Rise & Fall

Review by Stephen McAlpine

A review of The Rise and Fall of Movements by Stephen McAlpine

I first met Steve Addison a decade or so ago when a couple of friends and I were in the early stages of church planting.  What struck us most was Steve’s humility and his wise, generous advice to a bunch of rookies starting out. It was a breath of fresh air.

Ten years later, Steve’s latest book The Rise and Fall of Movements: A Roadmap for Leaders, reflects that fresh approach we first experienced.

The Rise and Fall of Movements takes the lifecycle we are  familiar with in church leadership – Birth through to Rebirth and overlays it onto missional movements, showing how and why they rise, and just as importantly, how and why they fall.

Steve Addison’s new book is a welcome follow up to his exploration of transformational movements

Steve’s conviction is that the centrifugal force of the gospel of Jesus compels the church to be a movement that, once it stops, solidifies and settles, is in constant danger of falling into the downward trajectory of the life cycle.  And it takes a work of God among the people of God to ensure that this is avoided.

Yet it’s no scold.  It begins with Steve’s own personal journey and his honest account of how even in his church planting successes decades ago, he came to the realisation how without God’s power this thing could go south pretty quickly! He points to the moment he asked himself if the risk of moving beyond what he was already doing was worth it:

“What do I have left? I have Jesus who died for me and rose from the dead.  I have the unconditional love of God for all eternity.” Then I thought, “Ok, if that’s the deal, I’ll take it.”

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