Gospel Movement | The whole church taking the whole gospel to the whole city.
When everyone with a shared faith in Jesus, joined by common geography, takes collective responsibility for their city.
When we realize, independently, we cannot touch a whole community, let alone, represent Jesus in a manner He’s worthy.
Where division is clearly seen for what it is: a scheme of the enemy; and we choose many times over to love each other, no matter the cost.
When our love and unity proves the message genuine, because Jesus said it would.
When all of God’s people are activated in their sphere to live as Jesus did, sharing the Good News in speech, in acts of love, and in justice.
As not a demographic, age group, ethnicity or social class is left untouched; and we make maximum impact: in the transformation of lives and the well-being of our community.
And when Jesus is not hard to find, and our whole community sees Him, in high-def, real-time, “feel Him, see Him, touch Him,” full color.
That’s a gospel movement.
All over the world, God is authoring gospel movements. They say, “He’s restoring the geographic integrity of the Church,” uniting His people, in Him, around a common mission, and in specific locations. The stories are astounding. He’s doing it in big cities, from New York* to Mumbai, while refusing to overlook smaller ones. And He’s writing us into the story here, in little ol’ Eugene, Oregon . . . or home, as I fondly call it.
I GREW UP IN A GOSPEL MOVEMENT
I’m beginning to see the miracle of it. It’s a movement of God’s heart that people have prayed and labored toward for decades. It started well before I came on the scene. I grew up where it was a joy to work with other churches, and competition didn’t hold much weight. In fact, I didn’t know “church division” was as dramatic as some would lament, until I traveled elsewhere. I grew up hearing pastors speak well of one another, and cheer each other on. I saw leaders collectively discerning how God was leading them to serve and love our community together.
When God gave me His heart for my hometown, I gave myself to prayer and started serving the group of leaders who catalyze this “joining together movement.” With Jesus’ words so clear; there seemed like no better investment. Somewhere along the way, it became my job. Now it allows me a front row seat to this movement.
Certainly there’s a journey ahead of us in the Eugene/Springfield area, but pastors and leaders have prayed and sown for years. They’ve done the humble, costly work of laying aside their pride, theological preference, and comfort to connect with the leader down the road. They have followed the new command, and learned to love one another. We are living in a measure of this unity today, and the momentum has a life of its own.
As a friend described it, “We know each other. We like each other. We hug.” That sums it up. Someone printed t-shirts, and it sealed the deal. The tag line stuck around.
GOSPEL MOVEMENT PERSPECTIVE
One more thing about a gospel movement: Everyone has a creative, God-designed role to play. And we need every player. I find it fascinating that God determines the exact times and places we’re each to live (Acts 17:26). It compels me to search out His purpose behind my “here and now.” I guess that conviction leads me to tell the story. It’s the movement of God’s heart through His people, and it’s happening right in my hometown. I write so that its goodness might not lay hidden in plain sight, and that we’d all be caught up in His narrative, discovering the potential He’s laid in our here and our now.
I’m stoked to share the stories and perspective I’ve found “growing up in a gospel movement.” There’s more to come; but for now, I’ll leave you with an invitation to come see what I see. Subscribe below to follow the journey, and find what I’ve found, growing up in a gospel movement. You’ll really never be the same.
WIDE-EYED GOSPEL MOVEMENT LIVING
Your community, you see full of potential for the purposes of God, in people coming alive and thriving in their God-given gifts, destinies, and abundant life in Jesus.
In every societal problem, you find an opportunity for heaven to come, His people to really function as the Church, and for God to receive great glory.
God’s people, they bring you joy. You see the big expressive church across town, the small traditional one down the way, and all the people who fill them – as a wealth of value. You find them each revealing God in a manner no one else can, and sometimes, it surprises you. You learn to see beyond yourself; and that every diverse expression, emphasis, and culture, only further magnify Him.
And God, you get a great, big, bigger-than-your-little-church-building view of Him. He’s a beautiful kind of mighty.
Oh, and the story, you see God’s brilliantly-devised purposes being written out in your community. Right before your eyes. There’s always something stirring in your peripherals, and another Kingdom venture brewing right under your nose. That’s why gospel movement living has me wide-eyed.
This is my story, more so, it’s our story. Don’t you just LOVE God for it?
This is God’s design for His people. It’s our heavenly destiny that need not wait for heaven.
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Thanks for reading!
*Don’t just hear it from me – hear it from Tim Keller, nationally-known, pastor and author, leading in the New York City gospel movement expression. He says it real good. Click here to watch the video.