Our Story

Rooted in Prayer & Driven by Leaders Launching City Movements

Beginning with Prayer

Starting back as early as the 1980s, Movement Cities has always had two primary foundations: a commitment to cities and a commitment to prayer. When Concerts of Prayer founder Mac Pier first moved to New York in 1984, only 9,000 of the 1,500,000 residents in Manhattan attended a Christian church. In response, organizations like InterVarsity and Here’s Life Inner City partnered together to ask for God to move in a mighty way in their city and, by 1988, the Concerts of Prayer Movement was born.

Movement Day Group Prayer
Tim Keller Speaking at Movement Day

Multiplied by Leaders

Over the next three decades, what eventually came to be known as Concerts of Prayer Greater New York grew into a network of 2,000 churches spread throughout the city. As new churches began to emerge, new efforts were made to develop church planting leaders. In 2003, leaders such as Tim Keller and many others started The Church Multiplication Alliance, resulting in a 300% growth in churches throughout Manhattan.

Launching a Movement

This increase in leaders created a growing need for resourcing and equipping the work happening in the city. As a response, The New York Leadership Center was established in 2008 to engage and connect Christian leaders in the church, nonprofit, and marketplace sectors. This same work still continues today within the current framework of LEAD.NYC under Executive Director Adam Durso.

Reverend AR Bernard Speaking at Leadership Summit
Movement Day Global Cities Closing Ceremony

Expanding to the World

What began in NYC eventually found new opportunities for application in cities around the world, leading the New York City Leadership Center to multiply over time into expressions with both a local focus (LEAD.NYC) and an expanded focus (MOVEMENT.ORG). In order to create a catalytic point for facilitating relationships and collaborative work, the first “Movement Day” event was held in NYC in 2010. This model found great success, and Movement Day events continue to catalyze city gospel movements around the world. MOVEMENT CITIES, the current expression of all of the work being done outside of NYC, comes alongside local leaders around the world to launch and accelerate gospel movements that support the spiritual and social flourishing of the city.

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