Inspired by a Global Church Network of Leaders
~Ray Williams – CityChurch Network, Team Leader
CityChurch Network leaders from multiple Central Arkansas churches recently traveled to Ames Iowa to participate in the 2018 Biblical Institute for Leadership Development (BILD) Annual Conference.
Serving top leaders from over 40 countries, the Conference included training workshops, unique opportunities for global networking, and concluded with an Executive Leadership Summit that included North American church leaders, ministry CEO’s, foundation leaders and business men and women interested in accelerating church multiplication. Innovative training helped leaders develop their understanding of the church-based theological education (C-BTE) paradigm and acquire or sharpen their skills in developing their own training programs.
We heard inspiring stories of how other City Church Networks are proclaiming the transforming hope of Christ in their communities. We were equipped with new tools and resources for strengthening leaders. Jerry, one of our team members reflected that the times of worship with international leaders from all 9 world civilizations was a “taste of heaven.”
Returning home, we are encouraged and deeply thankful to God for the churches and hundreds of leaders here in Central Arkansas working together for the advance of Christ kingdom. May we continue to unite the church in extraordinary prayer, leadership training, and greater works for the good of our city and glory of God.
Connect with our Little Rock team to learn more about how you can unite with other leaders and to grow in your leadership.
We share a common vision to see every heart transformed by the love of God in Central Arkansas. Every great move of God is preceded by united prayer. We want to encourage pastors and ministry leaders to participate in a regional prayer movement.
The CityChurch Network is calling 100 local pastors and ministry leaders to participate in monthly Leader Prayer Groups and semi-annual One Voice events in Central Arkansas. Leader Prayer Groups connect church leaders through relational, regional and revival focused prayer. Our semi-annual One Voice events gather every church in the city to unite in prayer.
We are inviting leaders like you to participate in and help facilitate a Leader Prayer Group with 3-4 other pastors once a month. Leader Prayer Groups receive fresh, supportive content every month to encourage you in prayer. Help us spark a movement of united prayer among 100 church leaders in Central Arkansas!
1. Identify 3-4 pastors or ministry leaders of other churches to join your group.
2. Determine the ideal time and location for the members of your group.
3. Enlist your group to receive the monthly Regional Prayer Guide.
4. Attend One Voice with ten members from your church.
It’s that simple! We also want to honor all preexisting pastor’s prayer groups in Central Arkansas. Please contact Logan Bloom at email@example.com to join or launch a Leader Prayer Group near you! A list of current Leader Prayer Groups can soon be found at citychurchar.org.
Under the guidance of Pastor Harold Nash and his team from Fellowship North Church, the Nehemiah Network announces the continuation of the Race Under Grace initiative for 2019. Race Under Grace is a project designed to pursue racial unity in and between Central Arkansas Churches. Pastor Nash, and others in the congregation, have used this powerful process at Fellowship North for years, and are achieving giant steps in knitting together the hearts of ALL God’s people in fellowship with this ministry.
The flagship of the Race Under Grace project is a series of cross-racial conversations that serve as a launch-point for pastors and church leaders. This Leadership Series introduces pastors and church leaders to the “Race Under Grace experience” and helps them make plans for pursuing racial unity in their own church settings.
The Leadership Series is then supplemented with continued conversation among pastors and leaders, but more importantly with tools and guidance to help Central Arkansas churches create their own Race Under Grace experience. We see this happening in three possible phases:
- The Race Under Grace leadership team can help pastors design and lead cross-racial learning experiences for their church’s leadership team (deacons, elders, staff, key teachers and lay leaders);
- The Race Under Grace leadership team can help a church’s leadership design a cross-racial learning experience for congregation members and coach the team in leading the experience;
- The Race Under Grace leadership team can help a church’s leadership team think through, and make plans for, implementing a hand-full of core disciplines should they wish to move toward a healthy multi-racial church environment.
Having experienced prejudice and stereotyping among Christians, Pastor Kevin Kelly of Second Baptist Church in Little Rock realized that walls were being built between the body of believers, the church. Kelly warns, “The beginning of racial reconciliation and unity in the community hinges on Christianity- the church.” Along with the division and pain brought on from such segregation and partiality, he saw the destruction being passed onto younger generations in the church, igniting a passion in him to seek the understanding of people that were not like him.
He became involved in the CityChurch Network, a team of pastors and local leaders with one purpose – to unite the churches of Central Arkansas. It was here he met his now good friend, Ray Williams. Williams, an active leader in the CityChurch Network, fueled this desire inside Pastor Kelly, encouraging and seeding sight for unity in the community.
Pastor Kelly envisions that one day the churches in Little Rock would claim and headline themselves first to be the church of Central Arkansas and in smaller letters their church name, an example of their testament of oneness in the city. He anticipates churches of Central Arkansas partnering together and forming a coalition for unity not individuality. “But we are not yet there,” Kelly says. “We are still saying “me” and “I” instead of “us” and “ours”.
He goes on to say that although Christians have not reached the unity in the city that God has called them to, he strongly believes that God has poured an anointing on the city of Little Rock Unity among the body of believers simply allows us to do more, a whole lot more.” A unified community of Believers in Little Rock provides a biblical portrait in the community of what Jesus means when he tells his twelve “…the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these he shall do.” Jesus couldn’t have gathered a more diverse group of disciples but through their different backgrounds, professions, and religions they came together in Christ and miracles took place. Kelly feels that Christians have to step up and demonstrate this pure picture of love in Little Rock and with God miraculous things will happen.
Reflection – 2018 CityChurch Network Prayer Summit
~Keith Lape – Pastor – River City Church
Having been a Prayer Summit participant for about 18 years, I have come to anticipate this experience as one of the highlights of my year. During this time, my association with the CityChurch Network in general, and the Prayer Summit in particular, has profoundly influenced my approach to prayer, ministry, and life. Largely influenced by this framework, I have woven a variety of prayer practices into the fabric of my life and ministry that have set me on a much healthier, spiritually vital, Christ-dependent, and empowered trajectory.
This year‘s edition of the event has not disappointed. I love the variety of Christian faith traditions represented in this group, particularly because of the unity that we experience based upon our common faith in the person of Jesus. During our time together, earthly walls of race, heritage, culture, class, and age are being broken down, making way for the ministry of reconciliation to be unleashed
A central conviction that we share is that prayer and the Word are essential for any authentic Kingdom advancement. Speaking of the “Kingdom,” this emerged as a significant recurring theme throughout the Summit. It originally surfaced during our first evening together, as we walked through the Lord’s Prayer.
This year, instead of having an outside facilitator, we were served by several of our local men, who shared this role. The Lord used all of them beautifully in our time of scripture fed, spirit led, worship based prayer.
In addition to these rich times in prayer, that made three hours pass in a heartbeat, we shared wonderful fellowship over meals and during break times. As the old proverbial song goes, “make new friends, and keep the old; one is silver, and the other gold.“ The wisdom herein was experienced bountifully this year as always. As an older adult, I forged a friendship with a young man who inspired me with his deep faith, zeal for God’s glory, humble service, teachable spirit, and his consistently encouraging attitude.
One final thing that is noteworthy about this year’s Summit, is that we met at brand new place that, despite some flooding, boasted gorgeous scenery and cozy accommodations. I’m already eagerly looking forward to the next Summit, and I’m hoping then to make even more new friends