During the week of September 25th the cities of Pretoria, Cape Town, and Durban hosted Movement Day Gatherings.  1,600 leaders attended including millennial led gatherings of prayer and worship in Durban. This was a very significant follow up to Movement Day Global Cities 2016 where South Africa had more participation than any other country in the world.  There is a very vibrant Christian movement in South Africa.

In the past twenty years global initiatives such as the Global Day of Prayer, Unashamedly Ethical, and the Lausanne Movement Cape Town 2010 gatherings were all birthed out of South Africa. South Africa is part of an extraordinarily challenging context with 30% unemployment, 53% among the youth, and a Black African average annual income of $2,000. It has been described as an economic apartheid.

Hopelessness breeds despair which breeds violence.  South Africa has the highest child headed household population in the world.

SIGNS OF HOPE

The Movement Day (MD) gatherings gave evidence to several signs of hope:

– Pretoria as the political capital has some of the most mature pastoral fraternals in the world.  There is decadal history of churches working together.  Doxa Deo’s Alan Platt and Jurie Kriel has given tremendous leadership to the city.  As many as 153 churches have done common pulpit exchanges and month long sermon series.

– Cape Town has several senior statesmen in the faith community including Graham Power, Trevor Herbert and Steve Flandorp.  Steve planted a church in a Muslim community.  One of the presenters at Movement Day Cape Town was an 18 year Parliamentarian.  There was a pre-event gathering of several senior leaders in the city.

– In Durban millennial leaders led a Thursday prayer meeting before the Movement Day event, and a worship event after the MD event.  Both Cape Town and Durban have teams that are very ethnically representative of their cities.  Durban is furtherest along with millennial leadership.

LEARNINGS

South Africa is a tremendous global laboratory to wrestle with race and economic realities.  One of the critical skills that we need to develop with all of these city teams is to create 5 year measurable outcomes. In the African context, that will very certainly mean millennial leader engagement and economic entrepreneurship to create credibility for the gospel.   We need to scour the globe for best practices on these fronts. The very good news is that every city team feels affirmed, celebrated and motivated to move in this direction.  Movement Day Africa next August 23-24, 2018 promises to be spectacular in Nairobi with leaders from 35 cities represented.