It takes the whole Church with the whole Gospel to reach the whole City.
Wilfred Fijnvandraat from Leeuwarden
In 2017 Leeuwarden was hosting the broadcasting of The Passion on national television and in 2018 we were the European Cultural Headcity. This made us, as christian leaders, think; what would happen if the Body of Christ would function stronger together? What would it take to give everyone in Leeuwarden the opportunity to get to know Jesus personally and tell others about it? Through the workshops and coaching from Agapè we have become a growing City Movement where the whole Church with the whole Gospel wants to reach the whole City.
The mission of Agapè is that every inhabitant of the Netherlands will get the opportunity to get to know Gods love in Jesus Christ personally, and to witness to others about His love.
We have three approaches:
- Reaching specific targetgroups (youth & sport, students, internetseekers, aid)
- Equip and model churches and individual christians to share the Gospel in daily life
- Helping the Church in every city to function as one Body of Christ, so the world will see and believe (John.17)
City Movements is developed out of this 3th approach, in close co-operation with other organisations and denominations.
City movements in NL
Since 2016 Agapè is taking the initiative to stimulate City Movements locally and nationally. We noticed that Christians in The Netherlands have a growing desire to work together with other Christians to have a practical impact as Christians in their daily lives. But we noticed also that the silos of churches and organisations are often an obstacle to really work together in a city.
City Movements NL gathers leaders of churches, the prayer-movement and the marketplace to head for a greater goal that no church or organisation could ever achieve in its own. We always have to adjust to what God is already doing in a city and where the Church locally is positioned. But because we are connected with a worldwide City Movement and we are connected with very experienced Dutch city leaders/pioneers, we have discerned and developed some keys and concepts to help local city movements start and grow. In 2019 City Movements NL was involved with initiatives in 5 cities and we have starting relationships in 7 other cities
In 2023 City Movements NL aims to be involved with 20 City Movement initiatives, who feel connected with each other by a national platform of City Movements and to have organised one national Movement Day.
In 2016 we have started and in 2019 we have a team of 4 staff(1.4 FTE). Most of the salary costs are covered with personal fundraising (MPD).
There are four project categories in the coming three years:
- Coaching and equipping local Core City Teams
- (National) Movement Day Conference
- Relationships and communication
- Research and publicity
For the total project, $390.000 (€352.000)) is needed to be invested. For every category is a specific budget available.
Impact will come when Christians work together for the sake of their city. They will learn to pray for the city and see the pain of their livingplaces. They also will discover what God has given them personally and in their churches to make a difference. According to Jeremia 29 this will have an impact on the city ánd the Church: The shalom of the city will be your shalom....(Jeremia 29).
We are inspired by the international Movement Day stories we hear from everywhere around the globe. City Movements are having an impact in many, many cities.
But also in the Netherlands. Churches in Haarlem have grown in cooperation and are now starting church-plants together in areas where no church was anymore. In Leeuwarden is a Prayerhouse being used by Christians ánd non-Christians who are longing for beauty and peace in their city. For many years people reach out with sports in Enschede, but they are longing for more impact; what can we do for the long term to have more impact and reach more people in our city? Jesus prayer in John 17 shows a potential impact which we now only see small glimpses of. But it inspires us to boldly go for what Jesus prayed: Unity, so the world will see and believe.