Joining God in the Chain Reaction of Gospel Movements


Last month Gary Mayes, director of our ChurchNEXT collective, gave a talk about movement thinking at a staff conference in Colorado. Here are some of the highlights from his presentation…

The language of movements is not just another grandiose way of talking about stuff. It’s not a movement to go, “You know, I’ve got five people on my team.” That’s awesome, but it’s actually not a movement. The word “movement” is not a synonym for “really cool”! It’s about the movement of God as he moves in.

Supernatural movements of the gospel, the explosive, game-changing kind, are the result of the supernatural work of God. They are not something we create. They’re not something we own. They’re not something we manage. They’re not something we take credit for. It’s an agenda of God that we serve.

I want to talk about what movements look like. But if we want to talk about what they look like, maybe we ought to look and see what they look like. So I’ve got a little video of a guy—he’s a physics guy—that’s going to teach us about movements with a little experiment he did with dominoes.

Watch the video

This is just so much fun—but the meaning of this thing is really profound. The point is this: Which piece in the chain was more important? Do you ever look at yourself and go, “Man, I’m just a little SIM card and God wants to do this monster thing—and getting from A to B feels pretty impossible”?

See, the thing about movements is you’re not responsible for the whole thing. You’re not responsible to do the whole job. You’re just a piece. And you do your piece, and here’s what happens—it starts to multiply its impact. And the impact of your life—the impact of our work when we give ourselves away, when we live a life of multiplication and sacrifice, when we say it actually wasn’t about me—no matter where we are in the little chain, it releases the energy that changes the world.

With thirteen pieces in the chain, it grows from a SIM card to over a hundred pounds, with twenty-nine pieces, it could move the Empire State Building—still starting from a SIM card.

That’s what movement looks like.

And let’s be really clear about what we mean by gospel movements. This is when the good news (that’s the gospel) spreads contagiously through networks of social relationships, where people (and by that I mean waves and waves and waves of people) become committed followers of Jesus.

We’re talking about people beginning to follow Jesus! This is the business God’s in. And his invitation to us is to join him.


Gary Mayes is the collective director of CRM's ChurchNEXT Collective. He and his wife, Margaret, recently moved to Phoenix, AZ, where they enjoy spending time with their grandson and have a great appreciation for air conditioning.