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JUNE 2013: CITY MOVEMENTS COMING OF AGE

June 5, 2013

So, how are you handling the dizzying pace of today’s culture change? While I find it mostly distracting and draining, I’m glad to report that the advance of God’s eternal kingdom is also accelerating. Increasingly, we are seeing concrete answers to Jesus’ John 17 prayer for relational oneness among his followers: covenant kingdom communities, the Body of Christ getting healthier, and working together more effectively in cities and regions.

I believe we’re well into the “early majority” phase of the city transformation paradigm. In any authentic movement, there are early pioneers, innovators, early adopters. Well, now we’re seeing numerous evangelical congregations, organizations and denominations jumping into the city movement mix. I’m just back from a consultation hosted by the Willow Creek Association in Chicago, a blend of veteran city practitioners and leaders of national organizations. Here’s a typical working session:

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So, who’s at this table? Mac Pier, Director of the New York City Leadership Center and prime mover of “Movement Day,” Jim Herrington, point man of “Mission Houston,” Cindy Kirk, representing the Luis Palau Association, and Gary Schmitz, executive team member of an emerging kingdom coalition in greater Kansas City. And here’s the main, plain topic: how do we better engage in collaborative, cross-sector partnering to more effectively reach our cities with the gospel?

FRESH OFFERINGS: WHAT FRONTLINE IS UP TO THESE DAYS

So, check out http://www.movementday.com. I believe this is the innovative edge of the city movement paradigm today, this year happening Thursday, October 10. And I also formally invite you to “city Advance,” a highly interactive leadership learning community I and other colleagues facilitate on the Tuesday-Wednesday prior to Movement Day. Check it out. Consider bringing a team from your city or region.

I’ve also just wrapped up the manuscript for a new book, current working title: The Practitioners Guide to Building City Gospel Movements. Hoping for a Winter or early Spring 2014 release. After a straight up Chapter, The “City Church:” Biblical? Achievable? we engage an in-the-trenches look at how to grow John 17 covenantal communities in your world.

I’m convinced also that we are beginning to see modern day biblical Antiochs emerge, places of learning, training, sending…from which kingdom servants will go, and to which men and women will come. And, like the works of the Spirit in the book of Acts, I see city movements today on the cutting-edge of kingdom expanse, partnering to touch both the unengaged and unreached peoples of our planet. June 17-21, I participate in a consultation of international leaders hosted by the Lausanne Movement addressing this very topic.

So, before you move on, take an extra minute and take a fresh look at “Ministry Offerings.” I’d be honored to drop into your community any time and help your movement grow to the next level.

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