Light Up the City has a goal of seeing: A Healthy Church Network in Every City. In the last 5 years we have seen this vision become realized in many cities, and we are grateful to be in a position where we can “Spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” (Heb. 10:24) At our Advance event, we do our best to create or develop local networks by pulling together key leaders in a city and giving them time to reflect together over what it means to be the Body of Christ together in their city.
Our 5th Annual Advance event is now behind us. We took the two days to cover each of the four elements of a healthy network, with a powerful speaker and a time of discussion at each city table. We also heard testimonies from several cities who were able to share what they are doing and learning together. West Seattle, Federal Way, Phoenix, and Renton all underscored their unique contexts for ministry, and each provided encouragement and a spark to the imagination. It was particularly a gift to hear from Tracey Beal who flew in to be with us from Phoenix. God is at work everywhere!
The elements and speakers (below) will be released in the coming weeks so those of you who missed being with us this year can at least catch some of the content.
Elements of a Healthy Network:
1. Seeking God’s Mission together in Prayer – Pastor Scott Dudley
2. Make Disciples and Develop Leaders – Dr. Joe Castleberry
3. Engaging the City, and Those in Need – Pastor of Community Development Tracey Beal
4. Embodying the Unity we have in Christ – Pastor Jason Davison
On the second day we pulled out of our local city context into some regional breakouts. These were specifically curated to reflect regional initiatives that have a good deal of momentum. These breakouts included a conversation with local Church/School partnership efforts; Faith based Homelessness solutions; the WA Prays initiative; Saturate the Sound; Common Good Seattle; and the Foster Support Faith Alliance.
We enjoyed several times of worship together, never wanting to forget the nature of our shared hope. There is only One worthy of our worship, and Micah and Michelle did a great job facilitating that time together!
Finally, I wanted to share with you all the deliverables of the Advance. At the end we ask each city present to land on one, Limited Achievable Outcome, to pursue in the coming year. What did God have to say to us? What have we neglected? What is sitting right in front of us? As each table shared their commitment, there was a clear theme of prayer that was present… and in that vein, I would invite you to join us in praying with these cities over their commitments:
Limited Achievable Outcomes (City Goals) from 2019 Advance Event
Renton: Expand the net for monthly pastor lunch gather. Get more pastors to fellowship time; Continue yearly pastor retreat – Define Distinctives of the Network this year; Host another pastor and spouse barbecue; Launch the Renton Saturate cohort in May
North Seattle: There is a failure to launch; discouragement, reenergize the network around prayer and rebuild N.S. relationships at a localized level
Issaquah: Continue to pray and develop prayer rhythms while growing the network personally… one by one. Be Courageous and Curious: socio-economic barriers, places around the city (Hospitals, pastors offices, etc..)
Puyallup: Get a united, strategic, sustainable prayer initiative going & continue Church-School partnership trajectory
SE Pierce - Parkland/Graham/Spanaway: Establish weekly prayer expression with leaders & Engage 5 new church planting leaders in Pierce Co.
Federal Way: Maintain Good Friday Service; Recruit at National Day of Prayer for 24/7 prayer disease; Create an executive committee for FW that can keep city on track of goals; “Dinner for 8" - multi-ethnic believers come to a table for lunch after church on Sunday
Tukwila: Step back and re-seek the Lord on where He wants to take them in their city.
Burien: Open day center for the homeless
Tukwila & Burien: Bringing together churches of all types for a day of prayer, committed to having another Global Day of Prayer in 2019
Bellevue: Rooted in Prayer (together) & Rooted in Place (be present, see others as Jesus sees them.)
522: Back to Basics: Tune in to God - establish a rhythm of listening during prayer, rebuild relational foundations, & strengthen bonds
Rainier Valley: Being more intentional with leadership; Reserve monthly prayer time to be more oriented to listening to the Holy Spirit.
West Seattle: Prayer, remain committed to the WS Saturate cohort, and initiate the C.A.F.E. model for school partnerships, discern how to implement
Kent: First time at The Advance, develop network and bring more to 2020 Advance
East Side: Build relationships/burst through the built-up walls in Bellevue, and become “learners” and “listeners” on the East Side.
- Chris Gough