If you’ve been following us on social media for the past couple of weeks, you may have noticed that some of our team made a trip up to New York City. This was a defining trip for us as an organization, and we wanted to share exactly why we went and what we learned there. This post isn’t to highlight the fact that we made the trip. It was fun for all of us, but that’s not the point. The point is that we saw God move mightily while we were in New York, and we want to share with you what we experienced while we were there:
MOVEMENT DAY & 10 CITIES
The conference we went to was called Movement Day. On a functional level, Movement Day is essentially responsible for the existence of INITIATIVE in many different ways (other than God orchestrating it all, of course). Movement Day is a gathering of ministry, non-profit, and business leaders from all over the country coming together in a spirit of unity to discuss the importance of reaching their cities and to develop long term plans on how they can work together to meet the spiritual and tangible needs of their city. It was started by Pastor Tim Keller five years ago. INITIATIVE was birthed out of the first ever Movement Day Greater Dallas this past January.
The day before Movement Day was a smaller, related conference called 10 Cities. 10 Cities is a smaller meeting of a select number of leaders from the ten largest cities in America. Each year, two cities present what God is doing in their cities and how other cities can hop on board. This year, the two presenting cities were Denver and Dallas. INITIATIVE had the honor of speaking on a Q&A panel at the end of Dallas’ session on how to engage and mobilize young adults.
Movement Day Greater Dallas is essentially the same thing, but hyper-focused on the needs of Dallas and only a gathering of leaders from Dallas. INITIATIVE is actually designing the evening session for MDGD, and we have a discount for anyone who signs up to attend through INITIATIVE. That discount will be at the bottom of this post.
We saw and learned a ton while we were at these two events in New York City. Here are three key take-aways we had after the trip:
THE CHURCH IS DESPERATE FOR YOUNG ADULTS
We always want to emphasize the fact that we don’t believe are adults are the answer to the Church’s problems. However, we definitely want to make it known that we are part of the answer. There is a table in the Church where decisions are made and courses of direction are set and, for far too long, there have been empty chairs where young adults should be sitting. Young adults aren’t entitled to those chairs unless they are setting an example for the believers (1 Timothy 4:12), however, the Church benefits from the presence of young adults having an equal place at the table. All of Jesus’ disciples were under the age of 21. Jesus saw the importance of young adults.
The good news is, the Church is beginning to see the importance as well. During INITIATIVE’s session at 10 Cities, it was apparent that God wanted to say something. Everyone was sitting up, listening closely to what we had to say on young adults. Afterwards, we were flocked to by many of the leaders in the room, all asking questions along the lines of, “How do we engage the younger generation?”, “How do we keep young adults from leaving the church?”, “How can we better utilize the young adults in our congregation?”
It was clear. The Church is desperate for young adults. The Church is desperate for you.
GOD IS MOVING MIGHTILY ACROSS THE COUNTRY, NOT JUST DALLAS
It’s well known that we’re a little biased towards our own city of Dallas. It’s extremely important to have a laser-focus on this beautiful city where we live so we can most effectively reach it for God’s Glory and Kingdom. However, the one side-effect of this dedication to your own city is missing out on what God is doing in other cities across the nation and even the world.
God is doing some pretty incredible things across the country and we got to see just a glimpse of it while we were in New York City. If you think the Church is becoming increasingly unified here (how many times do you see 17 extremely diverse churches partner for a unified prayer and worship event?), the Church is coming together similarly all across the country. We were able to pray, worship, and learn with churches from all across the racial, generational, denominational, and geographic spectrum. It was amazing to see people from all of these different, diverse churches meeting, talking, becoming friends, and finding ways they can work together for the Gospel in their cities.
It seems that the move of God in this day and age is one of unity. Too long we’ve been divided by our secondary issues. God is filling the cracks that have developed throughout history and have divided us. The unified bride of Christ is far more beautiful than one with the cracks of division.
GOD STILL USES ORDINARY PEOPLE
For us, it was crazy just being there. The fact that we, some ordinary young adults from Dallas, had been invited to that table never ceased to be absolutely ridiculous in our minds. God has done some amazing things through INITIATIVE in this past year, but we’re just ordinary people who decided to be faithful to what God had put before us. It’s crazy to think that, just over a year ago, we were sitting in the same dorm rooms, cheap apartments, and borrowed couches that we are sitting in right now when we were planning on how to execute the vision God had laid on our hearts. And though INITIATIVE has changed our lives forever, our everyday lives haven’t changed too much.
Most of us are still in college. Most of us still have school projects, rent payments, low bank accounts, still wondering if we’re gonna get that side job in whatever it is that we do so that we can take care of the daily necessities while we devote our time to what God has called us to do. We’re not special. We’re everyday young adults. But as we sat there at Movement Day and 10 Cities in New York City, we realized that we were ordinary young adults who have found ourselves caught up in a story far greater than ourselves: God’s story. God’s story of redemption and restoration in the world and in each and every individual soul. And God has decided to allow every young adult who follows Him to be apart of that story.
So yeah, New York City was big. But not because it was a cool vacation or it made for good Instagram posts, but because we got to see God move mightily firsthand. God is at work, and you’re invited into it.
MOVEMENT DAY GREATER DALLAS
January 22, 2015