For the first time ever in South Florida, the National Christian Foundation in conjunction with the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast, is bringing leaders together to spark conversation and ignite action during CityTalks. The conversation starts March 19th at the Broward County Convention Center with the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast at 7:30 a.m. followed by CityTalks at 9:30 a.m.
“In essence, what we have been doing with the Mayor’s prayer breakfast, which is now in its 53rd year, has been to convene the faith-based community with the marketplace and our city leaders as an opportunity to affirm our city leaders, to let them know that we pray for them, that we are an extension of them in the community, and we are available. That’s been more or less the benefit and underlying messaging of the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast,” said Stephan Tchividjian, founder and president of the National Christian Foundation of South Florida.
“What we decided to do this year was extend it and to have what we’re calling the after party,” he added. “Moving beyond just a breakfast, it becomes a half day convening of the leadership of our city to dialogue and discuss ways we can collaborate and better impact the city we love.”
Those who attend the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast, as well as the general public, are invited to participate in a series of CityTalks, which are short talks about various issues in our community: felt needs such as homelessness, foster care, and bullying. The series of talks will be championed by local non-profits who are especially collaborative in nature.
Session one, hosted by the National Christian Foundation of South Florida, will discuss The Power of Collaborating to Impact Communities. The conversation, which begins at 9:30 a.m., will be championed by Alan Platt, an internationally recognized pastor and founder of Doxa Deo, a church in Pretoria, South Africa that serves 30,000 people in ten campuses functioning as one integrated church in the city. As the visionary leader of Doxa Deo, a strong city-reaching strategy has been established in his area. By bringing together business professionals from the church with school principals and educators, Doxa Deo encouraged collaboration and witnessed rapid change in the educational system in their community.
His story illustrates that when people unite, they drive change. Alongside thousands of churches, charities and businesses in our region, discover how collaboratively developing sustainable and real solutions to needs in our city could become a reality.
Attendees will be able to choose one of two talks offered at 10:30 a.m. during session two: Becoming Safe or Becoming Whole.
Hosted by 4KIDS Of South Florida, the session entitled Becoming Safe will discuss Fighting for Justice for The Exploited. Doug Sauder, 4KIDS president and lead pastor of Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale, will champion this talk as he shares his vision to unite churches and community leaders to create a broad base of support for fulfilling God’s mandate to care for orphans. When he was in college, Sauder worked with foster kids, which inspired him not only to change his major but also to devote his life to helping the many children that others had given up on.
Every year more and more of our children, our most precious resource, are being exploited, neglected, abandoned and abused. Discover practical things you can do to defend the most vulnerable and join your voice with others to speak up for those who cannot.
HOPE South Florida, a non-profit serving homeless and hurting individuals and families through partnerships with community groups and churches, will host a talk entitled Becoming Whole that focuses on Restoring The Brokenness of Homeless Lives.
While homelessness ignites a storm of controversy when brought up in South Florida and confronts most of us on a daily basis, there are sustainable solutions when the community works together. Come learn what has been successful so far and how you can pay a part of making real and permanent progress.
This panel discussion will be facilitated by Robin Martin, executive director of Hope South Florida, who has over fifteen years of experience providing services to the homeless in Broward County. He will be joined by Capt. Scott Russell, who heads up an innovative Homeless Outreach Initiative provided through the Broward County Sheriff’s office, and Fred Scarbrough, who has been helping the homeless since 1995 when he founded The Shepherd’s Way, which partnered with churches to establish Hope South Florida.
The third and final session of CityTalks, Becoming Strong will be hosted by Stand Strong Florida on Battling The Issues of Teen Suicide, Depression And Bullying beginning at 11 a.m. International Evangelist Nick Vujicic, who is this year’s keynote speaker at the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast, will champion this discussion. The best-selling author of Life Without Limbs, Vujicic has a passion for the next generation and speaks out against bullying, depression and teen suicide all over the world.
Each year in Broward County, one in eight high school students seriously considers suicide and an even higher percentage report being bullied at school. Stand Strong Florida, with Nick Vujicic, is launching a statewide campaign to address students with a message of hope. Rather than speaking at one church or one school, he is challenging students to take a no-tolerance stand against bullying and streaming those messages live to every school in the area, engaging in community service and sharing the Gospel at stadium events. Come learn how you can be a part of Stand Strong Florida, help save lives and instill hope in the hearts of our next generation.
Inspired to Action
Beside educating people on issues that exist in our city, CityTalks will present possible solutions and invite business executives, ministry and community leaders into the conversation, so they also have a seat at the table.
“So often at these large events, you leave inspired, but there’s no real specific call to action,” said Tchividjian. “CityTalks is several layers deeper because now not only do you have a chance to understand an issue in our community, but you have a voice in that and are invited to be a part of the solution.”
Whatever your church, denomination or concern for the community, CityTalks is positioned as the premier venue to collaborate on issues affecting Broward County.
To participate in CityTalks, simply visit city-talks.com and register for the free sessions you wish to attend. Attendees are encourage to attend the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast that morning as the breakfast will give context to the conversations, but it is not a prerequisite.
Tchividjian explained, “After hearing a compelling speaker talk about bullying or homelessness or foster care, you might be inspired but then leave feeling a little bit frustrated because you don’t really know what to do with this other than talk with your friends. It’s our hope that the dialogue that happens around these workshops cascades down into people realizing they now have a voice. It’s an opportunity or onramp to say, I’m really passionate about this. Not only do I want to learn more about this issue but I want to be a part of the solution. I want to get engaged. I want to recruit other people. I want to speak into it. I want to shape programming, whatever that onramp might be. So if we can bring exposure and get engagement, to us that’s a win.”
To register for CityTalks visit city-talks.com. For tickets to the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast, visit ftlpray.org.
For more articles by Shelly Pond, please visit goodnewsfl.org/author/shelly/