“Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.”
(Colossians 3:11, NIV)
The Unity Project is a gathering that prompts Christians to talk about Christian Unity. Jesus Christ prayed that his followers would all be one. The thing about unity is, it doesn’t just happen. It takes work. It takes forgiveness. It takes love. And it takes a conversation.
This year our focus is on unity within local congregations. Even in the easiest of times, it can be difficult to get a congregation all pulling in the same direction. There are personality clashes, doctrinal disagreements, power struggles, misunderstandings, hurt feelings–all the things that happen when people spend time together.
But these aren’t the easiest of times. Our world and our communities are deeply divided in ways that can only be healed by the love of Jesus Christ. We believe that only congregations that are united in Christ can bring unity to the world around them.
And so, this year, we have turned the Unity Project into a gathering that your church can have in your own context. Whether you hold an event of your own or turn the sessions into a small group or Sunday School curriculum, you can take our resources and use them to prompt a real conversation in your church about what it means to be united in Christ.
Dr. Sara Barton
Rev. Doug Dornhecker
All Saints of the Desert
Director of Elementary
Imago Dei Church
Dr. Diane Lincoln
Dr. Derek Voorhees
Boise Bible College
“Learning Unity from the Master”
It certainly seems like the world has never been more divided that it is right now. In reality, however, the time period in which Jesus did his ministry were even more divided than today! Not only that, but when Jesus chose his disciples, he seemed to intentionally choose people from all sides of his culture’s most divisive issues. And yet, when Jesus ascended he left behind him a congregation deeply united and devoted to each other. How did that happen? How did Jesus teach unity to his own congregation? That is our question, and our theme for this year’s Unity Project. Each speaker will focus on one aspect of how Jesus modeled and taught unity to his disciples during his ministry, and how we can follow that example today
Opening Session: Introduction — “Learning Unity from the Master”
Matt Holmes (Turner Christian Church)
Workshop A: Forgiveness and Reconciliation
Dr. Sara Barton (Pepperdine University)
Workshop B: Empathy
Rev. Doug Dornhecker (Retired Minister)
Workshop C: Drawing Boundaries
Seth King (Imago Dei Church)
Workshop D: Common Purpose
Dr. Diane Lincoln (Christian Missionary Fellowship International)
Workshop E: Humility
Dr. Derek Voorhees (Boise Bible College)
Closing Session: The Lord’s Supper
Chris Dunning (Newberg Church of Christ)
This year’s Unity Project is designed to be adaptable to your church’s context. Each session involves a 20-minute video and a set of discussion questions for about 40-minutes of discussion (depending on how big/talkative your groups are!) There are several options for how you can format the Unity Project for your church:
Idea 1: A Multi-Group, One-Day Event
Set aside one day for a special Unity Project Event. Invite the whole church, and assign them to discussion groups. Play the video for everyone, then split up into your discussion groups. Use all the workshops, or make a shorter day by doing just a few of the workshops. (You could also split this into a two-day event and have it on two successive Saturdays).
This format is best for smaller churches, and churches that don’t have Sunday School or small groups meeting.
Idea 2: Small Groups or Sunday School Curriculum
These sessions can also be done one a time as part of your existing small group or Sunday school classes. Set aside seven weeks for your groups to go through the material, tackling one topic per week!
This format is best for churches with small group ministries, sunday school programs, or house church programs.
Idea 3: “Zoom” Groups
Not meeting in person? Not a problem! Our videos can be shown in zoom rooms using the screen share function. You can send out the materials ahead of time, then show the video in your zoom room group and have your discussion digitally!
Registration Cost: $35 per church
Follow the link to the right to register for this event. When you register, we will confirm your mailing address and then mail you a flash drive containing the materials you will need for the event, including videos, leader instructions and printable participant books. Materials can be copied for as many groups as necessary for your church.
(Materials will begin shipping the first week of March)