I got back last week from New York where I was with 3,000 leaders from 95 countries for a global conversation about city transformation. With some great input, some good conversations over coffee and a week in the Big Apple, here are 5 things I discovered…
- We often talk about how we can bless a city but what kept coming through again and again in the plenary sessions was the reminder that as the Church, we are not just to bless our cities but to join God in bringing about transformation. It’s really exciting for me to see this sense of transformation as it really does bring together the importance of the Gospel and the Kingdom.
- As part of this whole conversation there was a reminder again that too often the Church has been so focused on ‘bums on seats’ on a Sunday morning and pastoring our flock that sometimes we have missed out on our role to pastor the city. Part of this is about working out how we better release our congregations to be agents of change. What was particularly encouraging about Movement Day was the mix of Christian entrepreneurs, social activists and artists exploring how to work more collaboratively across regions.
- I was involved in helping to lead the Arts track with the brilliant Lesley Sutton. We explored how the Arts help reflect what a city is feeling and how the Arts can be used by the Church to provide space to lament with society. Some cracking stories from around the globe such as Beyond the Ruins.
- The refugee crisis was given lots of profile. It’s so clear that this really is one of the most significant challenges of our time. We heard some moving stories from Syria. This video from World Vision was particularly powerful. The question is, how will we all practically engage with the issues?
- One of the other really encouraging things was that there was a great mish-mash of church denominations and streams. With more than 100 leaders from the UK (mostly via Gather), there is a sense that the Church is unifying with a real sense of purpose in different cities across the globe. Throughout the New Testament there is a call to unity and today it feels like the Church in its breadth and depth is learning to serve its cities in unison. Just imagine the the impact that can be achieved.
I’ll be helping to host Movement Day UK next October 6th and 7th at Methodist Central Hall to continue the conversation with an expected 1,000 leaders. Why not come and join us?
Andy Frost – Director Share Jesus International