By John Hall
DALLAS – The 19th century wood cabin built by Dallas founder John Neely Bryan stands in the heart of downtown Dallas as a symbol of the city’s pioneering spirit.
Two centuries later, Dallas Christians must be inspired to forge ahead like those early adventurers, shaping the future of the area, Buckner International President and CEO Albert L. Reyes shared on Greater Dallas Movement Day, a gathering of Dallas-area Christian leaders seeking to have a long-term impact on the city.
[caption id="attachment_8597" align="alignright" width="250"] Buckner President and CEO Dr. Albert Reyes was one of the keynote speakers, along with Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and Bryan Carter, senior pastor of Concord Church in Dallas.
Photography courtesy of Edmonson Photography.[/caption]
“The founding cabin is a symbol of light and hope for our city because it reminds us what one person can do,” Reyes said.
While Dallas is prospering in many ways, it faces significant challenges, particularly regarding children. More than 190,000 area children live below the poverty line. About 28 percent of Dallas County children face food insecurity. Nearly 1,300 young people were homeless in 2011. Half of those are younger than 7.
In the midst of these circumstances, Christians must rise to the occasion, Reyes urged. That journey begins with humbling oneself before God.
“It may be time for us to go back in order to go forward,” Reyes said. “To go back to the founding cabin and get on our knees to repent; to ask for God’s power, His favor and His blessing and to ask for this city.”
From there, Christians will remember that Christ remains the answer for all cities.
“As far back as the 1st century, the Christian community has always had a sustainable answer,” Reyes said. “The answer was the Jesus way. It is the Jesus way that gives life. It is the Jesus way that shines hope. It is the Jesus way that takes what was meant for harm and turns it into good. It is the Jesus way that redeems the life of a child to his or her full potential. It is the Jesus way that says ‘let the children come to me’ so they might be blessed.”
Buckner was one of the sponsors for Greater Dallas Movement Day, which included breakout tracks focused on making a difference in pressing issues in the area. The ministry had a leading role in starting the discussions about ways churches could recruit more people to foster and adopt in the next five years. The conversation including leading experts, staff members, churches and volunteers passionate about the topic.
Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City and the day’s first keynote speaker, hopes the event marks the beginning of a movement of churches working together for God’s kingdom in Dallas.
“Every Christian has the power to minister,” he said. “Every Christian has the power to serve.”
Movement Day first started in New York City in 2012. Led by Mac Pier of The New York City Leadership Center and Keller, Christians in more than 360 cities around the world have gathered to make it a global event for spiritual change.
In addition to Reyes and Keller, keynote speakers were Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and Bryan Carter, senior pastor of Concord Church in Dallas.
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