The first Movement Day in China and for North Asia was held March 23-24 at EFCC Kong Fok Church. The gathering took place at the end of a 52 week prayer emphasis for the city.
Hong Kong is part of a one country two systems governance. The city has religious freedom and operates with a capitalist economic model.
The Road To Movement Day Hong Kong (MDHK)
A team of seven traveled to Movement Day Global Cities in New York City in October 2016. They were envisioned to bring the model to Hong Kong. The city of 7.4 million has a Christian population of 12% according to the latest government statistics. There are at least 1300 Chinese speaking churches including a small number of Mandarin speaking churches, and 60 International Churches in the Protestant Community. There are a million Mandarin speaking Hong Kong with very little Christian Presence.
The core team is led by Natalie Chan, Director of Ray Bakke Centre for Urban Transformation. John and Sandra Snelgrove have been 30 year residents of Hong Kong (HK). They have a remarkable presence as spiritual statesmen and pastors in the city. Peter Lam pastors the Kong Fok Church and has a great passion for the unity of the church.
I began traveling to Hong Kong in January 2017. During my four trips last year I met with 800 leaders who demonstrated a great passion for the city. The gatherings spoke to the level of organization and respect the core group represented.
Themes of Movement Day
The core team was committed to drawing attention to several important issues i.e. stubborn facts in the city:
- The great need for evangelism. A city wide Gospel festival was held end of 2017 involving over 900 churches. Alpha, under the leadership of Jason Young, has emerged as a global best practice with 500 groups meeting in HK. HK has the greatest number of Marketplace Alpha groups in the world. There are many first generation Christians who fearlessly take the Gospel into the marketplace. Thanks to leaders like Dilys Chau and YK Chan there are very robust gospel outreaches throughout the year.
- Faith and work. Hong Kong is a vocationally centric city with Christians sprinkled into every strata of work. Groups like Faith & Work from Community Church Hong Kong under Steve Gaultney’s leadership are creating vibrant networks of leaders.
- Housing: the cost of housing is a punishing reality for Hong Kong citizens. There is a great hunger to apply models that free up housing for vulnerable citizens.
- Justice: Hong Kong has the second greatest income disparity between rich and poor of any city in the world after New York City. HK has a robust network of leaders working on justice issues including a Poverty Network.
- Young People: As in many Asian cities, HK has a swelling young people population. There are global movements like Young Life with a strong work and indigenous Chinese agencies impacting young people. There are also vibrant university fellowships. I attended a forum led by the Christian Law Student Fellowship discussing the integration of faith and work in the very demanding realm of lawyering in HK.
- The conference itself had a powerful array of diverse speakers: men and women, diverse generationally, and tri-lingual. The artistry of the gathering was very strong with a young leader gospel choir, theatrical reading of Scripture, and a string quartet.
- Mobilization: there is a desire to connect volunteers to the themes of the 11 tracks. Follow up meetings are being organized immediately following the gathering.
- Research: Bethel Bible Seminary is deploying doctoral students to launch research around important themes in the city corresponding to the 11 tracks. This research will inform the content for future collaboration.
- Growing the team: the desire is to involve increased number of leaders from the Chinese speaking as well as international communities. In a very complex city, it is increasingly important that the team designing and leading Movement Day grows to reflect that diversity.
By: Dr. Mac Pier, CEO & Founder of The New York City Leadership Center