Becoming a Movement
Steve Addison has identified 5 characteristics of Movements that Change the World.¹ These characteristics are essential for healthy local churches, ministries and movements:
- White-hot faith – believers encountering and surrendering to God.
- Commitment to Jesus’ cause – disciple making, church planting and movement.
- Contagious relationships – where gospel seeds are sown and disciples made.
- Rapid mobilization – of new disciples in disciple making and church planting.
- Adaptive methods – with functional, flexible and reproducible structures.
Discipleship ministry specialists assist church administrators, department leaders, and pastors in appropriately fostering these dynamics in their church and region. The South Pacific Division promotes a change or shifts towards a greater focus on discipleship.
Like the early Christian church, Adventism began as a dynamic Spirit-led movement. As a well-established organisation, we now face challenges in fulfilling our primary mission. Some of the things which reflect our maturity, have aided our growth, and appear to be strengths and achievements, now threaten to become obstacles to fulfilling the commission of Christ. Success, comfort, consumerism, institutionalism, complexity, events, organisational structure, and funding may threaten the vitality of Adventism as a pre-advent disciple-making movement.
Tim Keller suggests that the church is called to be “an organised organism,” finding the creative tension or balance between structure and local and individual action. The discipleship ministries team works with and through church structure to align and position it to facilitate and support a movement of revival and disciple-making.