As you read Pioneering Movements you will discover three truths about movement making:
- Movements are led by apostolic leaders.
- Movement is God’s means for accomplishing the mission of Jesus.
- Movements are not just a topic to research, but a way to join God in his great redemptive work. My favorite line in this book is, “I was an expert , but I wasn’t living it out.” What you are reading is a rarity because the author refuses to let movement become merely an academic project.
Some practitioners spend too much effort trying to get the strategy and methodology right rather than looking for the right person to invest in. If someone says to me, give me the method or give me the curriculum, I know they have not understood that this is accomplished through persons rather than through methods.
God can use times of crisis to remake leaders from the inside out .We may think of the wilderness as a place to avoid, a place of testing. Yet the wilderness is also a place where we encounter God. It is a place of profound change. We are given the opportunity to surrender and trust God before there are any answers. Pass that test and clarity will come as a byproduct of surrender. Most movement pioneers have faced God in the wilderness and allowed him to remake them. Breakthroughs in pioneering movements often occur as the byproduct of crisis encounters with God.
In Pioneering Movements author Steve Addison does an excellent job of illustrating movements all across the world that have taken place and are taking place today. Through these various examples, Addison does well at dispelling the common statement one would make after reading a book of this nature, “Ok, but it won’t work here because…”. Addison also provides a solid basis for his writing by centering it on Jesus, “Jesus founded the greatest movement this world has ever seen. That movement has at its heart the multiplication of disciples and churches — everywhere. (7)” “It’s not about us — our church, our missional community. It’s not about our methods and strategies. It’s not about our creative imagination. It’s not even about movement pioneers. It’s about God and what he has done through Jesus. It’s about the power of the Holy Spirit and his dynamic Word. (21)” “There is no other mission than that of Jesus Christ, God’s Son sent to save a lost world through his sacrifice and resurrection. The exalted Lord Jesus still leads the way through the Holy Spirit. (23)” “Jesus unleashed something totally new in human history—a missionary movement that had the whole world in its sites. (46)”
I particularly like the Five Levels of Movement Leadership:
- A Seed Sower is a disciple who obeys Jesus’ command to spread the gospel. Every believer should be a seed sower. (71)
- Church Planters are Seed Sowers who have learned how to make disciples and plant churches. (73)
- Church Multipliers are Church Planters who have learned how to start churches that reproduce generations of new churches. (78)
- Multiplication Trainers are Church Multipliers who have learned how to equip other church multipliers to achieve third and fourth generation churches. (81)
The key difference between a multiplication trainer (level 4) and a level 5 leader is that a movement catalyst takes on a broad responsibility to reach an unreached population segment or region. (103)
Some very effective level 3 to level 5 leaders were not as effective as sowers and planters. Leaders need to find their personal levels of giftedness and calling. There is not a hierarchy of value between the levels of leadership.
The critical transition between these five levels of movement leadership is helping church planters become church multipliers. This transition marks the boundary between addition and multiplication. Most church planting in the West focuses on starting and growing the next church. Movements focus on multiple generations of churches. What I love about this is it is all encapsulating, we all have our roles to play. We can all improve on our current leadership level and grow into the next.
The foundation of any movement of disciples and churches must be Christ, not the wisdom and power of this world (1 Corinthians 1: 22-23). Paul discovered that the glory and power of God was revealed through his daily experience of death. (p.162)