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.
Re-Align Yourself for Growing Movements
For over 20 years mission leaders have been re-discovering the Book-of-Acts-like practices that God uses to birth disciple-making and church-planting movements. These practices are continually being honed and refined as mission workers seek to apply these movement principles to various peoples, cultures and contexts. While allowing for adaptation to specific contexts, there is also a great degree of alignment to agreed-upon movement principles that is required if a movement is to occur at all. Serious deviation from these movement principles will kill an existing movement or prevent one from ever starting. There are many mission agencies out there that want to claim they are pursuing movements for publicity and fundraising purposes, but their mission practices bear little resemblance to the movement principles that actually make movements possible. So when you hear some mission organization claim they are using movement methods in their work, be an informed mission activist and look more closely at what they are actually doing.
Every mission agency that wants to foster movements must re-align their mission practices to those of movement catalysts who have actually fostered Kingdom Movements. This is not a time for everyone to try to reinvent the “movement wheel.” There are hundreds of people out there who have real world, on-the-ground experience in successfully starting movements and who know the basic principles that make movements work. We need to learn from these movement catalysts and use them to train up thousands of new movement catalysts to start movements in every people and place. See the article by Neil Cole starting on page 27 to learn the essential qualities of multiplying movements. A key take-away from this article is that most mission strategies focus on adding new people while growing movements focus on methods that multiply disciples. Mission strategies focused only on addition is another movement killer.
Money, “the root of all kinds of evil” in Movements
You will notice that one of the movement killers most frequently mentioned in this issue of MF is foreign money. Over many years we have frequently talked about how foreign money can cause tremendous problems in our mission outreach. As Dr. David Garrison has said, “outside money is the surest way to kill a movement.” The wonderful article by Jean Johnson starting on page 16 goes into great detail in explaining why outside money is such a deadly force in movements. The first rule of movements is that whatever you do must be infinitely reproducible generation after generation. The ministry DNA you start with is what will be reproduced in all future generations of believers and churches. If you start with defective DNA, you may never see your disciples make more disciples. Outside money is not good reproducible ministry DNA. Not every generation of new believers can go back to the original donor for more money. Foreign money will also communicate to new believers that they need outside money in order to reach out to their friends, family and beyond. It will also communicate to unbelievers that these believers are doing what they are doing because foreigners are paying them. This is a great way to keep the gospel from becoming indigenous to a people and killing any movement.
No matter what the mission strategies are that seek to kill movements, we must identify them and stop them before they can kill again.
Become a Mission Frontiers Vision Caster
Mission Frontiers exists to cast the vision and provide the resources to foster Kingdom Movements in every people and place so that every person may have access to the life-saving gospel of Jesus Christ as soon as possible. But we cannot do this without the partnership of you, our readers. Producing Mission Frontiers six times a year is not inexpensive. There are fixed costs that must be met regardless of how many subscribers we have. Subscriptions and advertising do not cover our expenses. We need people who believe in what we are doing and are willing to come alongside us in the following ways.
Pray: We need people to pray for the success of our mission to mobilize the global Church to focus on fostering Kingdom Movements in all peoples and places. The enemy of our souls would like to silence us because our message is a direct threat to his territory among the unreached peoples.
Donate: We need your donations—both large and small—if we are to cover our costs and then go on to expand this ministry into other languages. We need committed regular support from the many readers who believe in this work. But even if you can only afford $25 or $30, every little bit helps. To give, please go to http://www.frontierventures.org click, on the Donate button and put MA 030 in the dialog box to cover MF general expenses. To donate to Rick Wood and his ministry with MF put MA323 in the dialog box. Thank you.
Share: The farther the material in MF spreads, the better it is for accomplishing our mission. We give free permission for people to reprint material that originates with MF and is not reprinted from another source. We only ask that you give us source credit and that you provide a link back to the MF website when reprinted material is posted online. On our website at http://www.missionfrontiers.org are PDFs of each article and issue. Please download these PDFs, print them and share them as widely as possible with others. Every time you do, you help to accomplish our mission.