What others are saying about Pioneering Movements

With an sensitivity to history and an ability to extract principles from the lives of the apostolic pioneers that have gone before us. Steve gives us an inspirational peek into movements and the people who lead them.

~Alan Hirsch author of The Permanent Revolution

Addison  seamlessly intertwines the biblical narrative with examples of how today’s disciples of Christ are seeing the same miraculous activity of God. If you want to be a part of that movement that Jesus launched, you’ll want to draw deeply from What Jesus Started.

~David Garrison author of A Wind in the House of Islam

Steve Addison’s third book on movements builds on his previous writings by inviting Christ Followers to become “movement pioneers” wherever they live. Pioneering Movements is filled with examples of such people from the early church, Christian history, and modern day movements. Steve makes a compelling case that God can use any Christ Followers to replicate disciple making, while also providing simple, practical steps to get started.

~ Jerry Trousdale author of Miraculous Movements: How Hundreds of Thousands of Muslims Are Falling in Love With Jesus.

The history of global missions is rich and encouraging, even in this complex age we can learn a great deal from those who have gone before. In Pioneering Movements, Steve Addison provides us with a compelling reminder of the importance godly leaders play in the proliferation of the gospel for God’s Glory. His book is both instructive and inspirational.

~Ed Stetzer LifeWay Research www.edstetzer.com

Pioneering Movements paints a picture of the difference between spiritual leaders who start churches and those who launch movements. Addison provides a delicious cross-section of the traits, efforts and focus of men and women, expatriates and nationals, that cross that line to spark movements that change their worlds.

~Steve Smith author of T4T: A Discipleship Re-Revolution

The best thing about this book is the stories and the people …it’s all real!  This isn’t wishful idealism or bland theology. With the type of leadership Steve describes and the powerful presence of the Spirit of God, movements are possible, and God expects and even longs for our participation. As a practitioner, Steve gives us plenty of “how-tos.” The choice to engage is ours.

~Sam Metcalf author of Beyond the Local Church: How Apostolic Movements Can Change the World

Hundreds of thousands of books will be published this year. Only a few have the potential to change the world. This latest book by Steve Addison is one of those few books. Movements of all kinds change our world on a daily basis. Pioneering movements of discipleship are the most powerful movements of all because they change communities of people at the heart level. What Steve has created is a manual to help all of us become the pioneers of these world changing movements. This book is an essential resource for the missions community.

~Rick Wood Missions Frontiers Magazine

What do you get when you combine theory with practice? The Apostle Paul. Steve Addison delivers the same One-two punch in his latest book Pioneering Movements. This tactician/practitioner combo is what we’ve come to expect from his work, and this latest volume does not disappoint.

~Peyton Jones author of Church Zero, host of The Church Planter Podcast and founder of the New Breed Church Planting Network

South Western professor declares war on IMB missionaries

Paige patterson

I just shake my head and I say, How many wars you got left in you, boy?

Dr Paige Patterson
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Earlier this year Dr Paige Patterson declared war on Southern Baptist missionaries who were committed to multiplying disciples and churches. He called for the sacking of David Garrison, a leading proponent of church planting movements.

Dr Patterson is the President of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is no stranger to denominational battles. He was a prominent figure in the Southern Baptist Convention conservative resurgence.

Four months before the IMB (International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention) announced plans to eliminate 600-800 jobs due to financial constraints, Dr Patterson called for the removal of Garrison and 750 other missionaries due to incompetence or theological error. Patterson rejects Garrison’s concept of the “wrinkling of time.”

What he means by this is it’s taking too long to evangelise the world, so we need to get out there and we need to do church planting by the thousands and thousands and thousands of house churches. It doesn’t matter who’s pastor of it. As soon as you get there, identify the man or the woman who is the most natural leader and tell them they’re the pastor, and you’re ready to go. We have tried a number of these in Bangladesh and in China, particularly, where the results have been disastrous. Predictably because a small house church with no biblical understanding and are hard put to find the Gospel of John in a Bible drill; they’re not going to lead to biblically based congregations. What they’re going to do is to watch Benny Hinn on television and follow him, and that is exactly what is happening. The vast majority of our house church plants that we have done are now off in the name-it-and-claim-it gospel and have abandoned New Testament faith entirely and completely.

These are serious charges —  if they are true. And at least one charge is true. David Garrison wants to plant thousands of churches. He is eager to win a lost world for Christ. He’s guilty on that one.

Here are the other allegations, as yet unproven:

  1. IMB missionaries, who follow Garrison’s approach, don’t care who leads a new church. They’ll appoint anyone to be a pastor who is a natural leader then move on.
  2. The new churches have no Biblical understanding. They don’t even know where the gospel of John is in the Bible.
  3. The “vast majority” of the new churches in Bangladesh and China are following Benny Hinn on television. They follow the “prosperity gospel.” They have abandoned New Testament faith. “This is exactly what is happening.”

Now we’re getting somewhere. These are allegations that can easily be proven if someone has done their homework before making them public.

Dr Patterson is the President of a theological seminary. He is an academic, a PhD graduate and a published author of numerous books and articles. He would never make allegations like these public without careful research and evidence. That’s what he would expect of his students at South Western. He’d expect them to do their research, gather the evidence and present their case.

So I asked Dr Patterson to  provide the evidence to back up his charges. So far he has been unable to do so.

Meanwhile, Paige Patterson has won this latest battle. After 30 years of distinguished service with the IMB, David Garrison has resigned to become the new Executive Director of Global Gates. The mission of Global Gates is to reach the ends of the earth through global gateway cities. They began in New York and are now in six North American cities with plans to reach more gateway cities around the world.

Seems like David “Wrinkling of Time” Garrison is still impatient to reach a lost world. He’s still devoting his life to fulfilling the Great Commission. Someone had better warn Global Gates to watch out for this dangerous man.


Ed Stetzer: 20 Truths from Pioneering Movements

Pioneering Movements  Ed Stetzer blog

Ed Stetzer has just featured 20 Truths from Pioneering Movements on his Christianity Today blog, the Exchange.

What the Islamic State really wants

The consensus of the Western media, religious and political leaders is that the Islamic State is not “Islamic.”

Graeme Wood disagrees. He’s the author of, What ISIS Really Wants.

According to Wood, the Islamic State and it’s supporters are not cynically distorting Islam for political purposes. They take the Qur’an and the example of Muhammad very seriously indeed.

Watch the video and make up your own mind.

The 3 Circles in Japanese

Japanese 3 Circles

The 3 Circles has (or is it “have”) made it to Japan.

104-Steve Addison talks to Troy Cooper about Pioneering Movements

2015-07 Steve Addison & Troy Cooper

Steve Addison, the author of Pioneering Movements, talks to Troy Cooper about his new book.

Steve is the good looking one.

“Pioneering Movements: Leadership That Multiplies Disciples and Churches” (Steve Addison)


Spare a thought and a prayer for Nigeria

Boko Haram v ISIL

We are all rightly concerned for France following the Paris attacks this week. But spare a thought and a prayer for Nigeria.

The Atlantic reports:

The grisly attacks in France and Lebanon last week have fixed attention on the violence perpetrated by ISIS. But a study published this week indicates that the world’s deadliest terrorist organization actually operates thousands of miles south of Paris and Beirut, in Nigeria.



What is the Islamic State? Are its beliefs and practices “un-Muslim.” UPDATED


The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse.

Graeme Wood, The Atlantic

Graeme Wood has written a lengthy and penetrating article from the Atlantic on the rise of Islamic State, its mission and beliefs. Why is the media so bereft of such analysis? Why are our church leaders and politicians so naïve regarding the correlation between the actions of ISIS and the teachings of the Qur’an and the example of Muhammad? The article tackles this evasion head-on.

There is a temptation to rehearse this observation—that jihadists are modern secular people, with modern political concerns, wearing medieval religious disguise—and make it fit the Islamic State. In fact, much of what the group does looks nonsensical except in light of a sincere, carefully considered commitment to returning civilization to a seventh-century legal environment, and ultimately to bringing about the apocalypse.

Islamic State may not be the only legitimate interpretation of Islam, but it is a legitimate interpretation of Islam.

The reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic. Very Islamic. Yes, it has attracted psychopaths and adventure seekers, drawn largely from the disaffected populations of the Middle East and Europe. But the religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam. Virtually every major decision and law promulgated by the Islamic State adheres to what it calls, in its press and pronouncements, and on its billboards, license plates, stationery, and coins, “the Prophetic methodology,” which means following the prophecy and example of Muhammad, in punctilious detail.

Islamic State justifies the targeting of other Muslims, especially Shia Muslims, by delegitimising them as Muslims.

In Islam, the practice of takfir, or excommunication, is theologically perilous. “If a man says to his brother, ‘You are an infidel,’?” the Prophet said, “then one of them is right.” If the accuser is wrong, he himself has committed apostasy by making a false accusation. The punishment for apostasy is death.

Denying the holiness of the Koran or the prophecies of Muhammad is straightforward apostasy. But Zarqawi and the state he spawned take the position that many other acts can remove a Muslim from Islam. These include, in certain cases, selling alcohol or drugs, wearing Western clothes or shaving one’s beard, voting in an election—even for a Muslim candidate—and being lax about calling other people apostates. Being a Shiite, as most Iraqi Arabs are, meets the standard as well, because the Islamic State regards Shiism as innovation, and to innovate on the Koran is to deny its initial perfection. (The Islamic State claims that common Shiite practices, such as worship at the graves of imams and public self-flagellation, have no basis in the Koran or in the example of the Prophet.) That means roughly 200 million Shia are marked for death. So too are the heads of state of every Muslim country, who have elevated man-made law above Sharia by running for office or enforcing laws not made by God.

A consequence of the takfiri doctrine is that the Islamic State is committed to purifying the world by killing vast numbers of people. The leading expert on the belief systems of the Islamic State is Bernard Haykel of Princeton University. He contends that Muslims who call Islamic State “un-Muslim” are,

“embarrassed and politically correct, with a cotton-candy view of their own religion” that neglects “what their religion has historically and legally required.” Many denials of the Islamic State’s religious nature, he said, are rooted in an “interfaith-Christian-nonsense tradition.”

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In Haykel’s estimation, the fighters of the Islamic State are authentic throwbacks to early Islam and are faithfully reproducing its norms of war. This behavior includes a number of practices that modern Muslims tend to prefer not to acknowledge as integral to their sacred texts. “Slavery, crucifixion, and beheadings are not something that freakish [jihadists] are cherry-picking from the medieval tradition,” Haykel said.

The Islamic State takes emulation of Muhammad as a strict duty and has revived traditions that have been dormant for hundreds of years.  Islamic State has continued to embrace slavery and crucifixion without apology.

“We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women,” Yazidi women and children [are to be] divided according to the Shariah [Islamic law] amongst the fighters of the Islamic State who participated in the Sinjar operations [in northern Iraq] … Enslaving the families of the kuffar [infidels] and taking their women as concubines is a firmly established aspect of the Shariah that if one were to deny or mock, he would be denying or mocking the verses of the Koran and the narrations of the Prophet … and thereby apostatising from Islam.

The Islamic State is driven by its belief that it is a key player in the end times.

During the last years of the U.S. occupation of Iraq, the Islamic State’s immediate founding fathers … saw signs of the end times everywhere. They were anticipating, within a year, the arrival of the Mahdi—a messianic figure destined to lead the Muslims to victory before the end of the world.

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What is to be done? Military intervention is thwart with danger. Wood suggests that containment is the best of a bad range of options.

Properly contained, the Islamic State is likely to be its own undoing. No country is its ally, and its ideology ensures that this will remain the case. The land it controls, while expansive, is mostly uninhabited and poor. As it stagnates or slowly shrinks, its claim that it is the engine of God’s will and the agent of apocalypse will weaken, and fewer believers will arrive. And as more reports of misery within it leak out, radical Islamist movements elsewhere will be discredited: No one has tried harder to implement strict Sharia by violence. This is what it looks like.

Denouncing the Islamic State as un-Muslim is dishonest and counterproductive,

especially if those who hear the message have read the holy texts and seen the endorsement of many of the caliphate’s practices written plainly within them. Muslims can say that slavery is not legitimate now, and that crucifixion is wrong at this historical juncture. Many say precisely this. But they cannot condemn slavery or crucifixion outright without contradicting the Koran and the example of the Prophet. “The only principled ground that the Islamic State’s opponents could take is to say that certain core texts and traditional teachings of Islam are no longer valid,” Bernard Haykel says. That really would be an act of apostasy.

Wood concludes,

That the Islamic State holds the imminent fulfillment of prophecy as a matter of dogma at least tells us the mettle of our opponent. It is ready to cheer its own near-obliteration, and to remain confident, even when surrounded, that it will receive divine succor if it stays true to the Prophetic model. Ideological tools may convince some potential converts that the group’s message is false, and military tools can limit its horrors. But for an organization as impervious to persuasion as the Islamic State, few measures short of these will matter, and the war may be a long one, even if it doesn’t last until the end of time.

Related: The World’s Deadliest Terrorist Organization

UPDATE: Mark Durie: Paris attacks were not ‘nihilism’ but sacred strategy

UPDATE: According to Newsweek a 2014 poll found that one in six French citizens sympathised with the Islamist militant group ISIS, also known as Islamic State.

The poll of European attitudes towards the group, carried out by ICM for Russian news agency Rossiya Segodnya, revealed that 16% of French citizens (both Muslims and non-Muslims) have a positive opinion of ISIS. This percentage increases among younger respondents, spiking at 27% for those aged 18-24.

A recent poll placed French president Francois Hollande’s approval rating at just 18%.

UPDATE: Interview with Graeme Wood.

What was a Dutchman doing in the Middle East speaking Arabic?

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There are two types of people in the world — those who know Jesus, and those who don’t.

Share the good news with the latter, and train the former.

Ying Kai

I met Hank somewhere in the Middle East recently. I assumed he was an Arab with good English. I discovered he was Dutch with good English and Arabic.

Hank is a student of Middle Eastern studies working has way around the region, learning Arabic and learning culture.

In exchange for a bed and meals he was serving as a waiter in a hotel. I was impressed.

I soon found out he has a Catholic faith. 

He had to keep working and I was checking out, so I had just a few minutes to explain how he could start reading the (Injil) Gospels with Muslims who wanted to know more about Isa (Jesus).

The Quran commands Muslims to do just that.

So I explained the Discovery approach, outlined the passages to read and discuss, and emailed the questions.

I prayed for Hank and told him, if he gets started to send me an email and we can talk more.

3 Circulos

If you have a version of the 3 Circles in another language on video, send in the link and I may publish it.