So, I have spent the last few weeks at Bethel in Redding CA, and today I bought a new bible from their book store… The Revival Study Bible.. It is sooo good! A must buy, if you get a chance. I was reading the verse we base our whole ministry off of, and there was a foot note from a revivalist… Revivalist, D. L. Moody wrote: “Did you ever notice that the last prayer Jesus Christ made on earth before they led Him away to Calvary, was that his disciples might all be one? He could look down the stream of time, and see that divisions would come- how Satan would try to divide the flock of God. Nothing will silence infidel’s (non-Christians) so quickly as Christians everywhere being united, then our testimony will have weight with the ungodly and the careless; but when they see how Christians are divided, they will not believe the testimony. The Holy Spirit is grieved; and there is little power where there is no unity. If I thought I had one drop of sectarian blood in my veins, I would let it out before I went to bed; if I had one sectarian hair in my head, I would pull it out. Let us get right to the heart of Jesus Christ; then all our prayers will be acceptable to God, and showers of blessings will descend.” I felt this was soo good, and had to share! P.S. if you get a chance, check out our “God Story” blog for stories from Bethel! Thanks! -Ben
We forgot to post this, so it’s a bit late!
After a lot of prayer and planning, the highly anticipated week finally arrived! We were all extremely excited to see God work at PCS, Peoria Christian School. The Friday before Life Change Week our team finalized when the fiancé of a band member agreed to sing on the worship team. Little did the rest of us know that she is blessed with an amazing voice, and she can play the violin… a huge blessing!
Following an 8-hour van ride, picking up a guitarist on the way, the team arrived in Peoria, Illinois late Sunday night. After setting up for chapel everyone to their temporary homes with the host families.
Monday and Tuesday held a similar schedule. The students attended Chapel until 10:30 am and then went about their regular school day. Chapel was so much fun! We kicked off the day with a high volume of energy, beach balls, and a YouTube video. Unite the Faith band led worship before and after Mark’s message. We ran breakout sessions during the student’s bible classes. Our first day was about our identity in Christ and the second day was about living a pure life.
Tuesday during chapel there was a shift. We noticed students interceding in prayer for their school… for a revival. Tuesday during lunch we introduced prayer groups.
Wednesday everything changed. After chapel, several students stayed behind to pray over two of their peers who had just accepted Christ. Praise Jesus!!!! Throughout the day, including prayer groups at lunch, students gathered in prayer. We wrote several late passes and we are convinced some skipped class, but it was for a great cause!
Thursday after Mark’s message there was an opportunity for students to accept Christ as their personal savior. The prayer groups took place after chapel and they were powerful. In a high school of about 400 students, praying in groups of 4, God can and did work powerfully. The hearts of students longed to see a change within themselves, their school, and their community. We learned throughout the day and Friday that more students professed accepting Christ as their personal savior for the first time.
One student told us that they literally felt a huge weight lifted off their shoulders and were flooded with peace. They wished everyone could experience that feeling.
Friday we had the entire day beginning with chapel and prayer groups. Again it was so powerful to see students gathered in prayer! The power of God was alive! After lunch students had the option of going to panels on: worship, missions, or living a pure life while dating. Some of the group prayed with students that did not attend a panel. The week ended with worship and testimonials. It was so amazing to hear how God personally impacted students’ lives.
The change the PCS students desired to see all began with intercessory prayer that took place prior to and during Life Change Week week. The change will continue to take place as the students faithfully follow where Jesus is calling them, UNITED as one in the body of Christ. The path Jesus has for us is much easier when we work together to encourage and support each other.
Unite the Faith
Today I (ben) wanted to feature a movement that I really believe in. This is a new kind of record label that calls them selves Come&Live. I am not even sure if they could be confined to the word label. Their mission is to “establish the Kingdom of God within a community of musicians”. They stand for Giving, Loving, Sharing, and Reviving. Living in a simple way so that you can give the most of you. I for one think it such an honor for C&L to call my city home. Anyway, check them out.
We wanted to feature some friends. This is David Lim from Anchor Fellowship in Nashville TN. This is a song off their new record “We Are Creation”… They are a great bunch of people, glad to have them in our city!
I am (Ben) proud to say that I once called Anchor my home church, before I became the worship leader at my current church (Godwhy.com)
The Anchor Fellowship is just so transparent and real. Great people. Here is an excerpt from their facebook that pressed on my heart:
We are not perfect. We understand that at times we will fall short, offend, and behave hypocritically. We know that we will not always be right and that we will let people down. But we know that we must keep going, even through our mistakes and failures, in order to succeed at becoming more and more like Jesus. We are not content to remain where we are. Instead, we press on toward mature in our faith, growing more responsible with our callings and our discipleship of others.
Over the years, I’ve been convicted by passages that describe the unity Christ wants in His church (John 17, 1 John 4, 1 Corinthians 12, Philippians 2, Acts 2…). But whenever I’ve made efforts toward bringing believers together, I run into seemingly insurmountable barriers. I don’t know how to overcome the differences in theology, convictions, and personalities. So I gave up long ago.
But once again, His Word is bothering me. This time around, it’s the second half of Ephesians 2 that is convicting me. I confess, I had never taken a real close look at this passage. Until this recent study, I hadn’t noticed the deep connection between the cross and unity. Our oneness is far more than a “nice idea” we should pursue if we can find the time. It was a motivation for the cross.
14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
I don’t know how this will play out in my life this time. I don’t have a brilliant master plan to unite His children. I just figured I would start by getting you to stare at His Word again, and by praying that His Spirit would bring unity to His church. I certainly don’t have the answer, but I care again and more than I ever have. Our Father wants His children tightly connected, and our Savior died to make it possible. Shouldn’t we be working and praying harder about this?
Bethel Music is taking their worship school online with WorshipU! Go to worshipu.com to get an exclusive discount!
Being followers of what Bethel puts out as far as worship music and teaching, Our team was excited to see this… nice!
Welcome to Unite the Faith! We are so glad you are here and would love to share with you the awesome God story of we all connected and began passionately working towards empowering Christians. We desire to see Christians to work together as one unit in the body of Christ to serve as the hands and feet of Jesus!!
In 2003, God placed on the hearts of Ben Briceno, worship leader, and Mark Lancaster, speaker & youth pastor, a passion for uniting Christians to live out the prayer of Jesus in John 17. It all began in the Gas Station youth ministries. They worked within the community of Hendersonville, TN through service and worship.
Recently guided by the Holy Spirit, everything picked up. In November of 2011 I, Lauren Lee, was added to the leadership team. Ben and I met at Sanctuary, a weekly worship night on Thursdays in Nashville, TN. We both arrived late. I walked into the room preparing my heart for worship. People all around me were wholeheartedly worshiping Jesus. I prayed for a revival.
We stood directly behind Ben. I thought to myself, “Wow that guy is really worshiping…that’s awesome!” At that point I felt the Holy Spirit say, “Put your hand on his back and pray for him.” I became uncomfortable, coming up with a list of excuses. The first one being, I don’t know this person. Second, what if I disrupt his time of worship!
Knowing that I have to be faithful to the things that God calls us to, regardless of how uncomfortable that may make me, I began praying that God lay heavy on my heart if this is something He wanted me to do. All the sudden I was overwhelmed with anxiety, my heart was racing. God was laying this mission heavily on my heart. I began praying for boldness and reached out and placed my hand on Ben’s back and prayed for what God placed in my mind. The power of God was present.
At the end of Sanctuary Ben came over and introduced himself and told us about Unite the Faith. Several coffee dates and meetings later, Mark, Ben and myself began working together. We are praying for and want to see a revival. We want to see a generation so passionate and on fire for Jesus that a revival takes place. We want to see people radically transformed to serve as the hands and feet of Jesus.
So now you know the story, let’s work together and Unite the Faith!
Lauren & Unite the Faith
Check out our performance of “The Power Of Your Love” from our live worship night a couple of weeks ago! This is a preview of things to come!