For resources on Movements, visit our Multiplication page.
For training on how to be a catalyst for Movements, visit Movements.net.
Life is short, but history is long. When our Lord crashed onto the Jewish scene as a miracle-working carpenter from an unknown corner of Israel, people had almost given up hope that the Messiah would ever come. It had been over three thousand years since the proto euangelion (first gospel) was uttered from the lips of Yahweh when he brought his first judgment upon the first sin, "He will crush your head, and you will strike his heal" (Genesis 3:15b, NIV).
From the moment he defeated Satan's forty days of relentless
temptation, Jesus went out
into the villages and cities of Judea and Samaria and began teaching revolutionary truth with authority, casting out demons, and raising the dead.
When it came time for Jesus' closest followers to identify him as Messiah, Simon Peter declared, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
At this sign of childlike faith, Jesus tore logic to pieces when he, in turn, identified his chosen vessel for the gospel, "I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven" (Matthew 16:16, 18-19, NIV).
Then, Jesus continued his journey to Calvary, was brutally
tortured and died, was buried,
was risen on the third day, ascended into heaven and sent his Holy Spirit to indwell his faithful followers, enabling them to live a holy life, empowering them to boldly go to every corner of the world with the authority of heaven's throne and…
Churches were planted in many cities, spiritual leaders were trained, disciples were reproduced, and the Word was translated into the vernacular of every day servants but no Second Return.
So what is the two-thousand-year-old missing link for Christians in the church today?
Modern missional thinkers believe the answer is in the Greek phrase: panta ta ethne.
Originally, "ethne" was translated incorrectly as "nations" in every English translation of the Bible. The correct meaning of this word, however, is "ethnicities."
A movement began whereby missiologists from every corner of the planet began to classify and categorize "ethnicities" into "people groups." When Jesus gave his final command to the disciples, he specified how discipleship was to take place, "All authority on heaven and earth has been given to me. Therefore, as you go, make disciples of all people groups." (Matthew 28:18-19a)
In America, we have traditionally had four areas of missions:
Our basis was Acts 1:8.
The problem is that the traditional interpretation of this verse's context is only seventy-five percent accurate. Jerusalem for the Jews was local missions. Judea for the Jews was national missions. The ends-of-the-earth for the Jews was global missions.
The missing link is Samaria.
Samaria is the unreached and unengaged people groups of our world.
Now, the church of the twenty-first century is faced with an enormous challenge.
Will we rise and fall like countless generations before us who have had the same call to radical obedience and failed?
Are we doomed to the same fate as Christians throughout the centuries who have turned away from Christ's invitation to deny themselves, take up their crosses, and follow him as one, unified, authorized missionary force?
These questions fueled pastor David Platt to pen this challenge: "While Christians choose to spend their lives fulfilling the American dream instead of giving their lives to proclaiming the kingdom of God, literally billions in need of the gospel remain in the dark."
Laura Story wrote a poem that exposes the relationship between God's power and our purpose:
"Savior, you can move the mountains
For you are mighty to save
You are mighty to save
Forever, author of salvation
You rose and conquered the grave
Jesus conquered the grave
So, shine your light and
Let the whole world see
We're singing for the glory of the risen king, Jesus"
Every church should be an intentional catalyst for four types of movements:
Let's briefly examine each type of movement.
A gospel movement is the first type of movement we should seek. Our purpose is to sow the seed of the gospel with the power of the Spirit in the hearts representing our community soil.
DISCIPLE MAKING MOVEMENT
A disciple making movement is the second type of movement we should seek. Our purpose, as Christ's body, is to make disciples of all nations. If we make disciples effectively, then our mature disciples will fulfill their purpose to disciple other disciplemakers.
CHURCH MULTIPLYING MOVEMENT
A church multiplying movement is the third type of movement we should seek. Our purpose as fully matured Christians is to gather into covenant communities who live life abundantly together as we fulfill the Great Commission. These covenant communities are born pregnant with God's heart to reach the unreached, so every church should hunger and thirst to multiply itself to at least the 4th generation.
LEADERSHIP TRAINING MOVEMENT
A leadership training movement is the fourth type of movement we should seek. John Maxwell stated, "Everything rises and falls on leadership." Eugene Peterson paraphrased Proverbs 29:18 this way, "If people can't see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; but when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed."
It takes leaders to launch, sustain, and multiply the other three types of movements. Our purpose is to pray for our existing leaders but also to identify new leaders, equip them with leadership training, and empower them with the authority of the Word and the power of the Holy Spirit to go into the harvest fields of our global community and move the gospel, make disciples, and multiply churches.
May we be motivated to pursue a deeper devotion to Jesus the King.
May we be inspired to embrace a life of true discipleship along the narrow way.
May our hearts discover joy in the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ.
May we come together as brothers and sisters in Christ and spur one another on towards love and good deeds, and all the more as we see the Day approaching.
May we be daily crucified with Christ so that the life we live in the body may be by faith in the Son of God who loved us and gave himself for his beloved church.