Acts 29 and Movement Thinking
Today, while I was at work I plugged in my MP3 player to a set of computer speakers that I brought in from home. While I do this most days, I’m usually listening to worship music of some kind. But within the last couple of days I loaded way more preaching onto my Walkman than should be allowed in any country, and so instead of listening to music at work, I listened to preaching. The great thing about it was that I found myself wanting to get back to my desk and work so that I could hear more of the sermon that was paused while I was away. It was good motivation to stay at my desk and to continue working.
The featured speaker of the day was Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington. Mark has a movement of young men desiring to plant churches all over the place and has done (from what I understand) an amazing job of bringing the true Gospel to tons of non-believers. This sermon was given to a group of potential church planters that were thinking of joining Mark’s Acts 29 church planting network. It had a lot of funny moments, some stuff I liked, and some stuff I disagreed with.
But what the sermon did, it did well…and that’s this…Mark described very well the nature and pitfalls of movements. He described movements as a river made up of various tributaries, always focusing on young adults, always harnessing new technology, and always bringing reformation to those outside of the movement’s reach. One of the things I greatly appreciated about Mark’s message was the single-minded focus he had about keeping Acts 29 focused on bringing the gospel to lost souls and planting churches where lost people are saved. Mark has taken great pains to make sure that nothing else eclipses that goal.
And in the process it reminded me that all true, Jesus-centered movements are on the same mission that Jesus was on–to seek and save the lost. There are no new movements (in the Kingdom, at least) where people are not being converted. We (as a house-church and as part of the larger house church movement) need to make sure we don’t loose this as a cardinal value. When we loose this, we become just another plateauing church that is part of the reason lost people are going to hell every day. But if we embrace not just Jesus, but the mission He is on as well, we reconnect ourselves with the very cause the Church on earth exits and we become a little more like the phenomenal Jesus-movements of history.
I’ll talk more about movements sometime. For now…are you part of the movement of Jesus to reclaim humanity under the reign of God?
3 responses to “Acts 29 and Movement Thinking”
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- December 30, 2010 -
Mark Driscoll seems to be the man of the hour. I’ll have to listen to more of him. Sounds like good stuff. Hey, I’ve been pondering the apostolic more these days. Should the only aim of the apostolic be church-planting? Or can it also focus on raising up new sending entities such as mission organizations? I read an interesting article by Dr. Ralph D. Winter called “The Two Structures of Mission” or something like that. It is in the “Perspectives on the World Christian Movement ” book. Check it out. Peace to all in CR!
Thanks for stopping by the blog. Yeah, Mark Driscoll has a lot of recognition right now. Mark seems to be this unique blend of former Indie rocker and John Piper-esque preacher that is having a lot of impact among young people and is proving particularly effective in areas that are extremely secular. I don’t agree with everything he says, but he has a great skill in communicating timeless biblical truth in a wildly entertaining and relevant way.
I haven’t read Ralph Winter’s article yet, maybe I’ll do that and get back to you based on what he says there. Here’s my take on the whole apostolic deal-I don’t believe the only aim of the apostolic is church planting. I think apostles also must serve as guardians over the DNA of the church, making sure that the existing church stays true to the ways of God. I also think apostles serve as a sort of “code-breaker” for the Kingdom. Paul spoke all the time about the mysteries of the will of God that had been entrusted into his care. That said, I do think apostles are responsible for the extension of the Kingdom in their lifetime and within their sphere. This task, by its very definition, makes them church planters.
I do believe that apostles are found outside of the church. I know of a number of apostles throughout the last twenty to fifty years that have found their most effective ministry outside of church as we know it, mostly in “para-church” ministries or even in the business world. But my opinion is that this is at best a secondary, temporary situation and that both the church and the apostles that have left them have suffered from the divide. As effective as true apostles are wherever they find themselves, I believe they will only hit their highest places in God when they function along side of the other ministries (Eph 4) and these ministries function together with all the saints for the good of the Kingdom.
So what do you think? And what have you been learning as you’ve been pondering the apostolic?