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Regional Cities Leading the Way for Movement Day United Kingdom

December 14, 2018

“Church, Commercial, Civic, and Community; each of these strategic leadership quarters contribute to influencing people and places.” Ian Mayer (Director of Movement Day Doncaster)

More than just an event, Movement Day UK is a year-round, long-term initiative to create social, cultural and spiritual transformation across the UK through citywide unity. Two stories from 2018 gatherings show the power of the Gospel to bring communities together.

Doncaster United

Building on two decades of Christian unity and the work of two groups—One Heart One Voice and Mission Doncaster, on June 20, 2018, leaders of the city, community groups and churches gathered at Cast Theatre Complex in Doncaster to ask the question:

“What’s next for our borough?”

Movement Day Doncaster featured day and evening sessions uniting leaders and stakeholders from charities, the local council, the chamber of commerce, churches of different denominations and community groups to really delve into a new understanding of the state of their borough and begin to see a way forward to develop vision together for Doncaster.

“We honor the dedicated work of many leaders across Doncaster over 20 years,” says Roger Sutton, Director of Movement Day UK and Global Hub Leader for UK/Southern Europe, “They have helped create a wonderful culture of loving unity. This unity has and is producing fruit across the city with the Church becoming more strategic and coordinated than ever before.”

Sutton believes MD Doncaster is setting a template for other UK cities to follow. “This is the first of many cities around the country who will be taking their unity on to another level.”

Bristol Building Community

A powerful coming together of businesses, the public sector, charities, and churches,

“Building Bristol as a City of Hope – Working together to transform the city for good” was held May 5, 2018 in the town’s city hall. This important  gathering included panel discussions and presentations establishing some of the biggest needs of the city, with four key themes emerging:

  1. Connection – the discussions highlighted a need for increased connectivity and closer relationships between and across all sectors. These relationships should be based on a shared cultural values system.
  2. Access to information – The talks earlier in the event emphasized the importance for us all to know what the needs are and what’s already available. Are there untapped resources that could be utilized to meet the needs of Bristol?
  3. Action – There was a sense that not only should we talk about what could be done but we must act too.
  4. Diversity – There was a sense that the ‘City of Hope’ movement should be making use of the knowledge and skills of a diverse audience, raising equality and access for all.

Both of these successful gatherings epitomize Movement Day UK’s goals to unite the church, charity, business and public sectors in our communities, breaking through isolation to address significant issues and create unity.

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Fast-growing Movement Day Africa Seeks Solutions to Poverty, Isolation & Religious Misinformation

December 14, 2018

“I know that without peace and development people cannot grow. It is a very sad reality, but in some African countries, conflict stops everything. It stops development” – Bishop XX

Though over half of its population is Christian, expanding Movement Day’s presence throughout Africa presents unique challenges, from poverty to primitive technology to the isolation of individual countries.

Movement Day Africa also is tackling the problem faced by Movement Day Expressions globally—motivating local churches and congregations to break out of their “silo” mentality, interact and work together for change, said Hermann Loubser, who assumed the role of Managing Director of Movement Day Africa in spring of 2018, after several years of working on behalf of this movement.

A Brief History

Despite the challenges, Movement Day Africa has caught fire, growing extensively over the past few years. Africa actually hosted the first Movement Day outside the United States, with representatives from South Africa and 14 other nations attending 2015’s City Changers Movement Day Pretoria (South Africa).

The movement gained momentum when 286 delegates attended 2016’s Movement Day Global Cities gathering in New York City. In 2017, four Movement Day expressions organized by different leadership teams were held in Pretoria, Cape Town, Durban, and Nairobi (East Africa).

They served as a catalyst for a continent-wide gathering in 2018, where more than 600 leaders from 49 African Cities gathered in Nairobi for Movement Day Africa.

Uniting a Disparate Continent

“To outsiders, Africa sounds like it’s one community where everybody works together and knows each other, but it’s not like that. It’s not like China. The reality of Africa is that each country is extremely unique,” Loubser said.  “For example, in general, Victoria enjoys having conferences, but in Johannesburg, we’re all conferenced out.”

Limited technology and communication present problems. “We face a really big challenge with technology to make sure the word gets out. If you want to hold a conference for all of North America, it’s easy,” he explained.  “However, in Africa, if you want to schedule a conference call, some of the leaders have to travel four hours to access the Internet to dial in. With this limited access, you can’t arrange a meeting by just sending an email.”

Setting Priorities

In a continent facing so many challenges, setting priorities is essential. Loubser identified Movement Day Africa’s top three as:

  1. Youth. “The average age in Africa is  19.5. That means we have a huge focus on youth,” he said. “We’ve started engaging with youth and young adults to develop leaders for the next generation.”
  2. Multiplying Churches is a significant part of their mission. A legacy of misinformation was left behind after Roman Catholic, Presbyterian and other missionaries set up churches across the continent, which were left to local leaders to run. The result — false theology, with many congregations sanctioning polygamy and other practices not in scripture.
  3. Poverty. When working with communities in Africa, where unemployment is as high as 50%, poverty is almost always a priority, Loubser said. “We’re looking to work more with the marginalized communities. In Africa, that almost always means poverty.”  He adds that working with existing charities, and using Movement Day’s pulpit to spread awareness, has proven effective.

“In this area, partnerships are important. We’re coming alongside organizations that are already making a difference and providing exposure through our website.” He cites ‘To Mould, To Empower, To Serve’ (MES), an organization in Johannesburg that’s already helping about 2,000 homeless people a month.

The Future: 61 Cities

In 2018, church leaders from 49 African cities signed the Nairobi Agreement, which sets an ambitious but attainable goal of establishing a Movement Day presence in 61 African cities over the next five years.

“We have 49 cities and 15 others where God is calling us,” Loubser said.

In 2019, Victoria, Cape Town, Rwanda, and Zambia will host expressions, Nairobi will host a local event, while Johannesburg and Harare will host leadership events, he added.

Opportunities abound across Africa, where not only is the average age under 20, but thousands are moving from rural communities to cities every day. The opportunity for growth and development is unprecedented.

Read More

Fast-growing Movement Day Africa Seeks Solutions to Poverty, Isolation & Religious Misinformation

December 14, 2018

“I know that without peace and development people cannot grow. It is a very sad reality, but in some African countries, conflict stops everything. It stops development” – Bishop XX

Though over half of its population is Christian, expanding Movement Day’s presence throughout Africa presents unique challenges, from poverty to primitive technology to the isolation of individual countries.

Movement Day Africa also is tackling the problem faced by Movement Day Expressions globally—motivating local churches and congregations to break out of their “silo” mentality, interact and work together for change, said Hermann Loubser, who assumed the role of Managing Director of Movement Day Africa in spring of 2018, after several years of working on behalf of this movement.

A Brief History

Despite the challenges, Movement Day Africa has caught fire, growing extensively over the past few years. Africa actually hosted the first Movement Day outside the United States, with representatives from South Africa and 14 other nations attending 2015’s City Changers Movement Day Pretoria (South Africa).

The movement gained momentum when 286 delegates attended 2016’s Movement Day Global Cities gathering in New York City. In 2017, four Movement Day expressions organized by different leadership teams were held in Pretoria, Cape Town, Durban, and Nairobi (East Africa).

They served as a catalyst for a continent-wide gathering in 2018, where more than 600 leaders from 49 African Cities gathered in Nairobi for Movement Day Africa.

Uniting a Disparate Continent

“To outsiders, Africa sounds like it’s one community where everybody works together and knows each other, but it’s not like that. It’s not like China. The reality of Africa is that each country is extremely unique,” Loubser said.  “For example, in general, Victoria enjoys having conferences, but in Johannesburg, we’re all conferenced out.”

Limited technology and communication present problems. “We face a really big challenge with technology to make sure the word gets out. If you want to hold a conference for all of North America, it’s easy,” he explained.  “However, in Africa, if you want to schedule a conference call, some of the leaders have to travel four hours to access the Internet to dial in. With this limited access, you can’t arrange a meeting by just sending an email.”

Setting Priorities

In a continent facing so many challenges, setting priorities is essential. Loubser identified Movement Day Africa’s top three as:

  1. Youth. “The average age in Africa is  19.5. That means we have a huge focus on youth,” he said. “We’ve started engaging with youth and young adults to develop leaders for the next generation.”
  2. Multiplying Churches is a significant part of their mission. A legacy of misinformation was left behind after Roman Catholic, Presbyterian and other missionaries set up churches across the continent, which were left to local leaders to run. The result — false theology, with many congregations sanctioning polygamy and other practices not in scripture.
  3. Poverty. When working with communities in Africa, where unemployment is as high as 50%, poverty is almost always a priority, Loubser said. “We’re looking to work more with the marginalized communities. In Africa, that almost always means poverty.”  He adds that working with existing charities, and using Movement Day’s pulpit to spread awareness, has proven effective.

“In this area, partnerships are important. We’re coming alongside organizations that are already making a difference and providing exposure through our website.” He cites ‘To Mould, To Empower, To Serve’ (MES), an organization in Johannesburg that’s already helping about 2,000 homeless people a month.

The Future: 61 Cities

In 2018, church leaders from 49 African cities signed the Nairobi Agreement, which sets an ambitious but attainable goal of establishing a Movement Day presence in 61 African cities over the next five years.

“We have 49 cities and 15 others where God is calling us,” Loubser said.

In 2019, Victoria, Cape Town, Rwanda, and Zambia will host expressions, Nairobi will host a local event, while Johannesburg and Harare will host leadership events, he added.

Opportunities abound across Africa, where not only is the average age under 20, but thousands are moving from rural communities to cities every day. The opportunity for growth and development is unprecedented.

Read More

2020’s Movement Day Seattle Bringing Unity to the Northwest

December 14, 2018

Known for rain, coffee, hipsters, and a strong community spirit, Seattle also is home to a thriving Christian community, one that’s working together on a two-year plan to launch a Movement Day Expression in 2020.

Helping lead this mission is Chris Gough, Director of Church Engagement for Seattle’s Light Up the Sky. Chris already helps organize a network of 23 congregations across the Emerald City’s metropolitan area, all working together to improve their communities, providing a strong foundation for a Movement Day Expression in 2020.

Inspiration from MDE’s Small

The idea to pursue a Movement Day Expression grew out of 2017’s 4th Annual Advance Conference, a gathering of local leaders, with guest speakers & testimony. Input from speaker Ebony Small motivated Gough and others to consider expanding their city’s successful community-building work into something even larger—a Seattle Expression.

The Advance Conference was an important initiative, but, because it was limited to just 150 area leaders, was beginning to feel too small, Gough said.  Local organizers wondered what it would look like to expand that impactful conversation to over 1,000, planting a seed for an expression in one of America’s fastest-growing cities.

Keeping the Focus Local

Enthusiasm for the work Seattle leaders are doing has spread south to Portland, OR, east to Spokane and north to Vancouver, B.C. Though representatives from these regions may play a role, Movement Day Seattle will focus on the Puget Sound area, much like Movement Day New York City has redirected its focus on the tri-state region.

There’s lots of outreach and team building work to be done. Seattle is defining a mission for 2020! Before hosting an expression, its empowered church leadership needs to inspire business and community leaders to share its vision of a united city, said Gough.

He emphasizes that in addition to further uniting church, city and business organizations, MD Seattle will focus on promoting and improving the quality of Foster Care in the Puget Sound region is a priority for Light Up the City and will be a cornerstone of MD Seattle’s mission.

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Global Cities Leadership Community

March 16, 2018

In 2014, we partnered in convening city leaders, senior pastors and parachurch leaders from five continents to form the Global Cities Leadership Community. Many are independent, others active in the Lausanne Movement.

“We’re working together to accelerate city movements,” says Movement Day Expressions Director, Ebony Small. “Our members are mobilizers. We’ve been journeying for the past four years in terms of achieving a broader learning community.”

(more…)

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Global Impact/Expansion

March 16, 2018

God is rearranging the global population! Around the world, more than 12 million people move into cities every month. The global urban population is expected to double to 6.4 of 9.1 billion by 2050, representing 70% of the world’s population. Many of these transplants are moving from villages with a strong ratio of churches to residents to urban areas with fewer churches to serve their booming communities.

Movement Day serves to reach this population by spreading the Gospel to these cities, convening leaders to address today’s urban issues and catalyzing them to collaborate through Christian unity.

(more…)

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Movement Day Charlotte

March 16, 2018

The inaugural Movement Day (MD) Charlotte (held Feb. 3 at the Sheraton Meridien) was an “overnight success” several years in the making, selling over 900 tickets in the final weeks leading up to the gathering. Its success wasn’t a foregone conclusion, however. Just over a month before the event, the organizers feared for its success; they’d sold only 200 tickets as of January 1st.

(more…)

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