Recently I caught up with Jacob Boss in London. We talked about multiplying movements in global cities.
A Palestinian and an Iranian baptized an Afghan new believer this morning somewhere along the refugee highway. We’ve waited 1,400 years to see scenes like this and it’s just the beginning.
Learn more: 176-Return to Athens
UPDATE: I forgot to mention one of Will Burnham’s principles — the white man doesn’t get into the water.
Movements move into Decline when they drift from their Identity in Christ — Word, Spirit and Mission. Declining institutions move into Decay when they repudiate their Identity.
Steve Chalke’s latest book is a case study on Decay. Here’s a review from David Robertson:
In 2004, Steve Chalke discovered 'The Lost Message of Jesus' and published his book with that name. Fifteen years later he has discovered 'The Lost Message of Paul', and this month publishes a book with that title.
This is an easy to read, and well-written book – much better stylistically than the earlier work. As always with Chalke the book will be described as 'controversial' and will delight some (like Rob Bell and Brian McLaren) and appall others. From a personal perspective I found that The Lost Message of Paul contained some interesting information, provocative arguments, challenging questions and old heresies.
Steve argues that 'all the old narratives are dead' and that we need a 'new story'. He blames Augustine, Luther and Calvin for getting Paul's message wrong. But his new story suffers from some major defects.
UPDATE: In an interview with the Anglican Church Times. Steve Chalke denies that we are saved by faith in Christ—Luther got it wrong. Instead, all are saved by the faithfulness of Christ. His book is promoted by the Church Times and sold in the Anglican Church Bookshop. He’s an ordained Baptist minister. The book is published by the once evangelical SPCK.
There’s a lot of discussion about movements these days, but how do you know if you’re on the right track to see a multiplying movement? There’s a simple test.
Michelle and I have spent a week in Greece learning from what God is doing along the refugee highway. We got to spent time with Will Burnham and workers with Arab, Iranian, African and South Asian backgrounds. Many are former Muslims. Some of them are in the photo above. It was so refreshing to see the early signs of multiplying disciples and churches.
Will just posted this update of what God is doing through these new believers. Look for the evidence of what a movement is.
Michel and some of his disciples left the Training Center a few days ago. They passed an African man on the street sitting beside his adult son who was having a stroke. No one passing by stopped to help. He called out to Michel in Lingala if he spoke his language. Michel realized what was happening and called a taxi and took the man and his son to the hospital where he is recovering! They said if he was 20 minutes later there would be little hope for a recovery.
As Michel shared the love of Christ the old man described how fear in witchcraft has been their only faith. Both opened their hearts to Jesus! Then the son, Tresor, asked Michel to come to his home where five other African men live in order to share with them. They all believed. Two men are married, one wife is in Paris and the other man’s wife lives in another area of Athens for work.
Both wives found out about their husbands new faith in Jesus and asked to talk to Michel. The wife in Paris is watching the discipleship videos Michel just did in French. The other wife in Athens asked for Michel to come and share to the 30 other African women living in her building. He plans to go there with two of his female leaders next week.
God at work through a simple act of kindness. May His Kingdom continue to grow!
Here’s the test of any movement. It’s not about what are you doing. Listen for the stories of what new disciples who were far from God are doing. That’s the difference between a ministry and a movement.
My one-on-one with Ed Stetzer on The Rise and Fall of Movements:
Ed: What’s the story behind The Rise and Fall of Movements?
Steve: I’ve been studying movements for over 30 years. I soon noticed that dynamic movements have certain characteristics. I also noticed that movements don’t stand still. Movements rise and they fall and they can be turned around.
I wanted to write a book that explains the characteristics of movements that multiply and how they change over the course of the typical lifecycle. An understanding of the characteristics and the lifecycle provides a framework for action.
There are many studies of organizations and social movements that identify a typical lifecycle. They prompted me to search the Scriptures and church history to see if I could find the same patterns. I did.
The real challenge was to discover how God was at work at each stage of development and how we contribute to both the rise and fall of movements.
Ed: What is the movement lifecycle, and why is it important?