NEW YORK — Mac Pier, founder and CEO of The New York Leadership Center in Manhattan, which hosted Movement Day 2015 last Thursday, warned in a declaration that division in the church is breeding atheism in the world and called for the body to unite.
"We confess that we are a divided church. We are divided by race, by denomination, and by geography. We confess that division in the church breeds atheism in the world. We confess that we have yet to fully answer the prayer of Jesus that we be one that the world might believe. As Jesus wept over Jerusalem, we weep over the condition of our cities," noted Pier in the declaration co-authored by Bishop Claude Alexander Jr. of The Park Church in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Movement Day, which was launched in 2010, is designed to catalyze leadership teams from the world's largest cities to serve their cities more effectively by advancing high-level, city-changing collaborative partnerships.
In the last six years, the movement has attracted some 6,500 leaders, primarily from North America.
Christianity in Manhattan has grown 500 percent in the last 25 years and Movement Day has been helping to tell the story of the work of Christians in the city and attracting resources. NY CityServe and City Fest grew out of Movement Day 2012.
At Movement Day 2015, there were some 1,265 attendees from 255 cities, and 17 countries and Pier delivered an impressive report of the movement's efforts in Asia and the Middle East.
"This last summer I had the opportunity to visit Mumbai. Mumbai is the fusion of Hollywood and Wall Street. It is a region of more than 20 million people. And in the city of Mumbai is a red light district that has 400,000 women that have 11 customers a day (each) every day for a decade. This speaks to the great challenge facing the great cities of India and other great cities around the world," said Pier.
"There is a movement underway in Mumbai to catalyze the body of Christ to work together. Also in India is the city of Chennai. Chennai is considered to be the Detroit of India. It is the home of St. Thomas the Apostle who was martyred there 2,000 years ago, and there are plans underway to launch Movement Day Chennai," he added.
He explained that he also had the opportunity to visit the city of Dubai last summer which he calls the "Manhattan of the Middle East."
"It's also been described as the hole in the Islamic fence because of ISIS. There are Muslims that are coming to faith in the great city of Dubai and it represents the greatest sign of hope for the Gospel in the Middle East," Pier said.
He also pointed to work in Haiti, the "only fragile state" in the Western Hemisphere.
"A fragile state is a country that is unable to take care of its people, where people are living on less than $2 a day. In April, a team of New Yorkers and Haitian leaders traveled together to ask the question: What could happen in the country of Haiti over a decade if we work together. The idea of Movement Day Port-au-Prince is underway," he said.
Come 2016, says Pier, New York City will be hosting the nations of the world at the Movement Day Global Cities gathering on Oct. 25-27 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, which will be produced by The New York Leadership Center.
"[One year] from now Movement Day Global Cities will take place in the Jacob Javits Center. For two years we have been working with meeting leaders globally toward this gathering. This will be the first gathering of its type, as far as we know, in church history working very closely with the Lausanne Movement. Today's Movement Day is the kick off toward this gathering," Piers added.
LISTEN TO MAC PIER'S MOVEMENT DAY 2015 UPDATE BELOW: