Tuesday, August 25, 2009

"White Hot Faith" - Start with this

Addison's first characteristic of a movement that changes the world is "White-hot faith." Donald McGavran states in one of his first books on church growth entitled How Churches Grow (London: World Dominion Press, 1959) as "General Factors in Church Growth" (Chapter VIII, pages 55 to 59) that "Authentic Spiritual Fire" is the first of those factors.

In an article that followed up a module on church planting held at the Aix-en-Provence seminary in southern France, for La revue réformée (April 1988, Vol. 39, No 154) entitled "La croissance de l’Eglise: Une possibilité en France?" I stated that there is a very close link between the growth of the church and the intensity of the faith of its members. Then I explained, "How is an "intense faith" to be understood? It is a faith that shines around, convinced. By the power of the Holy Spirit it overcomes obstacles and renders people receptive to the gospel. It is an obedient faith that obeys the commandment of Jesus not only to proclaim the gospel, to evangelize, but to make disciples of all nations." (Vajko 1988, 31)

There is no doubt that whatever you call it -- white-hot faith, authentic spiritual fire, or intense faith--any movement that is truly on fire for God grows by multiplying disciples and then churches.

How can this be better reflected in our desire to see more people won to Christ and growing in solid healthy churches and all this by God's wonderful grace.

Let's interact on this quality of a movement along with what Steve Addison has said.


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Reading Steve Addison's Book on Movements That Change the Word

August 22,

I am presently enjoying the reading of Steve Addison's book Movements that Change the World (Missional Press, 2009) and he lists 5 major qualities of a dynamic movement.

White-hot faith

Commitment to a Cause

Contagious relationships

Rapid mobilization

Adaptive methods

I am comparing his thinking about this with David Hesselgrave's previous study on Dynamic Religious Movements (Baker 1978) where Hesselgrave lists a number of factors in the last chapter called "What Causes Religious Movements to Grow?"

His first thought is "To be successful, any religious movement must be simultaneously 'of the culture' and 'not of the culture.'... By 'of the culture' I mean that to be widely accepted, a religious movement must be meaningful in terms of indigenous world views and values and traditional ways."

Then he further explains, "At the same time, each successful religious movement seems to represent some significant parting with that which is commonly believed and practiced within its culture." (p. 304).

I have discovered this to be true in effective church planting and above all in church planting movements.

Let's dialogue on this subject and see what you think...