It had taken many months of preparation, mobilising, praying and fund-raising. June 9, 2018 was the day set for the JustOne event which took place at Priestfield Stadium in Gilingham, Kent, South East of England.
I arrived early since I was part of the almost 100-strong JustOne Choir perfoming on that day. As we walked to our reserved seats, I felt the presence and the peace of God in that Stadium as people trooped in from the various entrances and making their way to their seats in orderly manner.
As you read this, you must be wondering, what is JustOne? JustOne is a vision by Canon J John to preach God's word in large venues all over England to give people of faith and no faith the opportunity to understand and explore the relevance of Christianity.
J John's message on that day was simple and straight forward. It was delivered in such a way to make it easy for people to understand the essence of Christianity and the need of man for a Saviour.
The message was neither fluffy nor judgemental. It was all about man's hopelessness and God's love and the deliverance available to all who believe. It was therefore not much a suprise to see many responding to the call to surrender their lives to Jesus.
Why did JustOne Priestfield 2018 succeed? It was because many churches all over Kent came together with one purpose to give opportunity to people in that part of England, to hear the gospel in a way they probably had never heard it before.
The idea of JustOne was for every Christian to invite one non-Christian so that the stadium will be filled with half Christian and half non-Christian. This re-inforces my belief in the power of Christian unity in line with what Jesus prayed for in John 17. "That they may be one even as we are one".
There are several places in the scripture where we are encouraged to unite as the body of Christ. I always remember what God said when the people were building a tower at Babel. Their aim was at variance with God's will. "Come," they said, "let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth." (Genesis 11:4)
When God saw their unity and resolve, He said, "If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them" (Gen 11:6) Such is the power of unity! God did not pull down the tower neither did He create enmity between them, all He did was confuse their language so much so that they were not able to communicate which each other. This brought their ambitious project to an end.
Does this mean that God does not like human beings to unite? Not at all. Fast forward many centuries later, Jesus prayed this prayer for all who would believe in Him. "that they will all be one, just as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. I pray that they will be in us, so that the world will believe that you sent me." God wants us as the body of Christ to unite. When we do, great things happen!
When I saw men and women coming forward and shedding tears of repentance after the message preached by Canon J John, I saw first hand the power of unity and God's purpose for a united Church. In His prayer in John 17, Jesus referred to being one (unity) three times in three verses (v 21-23) This shows how important it is for the Church of God to unite in one heart and in one mind.
June 9, 2018 is one day I will never forget in a hurry. I saw Methodists and Anglicans, Pentecostals and Church of England, Baptists and Salvation Army members standing together as one, serving in various roles as ushers, counsellors, security, stewards and so on. The choir which I was part of, was formed of people from various churches, background and race.
We were all there in one accord and for one purpose - that God may be glorified in that place as the invited audience listened to His invitation through His servant and giving room for the Holy Spirit to prepare hearts for the harvest.
Steve Popoola is the editor of Biblepraise Newsletter and the founder of the Biblepraise Fellowship Online at http://www.biblepraise.org. He lives in Kent, United Kingdom, where he works as an IT Professional. He currently serves as a Worship Leader as well as Home Group Leader in his local church and on occasion, speaks at invited events. He is the founder of the BiblepraiseFellowship Online Ministry and Moderator/Editor of the Biblepraise Newsletter. He can be reached through His email address, firstname.lastname@example.org