29 Sep A Gospel Movement is Born
Convener of OneHeartDC
The story of OneHeartDC is intertwined with the stories of other expressions of God’s movement in Washington DC. The earliest indications that a new wind was blowing became evident in the summer of 2014. It was then that Lon Solomon, Sr. Pastor of McLean Bible Church, acted on a conviction he had been given that he and McLean Bible Church needed to join with other churches and pastors in the region to repent and unite for the goal of being effectively used to carry out the Lord’s work. Pastor Solomon led a number of small prayer gatherings with other pastors. The prayers at these gatherings focused around a common theme of 2 Chronicles 7:14. Lon and the pastors were on their knees, humbling themselves, making personal confessions and asking God and each other for forgiveness.
At the end of summer, the pastors affirmed a need to continue in prayer and fellowship. This led to the Washington Prayer Gathering (WPG) at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on October 13th. Over 5,000 people across denominations, generations, racial and ethnic diversities attended; thus, providing a tangible expression of unity. Prayer focused on confession of personal sins, the sins of our churches, the sins of our region and for revival.
The WPG was a catalyst for formation of the Metro Washington Pastors Fellowship (MWPF). The MWPF sponsored quarterly prayer gatherings for pastors held around the region. The regional representation and diversity of the MWPF gatherings uniquely differentiated these from the many dozens of similar gatherings being held monthly and sometimes weekly for many years. The preexisting gatherings tended to be more homogeneous and local and continue to meet.
Throughout the year, God was changing many leaders’ hearts in a similar way. There was increasing brokenness about the spiritual condition of the region, failure in not getting the job done in serving and reaching the entire region and conviction of a lack of true John 17 unity amongst churches. There was growing recognition that no one church, even the larger churches, could accomplish the mission alone.
In early summer 2015, a growing number of leaders wanted to seize this Kairos moment. They decided to continue in prayer and fellowship under the MWPF and to start working together within a regional gospel movement called OneHeartDC, which is patterned after many others sweeping the US. The objectives include assessing coverage of the gospel in Metro Washington, meeting critical needs of the community, evangelism and providing a network for sharing information on events and service projects, resources, and leadership development. The leaders affirmed a vision of churches being ‘better together’ by:
- Celebrating what God is doing here – creating greater visibility and awe of God within our churches and communities.
- Accelerating the spread of the good news in word and deed to over 5 million residents by sharing information, resources and teams for greater impact.
Thus, the MWPF and OneHeartDC are synergistic – with prayer and fellowship undergirding execution of the gospel movement.
Metro Washington jurisdictions represented (10): Anne Arundal, Arlington, Alexandria, DC, Fairfax, Loudoun, Montgomery, Prince Georges, Prince William, Tri-County (Calvert, Charles, St. Mary’s)
Key people groups: African (Ethiopian, Nigerian), African American, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Latino, Muslim origin (Arabic, Persian, etc.), South Asia (Indian, Nepalese, Pakistani) and more
Individual churches committed: 300
Large church networks committed: 10 (representing over 750 churches)
Small pastors networks: dozens
Core Leadership: 25 senior leaders committed to tithing their time to the movement; another 50 actively engaged
Leaders known to be following: 1,000+
Media: WAVA the premiere outlet with 50,000 watts; committed to the movement with on-air, online / social media and newsletter support to 2,000+ church contacts
Movement support: Luis Palau Association, Frontline (White), OneCry, RESET / Pulse, CS Lewis Institute, Christ Together Network
Together is Better
In recent days, God has been at work within the hearts of Christian leaders in our DC Metro area in extraordinary ways. We are seeing a new desire to partner together for the furtherance of the Gospel. Through fervent prayer (2 Chron. 7:14), we witnessed a brokenness: 1) for the lost, 2) for the lack of unity within the Church, and 3) for the need to be a blessing and to stimulate hope. This led to more prayer at the Washington Prayer Gathering on October 13th, which included over 5,000 people from 400 churches across denominations, generations, racial and ethnic diversities.
A ‘constellation’ of churches, church networks and para-church groups continued meeting for prayer in their locales. Many of these convened together quarterly under the banner of the Metro Washington Pastors Fellowship. We began to witness a broader and more diverse spirit of unity with ‘one heart’ centered upon Christ and the Gospel.
Hence the birth of a Gospel movement to glorify God…
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(Romans 15:5-6 NIV84)
Using the ‘constellation’ metaphor, the churches, church networks and para-church groups are the ‘stars’ (or nodes) and maintain their unique identities as they serve people in their locales or scopes of their ministries. OneHeartDC exists to create channels (lines) for information and resources to flow between the nodes to multiply Kingdom impact. Thus, OneHeartDC provides an organic ecosystem for accelerating the influence of the Gospel and celebrating what God is doing collectively in the region. The hallmarks of the movement are:
Prayer | Unity | Hope
Practically, we see OneHeartDC helping the Church display a “witness of oneness” (John 17:21-23), making Christ and the Gospel more visible and tangible and truly becoming ‘better together.’ We want to stay organic and keep infrastructure to the minimum necessary to accomplish objectives.
Over the coming weeks, leaders will convene to chart a course for nourishing a sustainable prayer and missional movement. If you are interested in more information or in joining the movement, please contact Howie Levin, firstname.lastname@example.org,703.489.9200 cell.