About twice a year we gather leaders from our networked cities from around the Greater Seattle Region to report what is going on in their cities and communities. We also gather as a time to fellowship and to hear from a guest speaker. The purpose of these gatherings is primarily to build relationships, but also to hear from other leaders as a way to encourage and spur one another. This past Thursday we gathered again, this time at Northwestern University in Kirkland to hear from Dr. Robert Frost of Multinomah University. Dr. Frost shared the lineage of our theological streams which have, over time, brought about the many denominations of the One Church. It was a very academic, yet fascinating lecture that made many of our pastor leaders reminisce about seminary. We left encouraged as the represented networks shared the latest happenings- which we have shared below. We also will be sharing Dr. Frost's lecture- which is pretty awesome- on our YouTube page, so be on the lookout for that. Please subscribe to our Facebook page, YouTube and Instagram pages to keep up with all the many goings-on at Light Up the City. Here's our official reports of our network leaders from West Seattle, Rainier Valley, Capitol Hill, Tacoma, Shoreline, Puyallup, Issaquah, Renton, Tukwila, North Seattle and Federal Way:
Where do you sense God is pulling the church in your city? Where is He building?
West Seattle Church Collective mtg for 7 years. Lots to celebrate.
How can we believe that Jesus evangelistic strategy of making himself known is by our love for one another?
Firstly – love each other well.
Mars Hill fall out was healed through love. Joint worship and services helped in this process.
Recently it has morphed into a retreat with pastors– 2x a year for 2 days, praying for each other dreaming together, asking how we make the grace of God known to our neighbors. Understand the lost-ness of our city.
Join forces, repent of our logos/egos
Saturate the Sound – how do we see a tipping point in our region.
Churches has not kept up with the population growth of Puget sound.
How do we create Pockets of light?
1 flourishing community for every 1,000 people
225 communities in WS will allow this saturation.
Saturate helps quantify this for us. – Vision dinner upcoming, cohort developing w/ lead pastors.
The most encouraging news is there are a few new folks coming regularly to pastor’s mtgs.
Feels like a new network still. Rebuilding trust. Lived in one network circle of relationships and want to push it out another layer. Diverse network but are missing some ethnic churches that have bi-vocational pastors. We meet conveniently for those who are full time in a workday. To be serious about growing our network we need to change our meeting time but not yet ready to make that change.
Last year has been a year of transition, our original leader transitioned to a new job locally but he did the hard work to reach out to churches in CH which built the group. His transition left us without the legwork needed to bring in new voices/perspectives. This year we looked at what do we want our group in CH to be? Not all of us have the bandwidth to do this legwork. It’s been a long process but we are starting to flourish again. New perspectives and faces have helped the group but we need more intentionality on this, to reach out to the more historical African American churches in our neighborhood. We have had some good times of loving each other and interceding in prayer for our city. Starting to practice monthly prayer.
Perspectives course has taken movement in our city and has caused movement. 2 years ago prayer started from the perspectives course. The last few months the prayer gathering has fizzled out. A big prayer point is for someone to come forward who can champion city prayer, to see that continue. People are hungry for prayer in our city. City Central is now hosting perspectives and we are hoping it will gather the churches in the community. Two churches in Tacoma are merging, and shifts are happening. In July a tragedy hit our city with missionaries who were murdered in the republic of Georgia. Through the tragedy people have come together.
Steve Ullmer is taking a year sabbatical. There is a Thursday morning prayer gathering that has about 5 participating weekly. Ginny is bringing some better focus to engage more people. Every month by church by day people pray but not the full calendar is full.
1,000 backpacks for kids were gathered for the back to school event. National day of prayer had about 100 people, down from previous years but was well received and felt the unity of the bond.
2-3 new things in the city have people’s attention Homelessness, Mental Health crisis and Addictions. Two churches in Shoreline that have Celebrate Recovery and the network is helping bring churches together. Mentoring is another vision for churches. Hoping through Youth Wise that there will be a mentor for every at risk kid.
30-35 pastors in John 17 fellowship for 8 years. Lots of school partnerships, intentionally for the last 2 years, a foundation in town paid for a staff member to be the liaison between schools and churches. Looking into launching the foster care network in Puyallup this year. There are some works happening for the bio family who has lost a kid where outreach is happening. Challenges: 1 ½ year ago conversations that shift the focus. 32 pastors involved. Now how do we change what we do. We can’t guarantee transformation so we have a hard time promising the promises of God. We are having these challenging conversations together. Prayer mtg Oct 18th and our hope is that God will invite us to a place of repentance. If we don’t have to do it, we probably would rather not.
The only people mtg in Issaquah are the central streams of people. The social action network meets on the side. For the churches we’ve met for one year praying and are sharing with each other, personal connections, prayer, etc but haven’t started to grow together. We text each other and care for each other but haven’t moved beyond that.
5 years in the Renton group, and is now in an encouraging direction. It’s been a 1x/month lunch and encouragement about 4 guys, but since The Advance last year we have gained some steam and felt challenged to be more intentional and strategic about how can we make our Renton pastors group grow beyond just lunch together. We did a retreat, overnight 2-night. It helped us to think together what God may be calling us to do together. So we now pray during our 1/month lunch. We are doing a combined service this summer. It’s a new idea and we are still praying for the pastors to see the vision of doing things together. Another retreat coming up. We are pouring out fruit on the relationship piece on how do we care for each other. We are looking into a Saturate cohort as well.
Pastors/Wives dinner together.
2 groups a weekly pastors’ prayer group that is small and well est. (25 yrs) it ebbs and flows depending on what’s happening. When Pastor Nick (Foster-Tukwila Pres) retired the group lost its glue. It’s a group in interim. We have some pastors that have had some ongoing personal issues and it is more of a support group for each other.
There is a group Pray Tukwila meeting monthly (10 years) that prays once a month and has people from different spheres of the city (city council, fire chief, school board, business people, church people) share from different spheres and then pray for the city. Usually for the city government or schools and our school dist. is in tremendous upheaval, came through a teacher strike, a firing of the interim superintended, new superintendent wants to come to prayer. Whenever any new people come on the scene in the city then we reach out and invite them to come and receive prayer (personal and professional) some of them end up staying and joining the prayer group.
Out of Pray Tukwila came Tukwila weekend snack pack, now is Still Waters services for families in transition and has pulled the whole community together. Recently joined the chamber of commerce and have seen the generosity of the business community and in that believers can be salt and light. 100,000 meals served 2015-June2018 (7 weekend meals) growing pains and financial struggles need prayers.
Celebrate – IN August had the 2nd N Sea united service with 20 churches in our area. We hope to continue. This has grown out of the pastor’s prayer group hosted at Epic Life. A few women are working through the list of 2 dozen churches to meet up and see what churches are doing to engage their community. That trust and relationship building can help us have a conversation in a year of how do we become a resource to each other. How are we united in intercession in N Sea? The conversation is being sparked from the N Sea united service and the prayer that was occurring for that. Is God asking us to go deeper and how? We know that God is doing something long term in our city and there have been connections over the years but how can we build some practical structure to hold the long term vision God has for N Sea. Perhaps the prayer will help build the necessary roots.
Prayer works. We’ve been praying for 4 years every Thursday and everything has sprung from prayer. We pray in the superintendent’s conference room every Thursday at 1pm (12 pastors). Many are doing 21 days of prayer throughout the year, NW church is doing 40 days of prayer in Jan. We started a 24 /7 prayer movement 337 people from 13 churches are taking 30 min per day/night every day of the year. Prayer always precedes revival and we are seeing revival. Praying for the 8 sectors of society. We are seeing favor with all city leaders. Crime is down 17% the chief of police is perplexed and points to prayer. The city is growing but crime is down. We came to the NW to light up the NW and we know that starts through prayer. The scorecard is prayer, not nickels and noses. We care about if we are transforming our city, and repentance for having the wrong scorecard. We Love Our City got the key to the city because of prayer and obedience. 2 cohorts of Saturate the sound started in Auburn & Federal Way. Mentoring also happening. We see the results of fervent prayer.
Thanks Dawn Zern for taking notes from the event.