Each year, Movement Day features speakers who come to educate, inspire, challenge, and encourage city leaders. Learn more about the world-renowned speakers, topic experts and practitioners scheduled to share about global issues and key urban population groups at Movement Day Global Cities 2016.
Earlier this month Ebony Small, Director of Movement Day, spoke to a unique gathering of over 100 city leaders (Q Conference Denver’s pre-City Leaders gathering) about the importance of unity and collaborative partnership amongst Christians, while addressing urban issues such as human trafficking, poverty, fatherlessness, low graduation rates, and low employment.
Q: You are passionate about unity as a means of changing the trajectory of today’s urban issues. Can you share more about the impact you see partnership having on changing the face of our cities?
The needs of cities are too great for any one leader or church to address. We exhibit a collective strength when we build partnerships to serve the city. We all have a unique vision, but the collective vision we build together I believe presents a beautiful cosmos of God’s love for the city and leaves a lasting legacy. When we work together in unity God promises to bless us.
Q: You speak often of changing the conversation about how best we can serve our cities and rise to the need for leadership within an urban context. How would you encourage today’s Christian leaders to demonstrate that there is a very relevant role for Christian leaders in society?
I would encourage city leaders to be authentic, relevant, contextual and collaborative in how they lead. Authentic in demonstrating their compassion for people and caring deeply about how urban issues are impacting their families and neighborhoods. Relevant in learning the needs of your city/region and be willing to shift your leadership towards how God is calling you to address those needs. Contextual in leading others to further develop their thinking around urban issues, even the polarizing ones, and leading others into the same knowledge with a profound sense of grace and mercy. Collaborative in that we need to be intentional about serving other leaders and building partnership with them. I believe that in doing so people will see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven.
Q: You advise the leadership of other cities as they work to host an expression of Movement Day in their region. Can you share what you have been encouraged by in this process?
I am deeply encouraged by the rapid pace in which city leadership teams in Dallas (Texas), Pretoria (South Africa), Port-Au-Prince (Haiti), London (United Kingdom), Phoenix (Arizona) and so many others are responding to the call of greater unity and collaboration in service of our cities. It is truly phenomenal to witness and the greatest testimony to the mission we labor in daily.
Q: What are you most looking forward to for Movement Day Global Cities 2016?
I look forward to meeting city leaders from around the world. I look forward to celebrating with them all that God is doing in their region. I expect for my faith to be strengthened and my leadership to be changed. I look forward to hearing confirmation of the next steps we should take in shaping Movement Day’s future.
Q: What do you hope to share with leaders at Movement Day Global Cities (MDGC) this fall?
I want to remind my colleagues of this Scripture found in Romans 8:19, “For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed”. This scripture not only speaks of an eternal expectation but I believe also of a very present one. Although many may say they feel that the church is not relevant, I believe wholeheartedly that when we lead and serve well the city is encouraged that there is still hope that all things are working together for the good!