Churches, business and agency leaders need to be invited into a common spiritual experience for their city. This is the foundation of gospel movements over the past 30-years, with expressions like Concerts of Prayer Greater New York’s Pastors’ Prayer Summit, The Lord’s Watch (daily prayer) and various other city-wide prayer and Scripture reading campaigns being classic examples.
Every movement needs common language or “semantic currency,” such as Luther’s “95 Theses” for the Reformation. Even prayer requires submission to unity. We need to be careful not to let our commitment to our own theology or methodologies divide us.
Compelling Research Spawns Results
Whether it’s as basic as online population, employment, academic performance and immigration research, or as sophisticated as hiring professionals to gather detailed and granular research on a community, city or region, good research compels action.
We have discovered that the average leader in the average church has little idea of what is actually happening in their city. Armed with compelling research, the informed church can rally around common challenges, and establish powerful agreement on what needs to be done as well as what they can accomplish together.
Training Existing Leadership & Cultivating Milennial Leadership
It is critical to provide training for gospel movement practitioners. The majority of city movements in North America are currently led by Caucasian, male baby-boomers. While these leaders are passionate and effective mobilizers, they sometimes lack the organizational capacity that is needed to move beyond the ‘awareness and spiritual discipline’ phase and become effective at envisioning and skillfully deploying leaders around areas of common passion. Unique training is needed for each entity, in what we call the “3-legged stool”: church leader, marketplace leader and mission agency leader.
Success Today Propels Success Tomorrow
Nothing is more compelling than being able to agree on the big, audacious outcomes, whether it be growing Christianity in a region to 15% of the general population in ten years, or rebuilding 200 million dollars in housing in a specific neighborhood — as accomplished by the Harlem Congregation for Community Improvement in New York City. If an informed leadership team can agree to work toward a God-inspired, tangible outcome over a five, 10 or 20 year period, it will provide the spiritual rails for the movement to run for the next generation.