It somehow seems especially appropriate that we remember Dr. Billy Graham’s passing the week of February 18th. It is in the beginning of the 2018 Lenten Season. The theme for last week was the Promise of God. This Sunday’s readings included Genesis 12 and Romans 4, the great promise to Abraham and the great exposition of the promise by Paul–God would bless the nations of the earth through Abraham.
On Tuesday, January 30 – Thursday, February 1, 2018 forty leaders from Dallas were hosted in Washington, D.C. by the Movement Day Greater Dallas (MDGD) leadership team. The purpose of the trip was to deepen relationships between multi-racial pastoral communities. Pastors have been journeying together in Dallas with MDGD for five years. This multi-racial coalition was crucial in responding to the July 2016 shootings where five local police officers were killed. Mayor Mike Rawlings, who has been a close friend of MDGD, levied the support of the pastoral community to bring hope and healing to the city during that critical time.
On Saturday, February 3rd, Movement Day Charlotte launched as a catalyst for action by the unified church of greater Charlotte, North Carolina. Movement Day Charlotte is more than a day! It’s a movement of Christian leaders impacting the Queen City together through the Gospel.
900 leaders from 200 churches gathered for a day of worship, proclamation, instruction, discussing all pointing toward action in addressing the spiritual and social needs of Charlotte. Dr. Leighton Ford, respected world evangelist, said the gathering was the largest number of churches in Charlotte since Billy Graham spoke at Panther Stadium.
I was privileged to participate in the Pray for Oslo gatherings January 11-12th along with my wife Marya. Marya’s family emigrated from Norway.
This week of prayer is now in its 18th year. More than 2,000 leaders gathered from 23 churches across the city. The Saturday portion of the week will include neighborhood prayer walks.
For church leaders looking for inspirational role models, South African Alan Platt has offered a model of determination and fortitude in the face of Apartheid, widespread apathy and other steep challenges for over three decades.
Through his role in Pretoria-based Doxa Deo East, Platt took a bold approach to ministry during one of the most difficult times in South Africa’s history and turned it into an opportunity for inclusion and growth. Today, Doxa Deo serves 30,000 people in eleven different campuses functioning as one integrated church. Platt told his story at Movement Day Global Cities 2016.
Five hundred leaders gathered in Moscow on Wednesday, November 29 – Saturday, December 2 to catalyze the next generation of evangelism across Russia and the former Soviet states. Moscow is the second largest city in Europe at 15 million with 35,000 Protestants. St. Petersburg is the 4th largest European city.
1. Phoenix, Arizona
Movement Day Arizona was attended by 100 churches wrestling with a range of issues including foster care, underperforming schools, and church planting.
President Brian Mueller of Grand Canyon University described the impact they are having on their Hispanic neighborhood — incubating businesses, educating students, and neighborhood tutoring in a local high school. GCU was our host site, one of the fastest growing universities in the world.
To achieve unity and combat secularism, we need to lower the walls between denominations and races, said Dr. Tim Keller, founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church.
While denominations are important, there is too much division among Christian churches along racial and ethnic lines, Keller told the audience at Movement Day Global Cities. His topic was “The future of global city gospel movements.”
“Right now there are seven-foot high walls between denominations and races,” he said. “They need to come down by about three feet, but you don’t’ want the richness of that diversity to go away. Every racial and ethnic group brings unique gifts delivered by God.”
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.
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