Cultivating a Movement

I just started a new sermon series called, “Cultivating a Movement.”

A few weeks ago, I wrote in an email to church leaders and prayer partners, “I don’t just want to pastor a church; I want to lead a movement!”

Now, that may not be the most theologically-accurate statement. By nature, a church is a movement. But churches drift if they’re not intentional about staying on course. Churches that drift from God’s mission are not movements; they’re clubs. Clubs hinder God’s mission. Movements change the world!

My phrase, “pastor a church,” alludes to simply going through the motions, maintaining the status quo, and trying not to ruffle feathers or rock the boat. I’m not interested in that. I want to lead a movement!

I began the series saying we need to settle the question: Is faith just a noun or is it also a verb? Faith as a noun is the content of our faith; it’s what we believe. The noun matters (a lot). But, faith as a verb is our faith lived out. The verb matters, too; in fact, it’s essential!

Faith is BOTH a noun and a verb. But too many followers of Jesus live as if it’s just a noun. Faith is also a verb, something to be lived out. In fact, when James wrote, “faith is dead when it doesn’t result in faithful activity” (James 2.17, CEB), he was essentially saying that the noun without the verb is dead!

How we answer the question about the nature of faith determines what kind of church we will be, whether we will be a movement or a club. A church that focuses only on faith as a noun will be a church of consumers, a club. But a church that focuses on faith as both a noun AND a verb will be a church of contributors. And, contributors create movements!

Over the next several weeks, I’ll be sharing some specific ways we’re trying to cultivate a movement at Centre Grove. It won’t be an exhaustive list, but I hope it will helpful!

I’d love to hear from you. What kinds of things do you think help to cultivate a movement? Please add a comment!

2 thoughts on “Cultivating a Movement”

  1. It will be interesting to see how the people respond to this. As you noted, movements change things and many people are not willing to be a part of change, especially when it comes to the church.

    I sometimes wonder what would happen if we were to undertake the same sort of changes that Wesley sought today. How would the people respond?

    • Yeah, it probably depends on the situation. Here, I expect people to respond well, overall, though there will always be pockets of resistance. I’ve been here long enough now (5.5 years) that none of this will be radically new. 🙂


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