Hunting the Movement Killers Missions in the Age of Coronavirus Tokyo 2010 Why it Still Matters

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Fostering growing movements is not just about doing all the right things, but also stopping all the things we do that kill movements. This issue of Mission Frontiers is all about how to hunt down and destroy every mission practice that kills movements, no matter how fond we are of them. These deadly mission “viruses” stand in the way of achieving our goal of growing movements to Christ in every people and place. A key take-away from this issue is that most mission strategies focus on adding new people while growing movements focus on methods that multiply disciples—and multiplication sees far more rapid results than addition. You won’t want to miss this issue! These deadly mission “viruses” stand in the way of achieving our goal of growing movements to Christ in every people and place so that every person on earth may have access to the gospel. If the mission practices you are pursuing are on our “Most Wanted” list of movement killers, prepare to rethink what you are doing and align yourself with those proven mission practices that lead to multiplying movements.See all the articles

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Hunting the Movement Killers

Fostering growing movements is not just about doing all the right things, but also stopping all the things we do that kill movements. This issue of Mission Frontiers is all about how to hunt down and destroy every mission practice that kills movements, no matter how fond we are of them. These deadly mission “viruses” stand in the way of achieving our goal of growing movements to Christ in every people and place. A key take-away from this issue is that most mission strategies focus on adding new people while growing movements focus on methods that multiply disciples—and multiplication sees far more rapid results than addition. You won’t want to miss this issue! These deadly mission “viruses” stand in the way of achieving our goal of growing movements to Christ in every people and place so that every person on earth may have access to the gospel. If the mission practices you are pursuing are on our “Most Wanted” list of movement killers, prepare to rethink what you are doing and align yourself with those proven mission practices that lead to multiplying movements.

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Let’s Grow Movements, Not Destroy Them

Let’s Grow Movements, Not Destroy Them

It is a simple fact of life: it is far easier to destroy than it is to build. It is the same way with fostering Kingdom Movements of disciple-making and church-planting. It is far easier to pursue popular mission practices that kill movements or keep movements from ever starting than it is to work wisely with the Holy Spirit in ways that enable movements to start and grow exponentially. Fostering growing movements is not just about doing all the right things, but also stopping all the things we do that kill movements. We need to hunt down and destroy every mission practice that kills movements, no matter how fond we are of them. These deadly mission “viruses” stand in the way of achieving our goal of growing movements to Christ in every people and place so that every person on earth may have access to the gospel. If the mission practices you are pursuing are on our “Most Wanted” list of movement killers, prepare to rethink what you are doing and align yourself with those proven mission practices that lead to multiplying movements.

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Mission Viruses That Can Kill Disciple Making Movements

Mission Viruses That Can Kill Disciple Making Movements

C. J. Peters’ life is the stuff of legend. For 30 years he traipsed the world’s most remote places hunting hot viruses and then chronicled his Indiana Jones life in a fascinating book (Virus Hunter: Thirty Years of Battling Hot Viruses Around the World). Hot viruses are the ones known to be lethal to human life, like Ebola. It is more obvious today than ever before that we need people like C. J. on the dangerous front line identifying threats to human life before they are allowed to ravage through populations, indiscriminately extinguish human lives.

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Movement Killers

Movement Killers

For the last 20 years “movement thinking” has gained attention in the missional world. Whether you call it Church Planting Movements or Disciple Making Movements or Exponential Discipleship, it’s undeniable that we are witnessing the book of Acts unfolding afresh with 3000 coming to faith in one day, 8000 in one week, 20,000 in just a few weeks. Movements are happening everywhere and if God is doing it in one place, it probably means He wants it to happen in all places!

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Using Foreign Money to Start, Sustain and Speed Up Movements

Using Foreign Money to Start, Sustain and Speed Up Movements

Picture this: there was a couple working in a northern province of Cambodia in the late 90s. One day, they shared with other missionaries that they had started many house churches in the area. Their testimony piqued the interest of those missionaries as they too longed for such results. On the one hand, they were elated to hear the good news. On the other, they were curious as to why this couple was so successful when they came in and out of the country and barely spoke the language.

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Are We ACCELERATING or INHIBITING Movements to Christ?

Are We ACCELERATING or INHIBITING Movements to Christ?

Those with a heart for unreached peoples have the choice to pursue certain behaviors that have the potential to accelerate the spread of the gospel. These “accelerators” may help a new fellowship in an unreached people group become a large-scale movement to Christ. By contrast, we may consciously or inadvertently deploy “inhibitors” that may make it difficult for that fellowship to ever become a movement.

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Essential Qualities of a Multiplication Movement

Essential Qualities of a Multiplication Movement

Among the items displayed in the old Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago was a checkerboard with a single grain of rice on the first square, two on the second, four on the third, then 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, and so on. Somewhere down the board, there was enough rice that it was spilling over into neighboring squares, so the display ended there. Above the demonstration was the question: At this rate of doubling each square, how much rice would you have on the checkerboard by the time you reached the sixty-fourth square? To find the answer, you punched a button and the answer flashed on a screen above the board: Enough to cover the entire subcontinent of India, fifty feet deep. There would be 153 billion tons of rice—more than the world rice harvest for the next one thousand years. Walter Henrichsen, in his book A Disciple is Made Not Born, described this scene to illustrate the potent power of multiplication. He went on to conclude, “The reason that the Church of Jesus Christ finds it so hard to stay on top of the Great Commission is that the population of the world is multiplying while the Church is merely adding. Addition can never keep pace with multiplication.” This is absolutely, unforgivingly true.

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Toward the Edges: Listening and Learning

Toward the Edges: Listening and Learning

One of the things I learned by being “on the ground” among unreached peoples is the value of listening and learning. To be fair, I learned it initially by my mistakes in not doing so very well! Our current climate in the USA may go down as a case study in how not to listen and how not to press into difficult issues. I refer to tough issues like the questions about re-opening while trying to balance financial and physical health, government mandates and personal freedoms; and tough issues like how to respond to the Supreme Court ruling about employment and gender and sexuality; and tough issues like race. I am deeply troubled, not just by the issues themselves, but by our current culture of “how to disagree.” To be brief, we do it poorly.

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What Movement Leaders Teach Us about Equipping

24:14 Goal—Movement engagements in every unreached people and place by 2025 (64 months)

What Movement Leaders Teach Us about Equipping

For we never came with words of flattery, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness. Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, though we could have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us. – The Apostle Paul (1 Thess. 2:5-8) I remember sitting under Steve Smith’s insightful training as we explored Scripture pathways I had trodden many times before. Somehow I had never seen the nuggets lying there in plain view. Jesus’ commissioning of 70 disciples to go places “He himself was about to go” captured my imagination as he challenged them to “pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Luke 10:1-2) Steve asked us to imagine the scenario: disciples walking down dusty roads praying for more laborers for the harvest field. Then he asked us the pointed question, “If Jesus expected their prayers to be answered, where did He expect those laborers to come from?” The golden answer burst into my mind. Of course! The laborers for the harvest field are in the harvest! If I would start treating them like God’s chosen and approved workmen instead of those to be “harvested,” I would see a different result than I had been seeing.

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How Disciple-Makers Relate to Ever-Present Global Disruptions

How Disciple-Makers Relate to Ever-Present Global Disruptions

The other day I was on a Zoom call with a group of Frontier Mission trainers. They were there from around the globe; Africans, Asians, Europeans, Americans and more. We prayed together, seeking God, and listening to His voice. We wanted to hear what He would say to us as Frontier Mission trainers at this time. I’m grateful to serve in a movement that places a high value on hearing God’s voice individually and corporately. We shared Scripture. Then, we took the time to practice listening prayer. After a period of waiting, one of our trainers said, “I feel that the fires in Australia and the disruption of COVID-19 are just the beginning. We will experience many more disruptions. We need to be ready. We can’t let these stop us from obeying God’s mandate to make disciples.” I didn’t particularly like hearing this. Be ready for more disruptions? Hmmm. That didn’t sound good! What did that mean for me as a mission leader? How was I to be ready? Was there a way to get ready for more disruption and also get ready to bring in the harvest?

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Rockets and Murder

Rockets and Murder

The contrasts couldn’t be starker. In May 2020 we saw the best and worst of humanity here in the U.S. We launched men into space. We saw a man die needlessly at the hands of those appointed to “serve and protect.” We have seen both before, but both were also different this time. The rocket which propelled two astronauts to the International Space Station was produced by a private company (with government funding) that used new technology, redesigned from the ground up, including a booster rocket that returns to earth to be reused.

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