All through history mass movements have been the driving force in cultural, political and spiritual change. The longest lasting change in a culture and civilisation always comes from a mass movement of a few that leads to permanent change all the way to the top. All the great religions started this way, as did science, modern atheism and many political movements.
So how do they work?
Mas movements usually start at the bottom of society and work their way up
They are like a self-spreading social virus started by an dedicated person
Then he/she gathers just a few committed disciples
They spread their message but suffer rejection from the existing order which see it as a threat
They begin to challenge the existing social/political/spiritual order
Then there is a tipping point when the majority also take up the movements values
Now the movement has become mainstream, the new normal
|1. First the vision|
|2. Then the message|
|3. Then disciples|
|4. Then mass change|
2. SOME HISTORICAL MOVEMENTS
Jesus’: Changed the world forever (more on this movement later)
Adolf Hitler: Nazi Germany
Greta Thunberg: The young climate activist
St Patrick: Christian missionary to Ireland and northern Europe
Ghandi: Kicked the British out of India
Ying Kai: Church planter in China who saw 2 million come to Jesus
Victor John: 10 million Bhojpuri people brought into Christianity
3. WHAT GETS A MOVEMENT STARTED?
Passion, conviction and determination,
A sense of injustice
Boldness and fearlessness
Seeing the end at the beginning.
Christian mass movements most often begin when one person with a burning desire to see God move finally breaks out of the old mould through frustration, spends a lot of time seeking God and then follows New Testament patterns of discipleship.
4. GOD IS DOING A NEW THING
Thousands of Christian mass movements are now rapidly growing all over the world as missions strategists, evangelists and ordinary believers rediscover how Jesus grew his movement.
These new movements began to emerge in the 1990’s and have really taken off since the turn of the 21st Century. Some statistics recorded as at the middle of 2019:
3,292 teams seeking to start mass movements of disciples
1,032 mass movements globally (defined by 4 generations of simple churches)
73 million people discipled in these movements in the last 30 years
Most in formally unreached people groups
Many inside Islamic countries such as Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, Algeria and Indonesia
6. AN EXAMPLE OF A LARGE MASS CHURCH PLANTING MOVEMENT
As described by an American missions expert, Ron Parish in late 2019. The Discipleship Multiplication Movement he described is located in Central Java, Indonesia:
Java has 1/3 of all people in the Southern hemisphere!
In 2006 Todd Ellison started this Church Planting Movement
He used the Discovery Bible Study method for Muslims that were curious to learn about Isa.
He always started with Genesis and trained his workers to do the same
Between lessons 5 to 8 he introduced the Gospel
Groups ranged from 5-8 people, enough to have a discussion
The movement has doubled every 14 months
There are now 137,000 groups
It has now infiltrated the universities
It has also infiltrated previously totally unreached people groups
- Five Discipleship mass movements
- The Bhojpuri Breakthrough in India
- Discipleship movements among Muslims in West Africa
- Discipleship movements among Muslims in the Middle East
- Discipling movement in Ipswich Australia
- Rod Gilbert: Indian mass movement
7. GOING SLOW TO EVENTUALLY GO FAST
|Year||Number of disciples|
- Teach someone what you have just learned
- Start praying for the harvest (Luke 10:2)
- Ask yourself the following questions and pray about them:
- What is the Father’s vision for my community?
- Does my vision line up with the fathers vision?
- What’s the best way to transform my community into disciples?
- What is the key to me getting started?