ONE Night: Uniting Churches, Transforming Lives
Months of planning and preparation led up to the ONE Night event that took place on April 23rd, 2023.
Church leaders from Rock Hill, Lancaster, Fort Mill, Chester, Clover, and York came together with one purpose in mind—to make Jesus known among 6th to 12th graders.
United in Mission
As the event unfolded, it became evident that when church leaders align their purposes, the students follow suit. Incredible stories started emerging about students working together on their school campuses and in their neighborhoods, united by a common mission. The students taught their churches a powerful lesson—that there is only one Kingdom, and it belongs to the King of Kings. Prayer became a unifying force as students, teachers, parents, and leaders joined together, lifting up their voices to the Lord.
“With over 25 local middle and high schools represented, students are able to come together with each other and hopefully go back to their campus and reach their peers,” Michael Polston, student pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Rock Hill, said.
One local youth pastor shared a powerful story of transformation that occurred during the event. *Gracey, a young girl with a difficult home life, had started attending student ministry gatherings earlier in the year. Despite her challenging circumstances, Gracey’s small group leaders welcomed her with open arms, ensuring she felt included and valued from the very beginning.
To the youth pastor’s surprise, Gracey registered for One Night. When the invitation to respond to the Gospel was given, Gracey boldly raised her hand, stood up, and walked to the designated area. Overwhelmed with nerves, she asked another student to accompany her for support.
Walking in Faith
After the event, Gracey spoke with her youth pastor and small group leaders about her decision. She shared, “Before tonight, I considered myself a Christian because I went to church. But after hearing the message, I realized that being a Christian is not about what I do, but what Jesus has done for me. So, I decided to trust in Him and turn away from my sin.”
Gracey’s journey towards faith didn’t end there. One of her small group leaders, who had developed a close relationship with her, committed to walk alongside her through conversations about baptism, discipleship, and next steps in her faith journey. This dedicated support system ensured that Gracey would continue to grow in her newfound faith.
More than Just One Night
Gracey’s story was just one among many that were celebrated by the participating churches during One Night. The event not only encouraged the students but also served as a source of inspiration and encouragement for the churches involved. “Ministry happens so much better when you do it together with others, whether that’s others in your city or just in your church,” Polston said. The collaboration among these churches fostered an environment of unity, where lives were transformed, and the Gospel was shared with a new generation.
The impact of ONE Night continues to extend beyond a single event. It serves as a catalyst for ongoing collaboration and ministry among the churches involved. The collective efforts of these church leaders demonstrates the power of unity, as they work together to make Jesus known among the youth in their communities.
*Names have been changed.