Movement Day UK: seeking God together for the future of our places
Christians have been challenged to strive for greater unity and co-ordination in order to transform the places where they live
The call came as part of Movement Day UK, a two-day gathering which took place at Methodist Central Hall in London last Friday and Saturday (6 and 7 October).
The event’s vision was ‘a passion to see our places transformed in every area of culture,’ explained Baptist minister and Movement Day director Roger Sutton.
The event brought together around 1,000 people including church leaders, leaders and practitioners from different spheres of society. It consisted of plenary sessions, seminars and live-learning track sessions which aimed to connect people working in similar areas.
It also included an ecumenical prayer gathering took place in Parliament Square on Friday afternoon (below).
Roger said the hope was to increase our understanding of how ‘we can release and enable the Body of Christ to engage with different spheres of society such as the arts, politics, business, education, health and media.’ Holistic transformation across our places ‘requires the whole body with the whole gospel to reach the whole city.’
‘More than ever, we need to be operating as one body, in a prayerful, strategic and coordinated way,’ he continued, ‘Movement Day UK is about the future of our places, each having their own unique set of challenges and opportunities.
'It is about God’s promise; that wherever we set our feet, He will give us the land.’
In the opening plenary session Roger praised the different ways churches already serve their communities. But he said it’s not as co-ordinated or strategic or unified as it could be, and at its worst, can be competitive.
‘We are arguing for more strategic co-ordination,’ he told delegates.
In some places this is already happening. He spoke about the number of examples of Christian unity he had witnessed in his role as director of Gather, a national network of Unity movements across the UK, and his amazement at the depth of friendships he had witnessed. The stories have been collated in his new book A Gathering Momentum.
But he believes much more is to come. ‘We believe this is a movement of the Holy Spirit. God is drawing His people together to bless our places with His love.’
There were several messages for churches. They were encouraged to 'release' their people, recognise their mission field and the importance of whole life discipleship. Worship doesn't end on a Sunday. As an example, Roger asked when was the last time we gathered the Christian teachers in our places, and prayed for the 10 worst schools? Churches both small and large were encouraged to recognise their place in the bigger picture, explore different opportunities to collaborate and develop relationships with others.
In the final plenary session Roger invited Lynn Green, Baptists Together General Secretary to reflect on what happens next. Two things stood out, she shared with delegates. Firstly the importance of communicating what’s happening around the country in order to inspire others. The second thing was conversation: how do we need to be as a movement in order to bless and encourage this kind of collaboration in our towns and cities?
The true fruit of the gathering wouldn’t be measured until several years down the line, Roger said. He encouraged Christians to consider having local Movement Days.
‘What about gathering the church, Christian organisations, and more importantly Christians in education, the arts, politics and government for an event and having a conversation about the future of your place? What would your place look like in 15 years time if we really got our act together?
‘It’s been an awesome time here – that could be an experience for you. Movement Day is a stunning way to look at the future of your place.’
Register your interest by emailing Roger at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit http://movementday.uk/ for more information.
I went to Movement Day 2017. It could be the future of the UK church A major UK Christian conference for unity and social transformation took place this weekend. Matthew Rhodes of Streatham Baptist Church was there and says a truly united, multicoloured church could spark a revolution (Premier Christianity)
Seeking peace and prosperity for our towns and cities Hundreds of Christians gathered at Westminster Central Hall on 6 and 7 October to seek the peace and prosperity of their towns, cities and places (Evangelical Alliance)