The New, Old Way of Movement Making
Recently traveled back through the book of Acts in conjunction with reading Thirty Years that Changed the World by Michael Green. A lot of work, volumes of books, rants and raves, doctoral dissertations, op eds, and more are being produced about the decline in American Christianity. I’m always struck by the simplicity of early Christianity. Here’s 4 things that jumped out at me that I want to personally lean in on in the coming months:
1. Disicpling: Relationships being built around an open Bible. It all started/starts with people gathered around the Word of God.
2. Faith in Action: Relationships being built around a ministry/mission or the needs of others. Growing Christians in Acts and today are others focused and mission driven. Follow the lives of early Christians in Acts and the first decades beyond and you’ll be struck by the incredible capacity for meeting needs. From pastoral care within to church planting in other regions, evangelistic campaigns, responding to disaster.
3. Apostolic Networking: New Relational tracks being established for the Gospel to run on. The big “A” Apostles established networks for the Gospel to take root. Today, with the declining influence of “the Church” and “the Bible says it” not being a good enough answer, we need new apostolic leaders to establish relational tracks with community leaders, neighborhood “elders,” Christianity’s critics, government agencies. Deeper than invitations to invocate at events, but to establish beach heads for the gospel to spread. More on this must be developed. Alan Hirsch’s newest book The Permanent Revolution: Apostolic Imagination and Practice for the 21st Century is a long look at this. Also, check out his Christianity Today article from a few years back, “Where have all the APE’s gone?”
4. Multiplication: More people in more places doing 1, 2, & 3.
And they did it without manuals, conferences, podcasts, computers. May the Holy Spirit stir such simplicity in us.