God is at work all across the globe, and we have seen Him do some incredible things recently, specifically in Africa. We are so thankful for the way that He is using these Movement Day Expressions to unite community leaders and church leaders to participate in addressing the issues that plague each of these cities. The goal is to make the Gospel of grace, truth, mercy and justice visible and tangible; then the Kingdom of God will become more real in the life of each city.
This year there have already been three Movement Day Expressions in Africa: MD Johannesburg on January 24th, MD Pretoria on April 10th and MD Cape Town from April 29th until May 3rd. Here we have seen a renewed commitment to prayer and intentional inclusivity. We have seen deliberate invitation and fresh solutions. We have also seen more people taking ownership and taking initiative.
In Johannesburg, we had to figure out exactly what Movement Day should look like in their specific context. The beauty of Movement Day is that none are exactly the same; each movement day should reflect the city that hosts it. Methods that work really well in Montreal or Sydney aren’t necessarily going to translate seamlessly in a place that is racially, culturally and ethnically so different. The Movement Day leaders in Johannesburg had many one-on-one meetings with other key leaders in the city to collaborate on what the gathering should look like, as well as having biweekly meetings leading up to the event. With 30 leaders in attendance, we were really able to focus on some specific initiatives and together we committed to praying for the national election. This initiative spread across many churches in the city and we had a peaceful election in the country. Praise God!
There was one businessman who attended who was so moved by Movement Day’s mission that he has decided to use his time, resources, and business connections to mobilize other Christian business leaders to get involved in taking ownership for the spiritual and social flourishing of the city using their influence.
In Pretoria, we were faced with the challenge of inaccessibility. Specifically, there were leaders on the outskirts of the city who felt as though this event was difficult to get to, so originally they didn’t sign up to attend. The goal of Movement Day is to unite leaders all across these regions, so we want to create a space where leaders are able to share specific issues within their own spheres and collaborate on possible solutions. So how could we make sure that we were hearing all of the voices that needed to be heard? The city leaders took intentional step towards connecting with churches outside the city by visiting and getting to know the leaders and the culture in those communities. During Movement Day Pretoria, the city leadership in partnership with the city council provided transportation for leaders in the outskirts of the city to and from the event, ensuring that no one misses the event because of transport logistics. Due in part to this, we were able to have 500 leaders attend Movement Day Pretoria.
The city council’s participation in this event was a great win for this gospel movement. Their support shows so much more than just helping with transportation; it shows that they’re willing to invest in Movement Day, to seeing partnerships flourish and to finding answers to the problems in our city. The strong partnership that has been formed between the church city leaders and the city council is an answer to prayer. Not only did they help with the transportation issues that we faced, but the council has also opened a door for the church to facilitate prayers during the sitting of government in the city.
In Cape Town, we hosted a very strategic event that included leaders who have significant social influence so that they would be able to mobilize people for the movement. We specifically wanted attendees to have strong relationships in their cities so that they would be able to mobilize other leaders in their region. However, finances were a challenge, and most leaders found it difficult to get to Cape Town from their respective countries. Because of this we set up different sponsorships so that more leaders could attend. We ended up having 50 strategic leaders from 21 African countries for the weekend.
Georges Amoako is a church leader from Cote D’lvoire who has influence in the church in the capital city. While the church he leads and his network was quite far reaching, their only focus was growing the church and getting the community into the church. After attending the PAN African gathering, Pastor Georges was challenged in his thinking and he is taking the message of the church serving the city back to his country. We look forward with excitement to hearing many stories of transformation that are going to take place as a result of his paradigm shift!
These stories of collaboration, growth, and answered prayer are the reason that Movement Day Expressions exist. The goal is to make the name of Jesus known – to express his heart to our communities, to serve those who He might have served, and to see Him break through barriers, both in our cities and in the hearts of individuals.