How To Kill A Movement

Fat manChurch history is replete with stories of how ‘natural minded’ men seek to control the work of the Holy Spirit with bureaucracy and red tape. Another such story came across my desk per a dear friend. The explosion of church planting and missionary work in the early days of America are filled with stories of sacrifice and uniqueness among the circuit riders who blazed trails across this country to take the gospel to every man in horrid conditions. Both Methodist and Baptist missionaries traveled in difficult conditions and with God’s Spirit to plant thousands of churches among the unreached in our great land.

When we get too ‘big for our britches’ we begin to think more in terms of organization instead of organism. This shift has been the death of many movements of the Holy Spirt within Christianity. Here is another sad story of how organization can kill the Holy Spirit’s work, and of how one pastor refuses to submit to the ‘red tape of death’ for the burden the Lord has called him to. Kudos to Jake Kale for carrying the call of early Methodism to reach the lost, even when it requires him to leave modern Methodism.

When we learn to let God be God, it is amazing what He can accomplish through yielded vessels! We are in dire need of leaders who:

* Stay on their knees in prayer 
* Cultivate a life of humility
* Understand the expansion of faith from a biblical view
* Realize the call is bigger than themselves
* Understand God cannot be placed in a box
* Commit workers to the care of the Holy Spirit
* Stop the micromanagement
* Seek the lowly and simple patterns of multiplication
* Resist the seduction of ‘business church’
* Die to the spirit of competition

What would you add?

4 thoughts on “How To Kill A Movement

  1. Sean Rivers

    I would hope the “starting beach-bar type churches” would be prohibited by the UMC although the UMC would have many other problems. The pastor states “I would also add that our vision of starting beach-bar type churches up and down the coast was not embraced by the district in which I served.”

    1. Sean, your parsing of words to make them sound somewhat ‘wrong,’ and your desire to “prohibit” reaching people where they are at is an example of the misplaced passions and vision we see in America. The UMC is dying, and unless it returns to the simple roots of the early circuit riders to take the gospel to the ‘whosoevers,’ it will continue its downward spiral trajectory. Sure there are exceptions where men are not bound by the small minded thinking you exhibit, but many of its buildings are just a couple of funerals away from being completely empty. John Wesley would turn over in his grave to see the aloof and sacerdotal stranglehold that natural men have placed on his mission to reach all people.

  2. Sean Rivers

    I’m sorry you feel that way. I have no problem witnessing to the lost in bars, but making a church into a bar just seems like modeling the church after the world. I just don’t see John Wesley starting a Bar themed church. There were plenty of taverns in his day, and I do not recall Him make a tavern themed church. Thank you for your time.

    1. Sean, it is not a “bar themed” church. You are “reading into the story.” It is a church which is easily accessible like the “bars on the beach.” The early circuit riders went into taverns, homes, by rivers and on boats and preached the gospel. Also, we must realize that for the first 2 centuries, Christianity did not even have a building to call “Church.” In the Scripture we see them meeting in homes, Solomon’s porch, open air theaters, river banks, and rented schools. We have the most powerful message in the world, but we must break free from placing our cultural preferences upon what is, and what is not, the meaning of “Church.”

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