Advance Your City


What happens when you gather church leaders, business owners, teachers, networkers and key city leaders in a room to discuss best-practices to serve the cities in which we live, play and love? What happens if you invite thought-provoking speakers and provide workshops led by experts in the field of homelessness, school partnership and foster care, sex trafficking, incarceration, refugee care? What happens if you put out a spread of barbecue and allow time for fellowship and worship? Well, last year we did exactly that; and witnessed leaders from across denominational, racial and city divides- discussing heavy topics and taking steps to pray, plan and strategize to impact their cities. Right before our eyes a group from Bothell, Kirkland and Woodinville bunched their tables together and launched the 522 Network- which is gaining traction to serve and pray in a united effort. We heard a compelling story of a small church plant,New City Church in West Seattle, who partnered with several other churches to have a bigger impact on schools in their city. Whatcom County shared their amazing story of uniting congregations in 24 hour/7 days of prayer for their cities and the measured outcomes were incredible.

At the end of the event last year we asked attendees if they felt the event would be valuable to have again, to which the entire room applauded with a resounding yes. So, mark your calendars and reserve your table or seat for September 28th-29th, at Mt. Zion Baptist. We anticipate hearing updates from the 2015 city commitments and will also be offering the chance for your city to have its own individualized “break out session” with local experts. If that isn't enough of a draw... we have some fantastic keynote speakers planned:

Raymond J. Bakke

Ray founded International Urban Associates (IUA) in 1989. IUA animated a network of more than 100 urban-based church and mission leaders in many of the largest cities of the world. Currently Dr. Bakke serves as Chancellor, distinguished professor of global urban ministry and member of the Board of Regents at Bakke Graduate University of Ministry. Ray is the author of a number of books, including A Theology as Big as the City and Street Signs. Doctoral students and senior associates actively involved in ministry all over the world are the beneficiaries of Ray Bakke’s mentoring and teaching.

Eugene Cho

Eugene Cho is the founder and Lead Pastor of Quest Church – an urban, multi-cultural and multi-generational church in Seattle, Washington – as well asthe founder and visionary of One Day’s Wages (ODW) – “a grassroots movement of people, stories, and actions to alleviate extreme global poverty.” For his entrepreneurial work and spirit, Eugene was recently honored as one of 50 Everyday American Heroes. Eugene recently released his first book, Overrated: Are We More in Love with the Idea of Changing the World Than Actually Changing the World? Eugene and Minhee have been married for nearly twenty years and have three children.

Romanita Hairston-Overstreet

Romanita is a national spokesperson on issues of child well being for universities, conferences, churches, national television stations and radio programs. . She currently serves on the board of The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology, Urban Alliance and Urban Family Center. She is a child well-being fellow with the Renaissance Leadership Group. She is a member of the Opportunity Nation Leadership Council. She teaches, preaches and speaks regularly on issues related to leadership, community development, youth development, collective action, economic development, poverty, biblical justice and God’s heart for the poor.

Jeff Vancil

Jeff Vancil is a Senior Associate with Leadership Development (Centered.org) and has executive responsibility. Leadership Development raises up and supports Jesus-centered leadership by developing discipleship cultures and convening leadership events that lift up Jesus in the public sphere. Jeff served 30 years with Young Life and as an Area and Regional Director in the Northwest. He and his wife Marilyn live in the University District in Seattle and have 4 adult children and 10 grandchildren.

We hope you will be able to join us for some great conversation and dialogue about advancing the Gospel and loving our cities well. We are allowing for plenty of time for discussion throughout the conference- so bring your sharpened pencils and fitted thinking caps and be ready to advance your city.

Here's a little clip from last year's event:

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