Unity for the Sake of Mission

Edwin Copeland, Church United Director

Local Churches Embrace Unprecedented Evangelistic Opportunity

 Last month, Church United rallied over 53 churches from across South Florida for a collaborative teaching series called, A Seat at the Table. The series was spearheaded by Pastor Jon Elswick of Crossway Church, co-created by local pastors, and designed to catalyze Christians in our region and awaken them to one of the greatest evangelistic opportunities in the history of our generation. Each week, pastors preached the same sermon text with a shared goal of envisioning God’s people to intentionally share their lives and their faith with unbelievers around them.

“Its moments like these that can shape our churches and our region in a profound way for years to come,” said Pastor Arthur Connor, of Metropolitan Baptist Church and President of the Broward Baptist Association. With only three percent of the South Florida region identifying as committed followers of Jesus Christ, and over 70 percent of our unbelieving friends, neighbors and co-workers open to discussing the relevancy and teachings of Jesus, the unprecedented evangelistic opportunity ahead is clear. We believe that God powerfully used this series to help Christians gain a broader perspective and deeper love for the spiritually lost in our community and begin to actively offer a “seat at the table” in their lives to those who are far from God.

For some perspective, Pastor David Hughes of Church By The Glades and First Baptist Fort Lauderdale, put it like this: “Two churches coming together is amazing, but during the next three weeks, dozens and dozens of Churches here in South Florida are preaching the same sermon text, and the same Jesus. You may be thinking, ‘these churches must agree on everything’…no…no they don’t. We have differences in our liturgy, our polity and small differences of theology, but other churches are NEVER our competition. These other churches are family – brothers and sisters – even though we do some things differently. All of these different churches coming together is a statement of spiritual solidary in our region.”


Series Overview: Week 1

The goal of week one was to set the stage, REMEMBERING God’s love for us when we were lost.

This message emphasized how God demonstrated his love for us by offering us a seat at his table of relationship. Just like the sinful woman in Luke 7, when we were lost in our sin, God didn’t reject us. He invited us into a relationship with Him.

The hope in week one was that people will remember, receive and rest in the reality of how amazing it is that God welcomed us to his table of relationship. It is only from this place of remembering how God invited us to the table of relationship that we can cultivate a heart to invite others into the table of relationship with God.


Series Overview: Week 2

The goal of week two was to EMBRACE God’s heart for the lost around us.

This week’s message emphasized how if we are truly God’s children, we must embrace our heavenly Father’s compassion for the lost. Unlike the older brother in the Prodigal Son story found in Luke 15, we are called to see those who are far from God with eyes of empathy and care.

The hope in week two was that Christians would discern what their hearts are like towards the lost, repent of self-righteousness, and ask for the compassion of God to fill their hearts, giving them an urgency to reach the lost around them.


Series Overview: Week 3

The goal of week three was to MOBILIZE God’s people to actively invite the lost into their lives so they can meet Jesus.

This message emphasized how we are called to build tables of connection – not walls of separation – with people who don’t yet know Jesus. Like Matthew in Luke 5, we must choose to create opportunities to invite people into our lives so they can encounter Jesus.

Our hope in WEEK 3 is that every Christian would take one active step as we enter into Thanksgiving week towards building a deeper friendship with someone in their life who isn’t a believer – with the aim towards inviting them into a relationship with Jesus or attending an Alpha group. Allision Hix, who attends the Avenue Church in Delray beach put it this way: “We were in week 3 of the Church United series as a church, and I found myself at Walmart buying Thanksgiving groceries. I asked the cashier if she had plans for her Thanksgiving dinner only to learn she did not. To my surprise, she accepted my invitation to join our family meal and showed up on Thanksgiving Day. We saved her a seat at our table and were able to share the love and hope of Jesus with her.”


Final Word

Pastor Luis Egipciaco of Elevate Church in Miami said this of the series: “Unity like this has the potential to change the spiritual trajectory of our community. Pastors from across our community preaching with a unified heart, a unified message, and a unified goal to awaken the body of Christ in our region to share their lives and their tables with those who do not yet know Jesus.” Interested in joining in the collaborative teaching series next year? Get your church involved by visiting churchuntiedfl.com.



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