[featured_image]Movements are getting a lot of attention these days. I met for coffee this week with a friend who wanted to talk about being a part of “growing a missions movement around the world.” He recommended a book that I’ve started reading – Brains of Fire: Igniting Powerful, Sustainable, Word of Mouth Movements. (I ordered it immediately on amazon.com)

Christians are part of a movement that was started by Jesus Christ! It has impacted the entire world! It’s spreading rapidly throughout the southern hemisphere. Movements exist to bring God glory!

And yet many pastors and church planters talk like they want to create their own movement.

Consider the following…

Creating versus Igniting Movements

It might be total semantics to a lot of folks, but we have a really hard time saying that you can “create” a movement. Because, really, can you create a movement? or do you ignite them?

Think about it. When you create, you make something from nothing. You “cause something to come into being, as something unique that would not naturally evolve or that is not made by ordinary processes.”

But something has to already be there to catch fire when you ignite. All the ingredients are there; they’re just waiting. When it comes to movements, we’re looking to ignite passion. Feelings. Connections. Sometimes it’s dormant in people, and sometimes it’s very active, but it already exists. It’s just up to us to find it, throw kindling on it, and light the match. So while we might create tools and opportunities, creating a movement? Nope.

You can tell when someone tries to create a program, because if they have to create something out of nothing, we usually find those folks are just creating something so people can talk about them. They’re throwing a party and expecting people to show up. And that’s a dead-on-arrival effort. That’s not igniting passion within. When you ignite someone’s passion, you quickly find out that you must keep the conversation focused on them and their passion to fan those flames. So change your mind-set. Don’t create; ignite. And you’ll see the differences. Brains on Fire, p. xx (Phillips/Cordell/Church/Jones)

Stop trying to create a movement!

ONLY GOD CREATES MOVEMENTS. Join the mission of God to reconcile the world to Himself through Jesus Christ! Be part of His movement!

There are many amazing evidences of the movement of God around the globe in places like Southern India. Yet we don’t see the same type of movements here in North America. I wrote my doctoral dissertation a few years ago on Fueling Missional Movements that Transform America. I’m eager to facilitate movements here in the United States, however I don’t think they are something that can be created by anyone but God!

If you are committed to multiply disciples and churches all over the place, then multiply disciples and churches. Just don’t call yourself a movement unless you are seeing the rapid multiplication of disciples and churches so amazing that it has outstripped your ability to keep track of what God’s doing.

I can’t wait to see what God is going to accomplish in Seattle as we partner together with churches, denominations and networks to focus on fulfilling the Great Commission. I would love to see it become a church planting movement, but that’s not something I can create. It’s my hope and prayer that I can just be part of fueling it!

Prayer is a necessary ingredient that ignites movements. Why not join together with other Christians around you to pray that God will accelerate the multiplication of disciples and churches in your town, city or region?

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