This is the third in a series of posts on movements written by my friend, Stephen Currie of Wycliffe Bible Translators.
Gospel movements are not about reforming complex theological dogma, restoring past traditions and recapturing the past glories. These movements are happening when the Gospel is simply and faithfully shared and God’s Spirit works to reconcile groups of people to Himself. The Gospel spreads through oikos (household, home, or family) groups, just as it did in New Testament days with Cornelius of Caesaria and Lydia of Philippi.
God puts new wine into new wine skins. When Jesus tells us that new wine must be put in new wine skins, he goes on to say, “But no one who drinks the old wine seems to want the new wine. ‘The old is just fine,’ they say.” (Luke 5:39 NLT). The focus of movement energy is not on reform or renewal, but regeneration and rebirth that comes from the life-transforming power of the Gospel of Jesus.
Gospel movements do not come from adaptive change. If that were so, we would see many Gospel movements in the western church today. Instead, movements come from radical transformation. When lives are truly transformed, there is a cascade effect that ignites a wildfire of spreading of the Gospel.
Regenerative life in us gives birth to regenerative life in others. Human energy may lead to change and even growth, but only Holy Spirit energy leads to exponential multiplication of disciples, leaders, and churches that are clear signs of a movement.