Steve Addison is a lifelong student of movements that renew and expand the Christian faith. Thankfully, he has now published his many years of reflection and research into an inspiring new book, Movements that Change the World. It should help to fuel church planting movements everywhere.
Steve notes that movements that change the world are characterised by five things:
1. White-hot faith. Missionary movements begin with men and women who encounter the living God and surrender in loving obedience to His call.
2. Commitment to a cause. Nothing is more important that their faith in Christ and his cause.
3. Contagious relationships. When movements spread rapidly, they do so through pre-existing networks of relationships.
4. Rapid mobilisation. New converts are won and fresh workers are recruited so that there is a constant supply of workers for the mission.
5. Adaptive methods. Ministry methods of movements are supremely adaptable, flexible, and transferable in contrast to the static, rigid, and anchored nature of the institutional form of church. The heart of the Gospel remains the same but the forms are changed to fit the context and to serve the needs of an expanding movement.
This book is important reading for church leaders and disciples everywhere. After all, Jesus didn't found a religion. He started a people movement! As Steve states, "movements change people and changed people change the world."
P.S. Interestingly, Ben Wong, Director of the Cell Church Mission Network based in Hong Kong, notes these five dynamics of all rapidly reproducing church movements:
1. They have 'fire' – passion, zeal, and international motivation.
2. They write their own songs that carry the movement 'ethos.'
3. They train their own leaders.
4. They publish their own material (books and other media) to pass on the truth and movement story to the next generation.
5. They are relevant – they reach out and meet the needs of the society they are within.
Insightful observations …