This week, over 3,000 Christian leaders and emerging leaders from 95 countries are gathering in New York City for the 6th annual "Movement Day Global Cities" (MDGC) to discuss how to collaboratively impact their respective cities through the gospel.
Held October 25-27, MDGC is designed to transform the world's cities by addressing social challenges including the refugee crisis, human trafficking, poverty, fatherlessness, under-performing education, and encouraging collaborative partnerships as a means to transform a city.
"Movement Day seeks to bring the body of Christ together to actually bridge the chasms that are evident in our city," Dr. Craig Sider, President of the New York City Leadership Center, told The Gospel Herald. "While the top issues affecting cities vary from city to city and country to country, there are some that are universal."
He added, "Within the church, far too often there is what we call in the body of Christ the 'Samaria Effect,' where you're geographically close to one another as churches and ministries, but you're relationally distant. You nod to each other, but you don't collaborate together and work together in the city. A great need is for the body of Christ is to come together and say, 'What are the realities facing us as a city, and how do we work together to address them?'"
This year, MDGC involves an unprecedented contingent of speakers and thousands of leaders from around the globe, including United Arab Emirates, India, Philippines, Belgium, Rwanda, Lebanon and South Africa. Some of the speakers include Dr. Tim Keller, Dr. Luis Palau, Bishop Claude Alexander, Ms. Vandana Kripalani, Dr. Jayakumar Christian, Dr. Tony Evans, Mr. Bob Doll, and more.
Sider recalled: "A friend of mine who attended the event three years ago said to me, 'That was one of my first pictures of Revelations 7 together in one room: You had Hispanics, African Americans, Caucasians, folks from Pentecostal, Presbyterian, Nazarene, Baptist traditions, the affluent and the working class - altogether in one room addressing the Gospel in the city.'"
Despite its name, MDGC is more than just one day: Throughout the week, a dozen ancillary events will take place, including a national discussion on race, the executive summit for senior-level leaders, a conference focusing on the global issues impacting children in our cities, gatherings for millennial leaders and a celebration of women church/ministry leaders.
"Movement Day is really bringing people around the same table, although and saying 'Ok, here are the realities of the city - how do we link arms together and address those challenges?'" Sider said. "Church leaders don't need our organization - they need each other. We really help to facilitate the body of Christ coming together. It's not that we're at the center of that; we take this hand and link it together with that hand."
He added, "We are more effective if we affirm other churches and other ministries that exist in our cities. It begins with relationships, and when churches and ministries form relationships, it really changes how we look at the city. It begins with relationships, and flows from relationships to practical realities and pressing needs of the city."
For more information or to register for Movement Day Global Cities: http://movementday.com. Movement Day Global Cities is being convened by The New York City Leadership Center, founded by Dr. Mac Pier.