Gospel Movements: What Are They?


When Jesus commissioned his followers to "go and make disciples of all nations" (Mt. 28:18-20), he launched a movement that rocked the world. After the Holy Spirit fell on the day of Pentecost, the disciples took to the streets, sharing the good news, and 3,000 people responded to God's message of reconciliation on the first day (Acts 2:1-41).

CRM's mission is to boldly join in the fulfillment of the task Jesus gave, working to create movements of committed followers of Jesus around the world. Wherever you find CRM staff—whether working to equip the Church in America, living as change agents in poor communities, or speaking the good news of Jesus among unreached peoples—you will find their tasks connected to this big vision, of seeing all peoples blessed and all nations transformed by the good news of Jesus. Anything less would be a denial of God's big plan of redemption.

So what are gospel movements? And how do we support them?

Let's start with a basic definition and build from there.



A movement is a sociological phenomenon where a group of people work together to passionately advance their shared commitments.

The specific movements to which we are committed happen when the good news of Jesus spreads contagiously through a network of social relationships whereby many people become committed followers of Jesus and groups of these disciples multiply. Such movements have the potential to radically impact whole towns, cities, and nations.


Gospel movements—regardless of culture, place or era—have five essential components, all of which are necessary for a movement to reach its full potential.


While prayer pervades every aspect of a movement, it is critical in laying the foundation and creating the conditions for a movement to launch and thrive. “Movemental” prayer operates comfortably in the supernatural, expecting signs and wonders, dealing with the demonic, and knowing how to appropriate the manifest presence of the Holy Spirit. It includes spiritual mapping, prayer walking, intercession and other forms of strategic prayer.


Every movement has, at its core, effective tools and processes to help people far from God become committed followers of Jesus and then make disciples of others. Such multiplication is at the heart of our concept of discipleship and spiritual growth. While the history of the church contains many evangelism and discipleship models, we focus on a highly-effective process known as Disciple Making Movement (DMM) strategy and philosophy of ministry.

Leadership Development

Unless leaders are developed intentionally, from within the movement itself, it will inevitably collapse under the weight of its own success.  Such movement leaders will exhibit a wide array of gifting, but all are necessary to guide and build ministry momentum that will go far beyond themselves. It is imperative that these leaders know how to identify new leaders and how to appropriately coach, mentor, and launch them into ministry.

Church Forming

History has shown that for every successful Gospel movement, there are two essential structures of the church that work synergistically and in partnership: the missionary and the local. Apostolic missionary structures like CRM are always in the mix. And healthy local church expressions—not institutions—also emerge and multiply to steward the fruit of the movement. It is always “both...and...”, not one or the other. In the DMM process used by CRM, the functions of a healthy church are coded into the DNA from the beginning. CRM also implements a range of tools to help new or established church expressions thrive missionally.

Cultural Transformation

Cultural transformation is the inevitable result of a movement as the leavening power and presence of the Kingdom of God permeates society. Such transformation occurs when the Spirit’s redemptive work overturns injustice and breaks the power of systemic sin. While there is always change when the Kingdom of God, through the people of God, touches a culture, it’s only when all five movement components are present that cultural change is effectively and sustainably addressed.

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