and this extended game of pastor musical chairs is called Better Together. To be sure, these Evangelical pastors are making history.
Each week for four weeks they are preaching a sermon series that finds them in a different location. Then on week five they speak at their home church. The series culminates in a joint Good Friday service five days later, something these churches have been doing for about 25 years. The Good Friday event is actually two services, held in the grand ballroom of a local hotel.
Participating congregations and ministers include our local Fellowship Baptist, Pentecostal Assemblies, Christian & Missionary Alliance, Convention Baptist and Salvation Army churches. It’s a great show of unity. It’s a great demonstration to the local community that we’re not in competition with each other; that we share a single message even though we meet and worship independently.
But there’s more.
Part of the Better Together initiative is to raise both money and a labor pool for the construction of what is currently the last remaining Habitat for Humanity property in the town. The offering will be taken at the Good Friday service and the pastors have pledged $60,000; an ambitious goal in a small town. It’s the type of thing that no church in this area could take on themselves, but another reminder that we are Better Together.
Would this work where you live? I think you have to have the right spiritual atmosphere for something like this to work and I believe the annual Good Friday service has paved the way for something like this to happen. Added to this is the dynamic of the particular lead pastors currently serving in the town being in one mind on this project.
But whether it works now for you, or in the future, I hope this idea becomes contagious.