I follow the tweets and posts of Dr Alvin Reid, a professor at Southeastern Baptist Seminary and tireless advocate of youth evangelism.  It was he who taught (in a guest sermon and  then in the book I bought) that we who expect our students to be geniuses in school and supermen on the athletic field, ought to hold similar expectations of them as thoroughly-equipped mature believers before they leave high school.  (Set the standard high and watch them surpass it!)

So when I heard he had a new e-book out called advance, I went there immediately and began reading.  It’s only 48 pages and easy to read.

on pages 14 and 15, Dr Reid quotes Steve Addison in describing a christian movement.  Addison says each one has 5 essential characteristics:

1. White-hot faith: “Missionary movements begin with men and women who encounter the living God and surrender in loving obedience to His call.”
2. Commitment to a cause: A commitment to the cause of Christ and His gospel leads people to become “fearless and uncompromising agents of transformation in this world.”
3. Contagious relationships: A missionary movement will be “at home in the existing culture and yet radically distinct from it.” Movements spread quickly “through preexisting networks of relationships.”
4.  Rapid mobilization: Missionary movements that spread rapidly are not “centrally planned, funded, or controlled.” I would add this is why young people have been so instrumental in the spread of gospel movements. They do not need tremendous structure; they need a cause and a direction and then to be released.
5. Adaptive methods: From Patrick of Ireland to today, methods change even though the gospel never changes. “The forms changed to fit the context and to serve the needs of an expanding movement while the unchanging gospel remained at the center of the movement.”

Reid reminds us that our participation does not require a seminary degree or even an appointed position in the church.  Instead it is all about putting yourself in the middle of God’s will and adopting the posture of a missionary wherever  you find yourself living.


Download your own copy of Dr Reid’s book here.

Steve Addison’s book is titled  Movements That Change the World.  (Smyrna, DE:Missionary Press, 2009)