Three Things that Hinder a Movement

I’ve been listening to a phenomenal set of interviews by Steve Addison that are part of his “Movements That Change the World” podcast. Steve is interviewing “Barney,” a missionary and church planter that has helped spark a movement in an undisclosed third world nation.

In his fourth interview, “Barney” is describing the wider context in which movements happen.  Near the end of the interview, Barney talks about three different things that work their way in and distort the DNA of a church multiplication movement.  Most of us would expect these things to be things like heresy or sin.  What’s shocking about the things that he lists is they are things that well-intentioned people want to do for successful ministries.  What does Barney say hinders movements?

  • Buildings- According to Barney, church planting movements happen in all sorts of unconventional places: houses, restaurants, wherever people gather.  When someone comes in and builds a building for the movement, the focus shifts from starting multiple churches in many people’s homes to getting as many people to come to the building as possible.
  • External Funding- When money comes in from outside of the movement, it can cause the movement to embrace activities that in can’t sustain on its own financially.  This can cause the church receiving funding to not be responsible for the resourcing of it’s own activities.  Financial independence is crucial in the life of movements.
  • Non-Practical Training- Probably the most seductive of the three, this typically happens when someone comes in and offers to build a bible college to train workers.  The reality, though, is that this training takes people away from a more hands-on, obedience based training already happening within a movement.

Pretty interesting.  Now, here’s the real question: these realities cause movements to slow in the third world.  Is it possible that they hinder us as well? If so, why haven’t we noticed it before? Share your thoughts in the comment section!

Photo Credit: Social Media Patterns (Energy Minimized / No Overlap) by KentBye

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About traviskolder

Travis Kolder is a follower of Jesus, a husband, a father of five, an organic church planter, and a writer. He lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he serves as part of the Cedar Rapids House Church Network.

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