Articles

A theology of us

We desperately need a fresh theology of us. Movements are about us.

The church is plagued by a theology of me. The individual has become the great end of God’s plan for mankind. We are told, “If you were the only person on earth, Jesus would have died for you,” and “God has a wonderful plan for your life.” This may be true, but it misses the grand plan. In fact, it misses the entire gospel. God’s plan was never for an individual – it was for a redeemed people. The entire story of scripture is about the relationship between God and his people – not one person.

Three Builders

There were once three builders. They had very different approaches to building. Each builder thought that his approach was the best.

Builder one had many great ideas. He would dream about the places he was going to build. Everyone loved his ideas. They spoke about him and told others what a great builder he was. But builder one never built a single building. He was too busy telling others about his ideas. He died in poverty.

Builder two was passionate about building. His motto in life was to “Just do it!” Every morning, he woke up and went out to collect bricks. He had little money, so he would collect bricks anywhere he could find them. He would then drive them to his building site where he would dump them in a heap. This was hard work and he never really had time to build. But he was a man of great faith. He believed that if he faithfully collected the bricks and did his part with passion, the building would eventually be built. Builder two, however, died without having built a single building. After his death, a thief collected his bricks and put them to another use.

Is DMM a passing fad?

A gathering in South AfricaSeveral years ago, I participated in discussions that led to renaming the term “Church Planting Movements (CPM)” to “Disciple Making Movements (DMM).” This was an attempt to more accurately define these movements around the core value of disciple making. It was not the beginning of such movements. It was simply a redefining of something that God was already doing in many countries around the world.

Before the term DMM (or Disciple Making Movements) was coined, I had personally been pursuing movements of the gospel for over 22 years. My journey has not been fleeting nor shallow. Quite the contrary. Those of us who have seen movements actually start, have stories of failure, perseverance, disappointment and slow success.

Three Allegiances

alleg"And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again." (2 Corinthians 5:15)

Movements require much more than a simplistic approach to conversion and evangelism.  Evangelism is more than seeking to proselytize, baptize and abandon.  Such programs count conversations and baptisms.  In my context, they have caused great pain, disillusionment and a mass rejection of the gospel.  

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