NEW YORK, NY (May 25, 2016) – The New City Gathering conference held here last week offered plenty of workshops and other opportunities for denominational and non-denominational urban church planters to share techniques and strategies—but that was secondary to its main goal, said organizer Drew Hyun, pastor and planter of Hope Church New York City, an ECC congregation.
“There has been a saturation of strategies and tactical discussions toward mission and church planting—which are all good things. However, we wanted to provide a space for diverse practitioners to eat, gather, learn, and pray together over three days,” Hyun said. “It’s always a necessary reminder to first bring us back to prayer, humility, and a hunger for God to move.”
Attendee David Swaim, lead pastor of Highrock Covenant Church Arlington, said the conference was critical for his ministry going forward. “Entrepreneurial young planters like us can be too quick to brush past in our excitement to do something big for God. I too easily lean on competency, connections, and hard work, which is a dangerous mistake.”
The conference was sponsored by the East Coast Conference, Covenant Church Planting, and New City Network, a collection of urban churches headed by Hyun. Covenant ministers represented at least a third of the attendees and several were speakers, including Amanda and Dan Sadlier, planters of Hope Roosevelt Island; John Teter, Covenant Church Planting team leader; and Peter Ahn, pastor of Metro Community Church in Englewood, New Jersey.
“For Covenant planters, pastors, and leaders it was refreshing to both participate and contribute to such a gathering where our deepest values, ethos, and real-world experiences where honored and further honed,” said Jason Condon, associate superintendent and director of church planting.
A date for any future conference has not been set, said Hyun, who added, “We would love to do more gatherings like this. At the end of the day, any gathering that can catalyze kingdom movement in urban centers is a good thing, and we’re currently exploring how we can do that while continuing to fulfill our calling as a family of local churches in New York City.”