Movements That Change the World Paperback – 20 May 2011
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"In this book Steve Addison demonstrates the desire of God from the biblical era until today. He casts a compelling future vision by tracing God's discernible lessons demonstrated in movements. Steve taps into the heart hunger of the growing number of us that want to see God do something great. Your heart will be stirred while you read Movements That Change the World. If you are like me, you will be prompted to stop and pray, 'Lord, do it again, for the sake of our communities and nations--for every man, woman and child!'"--Ed Stetzer, missiologist and author of Planting Missional Churches
"Adaptive, innovative and consuming. Those words characterize the movements Steve Addison describes and prescribes in his book. They also depict the book--pick it up and it won't let go of you. I couldn't put it down till it finished rearranging my mind. This is a keeper!"--Ralph Moore, founding pastor of Hope Chapel Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, and author of How to Multiply Your Church
"This will be a valuable contribution to our growing understanding of church-planting movements and their history, scope and nature. . . . I will be recommending this to everyone I know."--David Garrison, missionary with the Southern Baptist International Mission Board and author of Church Planting Movements
"An important book for our times--well researched, well written, and well thought out. Steve identifies the essential qualities that have defined movements of the Spirit throughout the ages. The stories he tells--biblical, historical, contemporary and personal--give us hope for fresh movements of God in our day."--Robert E. Logan, founder of CoachNet International Ministries and author of Be Fruitful and Multiply
"Steve has been tantalizing me with tales of this book for years. He has talked to me about the content on numerous occasions. The chapters are distilled from years of experience and thought, and the final product has not disappointed. Practitioners and thinkers with a passion for mission will want to read and reread this book."--Martin Robinson, director of Together in Mission, UK, and coauthor of Metavista: Bible, Church and Mission in the Age of Imagination
"There are very few who have truly studied, dissected and understood church multiplication movements at the core. My friend Steve Addison has done his homework. I have anticipated this work for some time and am pleased to report it is better than I ever expected. Steve has put in the years of research and synthesizes his vast amounts of experience, wisdom and research into an easy-to-read book."--Neil Cole, founder of Church Multiplication Associates and author of Organic Church
"I love this book! Every so often a book comes along that fuels the flame that was started in my heart years ago when I was a young and on-fire world changer. I love reading this type of book. I'm still a fanatical, fiercely focused, imbalanced, apostolic type guy. I'm older now, but more fervent than ever. If you're looking for an intelligent and passionate book to stir you to dream big dreams of how a movement can begin through your life and that will give you practical tools to help implement those dreams, then read Movements That Change the World!"--Floyd McClung, founder/director of All Nations, South Africa, and author of You See Bones, I See an Army
About the Author
Alan Hirsch is founder of Forge Mission Training Network, Future Travelers, and 100Movements. He has authored numerous award-winning books, including "The Shaping of Things to Come"; "ReJesus"; "The Faith of Leap"; "Untamed"; "Right Here, Right Now"; "On the Verge"; and "The Permanent Revolution". His experience includes leading a local church movement among the marginalized, developing training systems for innovative missional leadership, and heading up the mission and revitalization work of his denomination. Hirsch is an adjunct professor at Fuller Theological Seminary, George Fox Seminary, Asbury Theological Seminary, and Wheaton College among others, and he lectures frequently throughout Australia, Europe, and the United States. He is series editor for Baker Books's Shapevine series and IVP's Forge line and is a contributing editor of "Leadership Journal".
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Addison is working at integration of theory and practice and does an admirable job. Overall his work is both inspiring and convicting: we in the west are in deep trouble and the maps we used in the recent past do not show us the way forward. Will we relearn dependence on the Holy Spirit in this liminal place?
Steve is intent on driving home his message: our task is to make disciples and to transform our world. And that is done primarily by means of living, vibrant and dedicated individuals who are part of dynamic movements. While Steve comes close to denigrating theological education, he never quite tips over that edge, but instead simply points to the data: an educated and professional clergy has always limited the expansion of the church. Dynamic movements, Hirsch or Roxburgh would remind us, always surf the edge of chaos. The balance between design and emergence, Word and Spirit, is not achieved in classrooms but by risky adventurers who are out there on the edge following the cloud.
Steve describes five common features of vibrant moves of God, and these also comprise the five chapters of the book: a white hot faith; commitment to a cause; contagious relationships; rapid mobilization; and adaptive methods. In contrast to modern trust in technology, reason and sociology, it is not money, great plans and strategies, large numbers, or academic qualifications that will ensure the spread of the gospel and the transformation of the places we live. Rather it is radical dependence on the Spirit, radical commitment to Jesus and a passion for his kingdom that will produce expansion.
Steve notes numerous individuals and groups which exemplified these traits. These include the Moravians under Zinzendorf, St Patrick, Floyd McClung and the Dilaram House movement, Wesley and the Methodists, William Carey, Tim Keller, Ralph Moore, persecuted but thriving believers in Communist China, and many others.
I was struck again by the parallel between LTGs, Zinzendorf's bands, and the triads being employed by groups like Life on the Vine. FORGE Canada will also use triads to anchor discipleship and formation on mission. There is no better way to grow people than putting them face to face.
The last third of the book engaged me the most. It consists of two sections: Rapid Mobilization and Adaptive Methods. Steve opens with a quote from a contractor who is less interested in the buildings than in building builders. This kind of vision and passion is the sort that forms dynamic movements.
Steve relates a conversation with Des Nixon, who added an extension on his home. "I don't build buildings, Steve.. I build builders." Des has a kingdom vision and a plan to multiply himself. Steve follows this conversation with a look at the Methodist circuit riders and the explosive growth of the movement in the United States up to 1850. Then he summarizes some of the work of Roland Allen in The Spontaneous Expansion of the Church (a primary missions document and if you haven't read it, find it).
Roland Allen describes seven ways to inhibit growth and expansion.
1. when paid foreign professionals are primarily responsible to spread the gospel, causing the gospel to be seen as a foreign intrusion
2. when the church is dependent on foreign funds and leadership. "How can a man propagate a religion which he cannot support and which he cannot expect those whom he addresses to support?"
3. when the spread of the gospel is controlled out of fear of error, and both error and godly zeal are suppressed
4.when it is believed that the church is to be founded , educated, equipped, and established in the doctrine, ethics and organization before it is to expand
5. when emerging leaders are restricted from ministering until they are fully trained and so learn the lesson of inactivity and dependency
6. when conversion is seen as the result of clever argument rather than the power of Christ
7. when professional clergy control the ministry and discourage the spontaneous zeal of non-professionals. They may protect the new believers from charlatans (Acts 8:9-24) but they also block unconventional leaders like Peter the fisherman.
This section closes with a look at Ralph Moore and the Hope Chapel movement. I love this, "we're not smart, we're relentless." I was also caught by the simple little formula employed in the mini churches of Hope Chapel while reviewing bible material, echoing the Great Commandment:
What did you learn (head)
What did God say to you (heart)
What will you do (hands)
The final section, Adaptive Methods, opens with this great quote from Eric Hoffer (I had previously attributed to Al Rogers, so who knows?)
In times of drastic change, it is the learners
who inherit the future.
The learned find themselves well equipped
to live in a world that no longer exists.
Why are adaptive methods so important? Steve writes,
"A key to the success of Pentecostalism has been its ability to bring together super-naturalism and pragmatism in a curiously compatible marriage. The intense religious experiences that vie rise to new movements would remain fleeting unless they are embodied in some form of human organization. This presents every new movement with a dilemma - how to give the "charismatic moment" expression in social forms without extinguishing it." (107)
This is the problem addressed in part by Howard Synder in The Problem of Wineskins, and later by Charles Hummel in Fire in the Fireplace. It is the ongoing tension between design and emergence, Word and Spirit. Steve points out that sustaining a dynamic movement requires that we live in the tension between passion and discipline. A little later he notes that the decline of movements is often due to the "failure of success." It simply becomes too costly - too risky - for some organizations to adapt. There is too much to protect - position, rank, authority, etc.
Steve closes the chapter with a note on the Adaptive Methods of Jesus.
In the conclusion (121ff) Steve relates a meeting with Oscar Muriu, pastor of the Nairobi Chapel in Kenya. This man was so successful at raising up and equipping new leaders that he faced a problem: his church of four thousand was filled with leaders. He knew that they would become bored and frustrated unless something happened, so he divided his church of four thousand into five churches, and sent many of the best interns out as church planters. He sent experienced elders, most of them in their thirties, to support the church planters. This was the birth of a church planting movement that now has more than 25 congregations eight years later.
Steve asked Oscar how he figured this out. Oscar's reply: "You don't have to be clever. I just copy. I look at Scripture and ask, `What did Jesus do?'" Then he made a statement that Steve won't forget: "Steve, I don't plant churches. I grow sons." And some of his best "sons" are daughters - about half his interns are women.
Addison approaches Christianity as a movement, not a static religion. He uses a wide variety of sources - historical, contemporary, sociological, and the life of Jesus Himself - to develop 5 pillars that movements rest on:
1. White Hot Faith - movements begin with men and women who encounter the living God and surrender in loving obedience to his call.
2. Commitment To A Cause - movements require a high degree of commitment from themselves and from one another.
3. Contagious Relationships - movements spread rapidly, through preexisting networks of relationships.
4. Rapid Mobilization - movements grow leaders from the people reached - usually unpolished, non-funded, or centrally-controlled.
5. Adaptive Methods - movements keep the heart of the Gospel but adapt the forms to fit the context.
Each chapter explores one of these characteristics. The stories are fascinating. Addison includes historical examples from Saint Patrick, John Wesley, Zinzenforf and the Moravians, Azusa Street, Francis Asbury, and William Carey. Contemporary examples include, Ralph Moore, Neil Cole, Floyd McClung, Sydney's Anglican diocese, Chinese church planters, and "Des the builder." Addison also takes a close look at how Jesus modeled and lived out each of the 5 characteristics of movements, after all, He started the largest movement in history.
One last note, the bibliography in the back of the book is hugely helpful for anyone wanting to study deeper about movements. Addison divides the resources into sections on biblical/missiological, historical, sociological, organizational, and contemporary.
Easy to read and with a brilliant mix of researched "meat" and inspirational stories, Movements That Change The World will have broad appeal.
The book is filled with stories that keep the pages turning with a message that is both simple and profound: the church--in it's essence--is a movement: "Jesus did not come to found a religious organization. He came to found a missionary movement that would spread to the ends of the earth."
The author offers five characteristics of missionary movements and illustrates each of these points with wonderful story-telling. He brings to life Wesley and Methodism, Patrick and the Celtic missionary movement, the Moravians, as well as many other known and not-so-known movements and movement-starters. From these stories he brings clarity to the five characteristics of movements that the book focuses on: white-hot faith, commitment to a cause, contagious relationships, rapid mobilization, and adaptive methods.
This is a book for today, for those who long to see the church unleashed.
In Movements that Change the World, Steve Addison identifies five characteristics of missionary movements. I read this entire book on a flight returning from a week in Northern India training leaders of a church planting movement. They've planted 1300 churches last year and have a goal of 100,000 churches in Asia by the year 2030!
As I read and understood these five characteristics, I reflected on how they are exhibited in India and I longed to see them evident in North America. This book has inspired me by both its examples and its practicality. In coaching church planters in the U.S., I intend to challenge them to consider how they can adopt theses principles in their ministry context.
It's through examining the activities of men like Wesley, Asbury, Patrick, and Carey -- and also Keller, Roberts, Driscoll, Moore and Cole -- who followed Jesus in their generation that Addison provides both inspiration and demonstration of white hot faith, commitment to a cause, contagious relationships, rapid mobilization, and adaptive methods. This book is a must read for anyone who is serious about fulfilling the mission of Jesus!
One of the best questions that Addison asks is toward the end: "Are our methods so simple that the newest believer is employing them?" He adds, "That's how movements multiply disciples, groups, and communities of faith. They democratize their methods and allow every follower of Jesus to participate." (p 112)
This book will inspire you to join the movement that Jesus started in the first century, and will give you practical insights into how to accelerate that movement right where you are!
_______________ "Movements change people, and changed people change the world!" (p28) _______________
The book is an excellent popular introduction to the concept of movements. Each chapter features several stories, with in particular a look at the life of Jesus in the context of the concept being presented.
Chapter One features an excellent overview of movements and a good if brief introduction to Patrick and the Celts, a classic case of a movement that changed the world (and one dear to my heart). I found myself in agreement with the five characteristics of a movement (although I felt one--Openness--was missing).
Chapter Two begins with a poignant testimony, then moves into defining what movements are. I appreciated the illustrations of membership vs. participation, and the focus on leadership vs. control.
Chapter Three examines the role of `white-hot faith'--surrender through a spiritual crisis and the discipline of discipleship--and its role in movements in Protestant history.
Chapter Four examines a classic movement--the Methodists--to emphasize the need to not just get people fired up about a passionate cause, but also to organize them. It focuses on three factors in a movement that enable strong commitment: unique identity, alignment, and medium tension. These principles are similar to the ideas of the plausible promise and shared values that we have discussed here.
Chapter Five examines the connectedness and relational nature of movements. It has good brief introductions to the ideas of weak connections, open membership, and six-degrees connectedness.
Chapter Six is all about how leaders build leaders. It focuses primarily on basic principles of recruitment and training, and highlights Roland Allen's principles for avoiding dependency.
Chapter Seven's title focuses on being adaptive--an idea that is all too often overlooked in missions. "Adaptive methods are just like soccer. They're simple, easy to learn, fun, contagious, adaptable, transferable and low cost." However, the chapter is likewise focused primarily on adapting by abandoning ideas that lead to church stagnation, and adopting ideas that lead to church growth (e.g. "fully fund every church plant" vs. "train church planters to raise funds or become tentmakers").
Chapter Eight ends with a stirring call to action, and as always the endnotes provide a wealth of resources to examine.
Steve's book is a well-written look at movements. If you're interested in what large movements of people look like and some overarching principles for their formation, On Movements is definitely worth a look. Tribes, by Seth Godin, is a very general inspirational introduction to the idea; Steve's book would be a very good sequel to it, to apply the concepts in a church-planting setting.