An Organic Movement
FOUR THINGS TO SEE AN ORGANIC MOVEMENT OF CHRIST IN OUR COMMUNITY
I recently sat down with the Grassroots Group that my wife and I are a part of. The topic of conversation was “What would it take to see an organic movement of Christ in our community?” We shot ideas back and forth, marked some down, threw some out, combined a few and came up with four things we believe it would take.
Now before we discuss these four points, I would like to define what we mean by an “organic movement of Christ.” We can’t force God into anything that He does not desire of His own sovereign will. Matt Chandler, who pastors The Village Church in Texas, said we cannot turn the water on but we can place ourselves under the faucet of the Spirit of God.
What we mean by an organic movement is this: A movement that is based on relationships that are formed as we interact with those around us throughout our daily lives , settle in for a life-long commitment to the movement, guided by the great commandment and great commission, and fueled by the Holy Spirit.
Having defined it, let’s dive in to what we feel it would take to place ourselves “under the faucet.”
Requirement #1 – Prayer
In our definition we left “fueled by the Holy Spirit” till last. We didn’t do that for any particular reason, it just wraps up the definition with the focus we want it to have very well. We are, however, starting off our requirements with the most vital part. Prayer. The spiritual discipline of prayer goes against everything that our society has come to practice. Our quick, entertain me, self-centered, distractable mindset does not allow us to focus on pointed, intimate times in conversation with God through the Spirit. What we do instead is try to come up with quick, entertainment-like, self-centered ways of “fitting” prayer into our already busy schedules.
To see an organic movement of the Spirit we are going to need these intimate conversations with God in order to know where the Spirit is leading so we can position ourselves under the faucet ready for the outpouring. This also goes against our need to be in control. We must let go of all that we foresee and ask God what he has fore-planned.
Requirement #2 - Let Go of Self
We have already touched on this, slightly, in the prayer requirement. We are, however, thinking in a little different manner when it comes to letting go of self. I would at this time like to apologize. With all this talk of letting go I know some of you are now struggling with the song from Frozen being stuck in your head. That is an unintended result of this discussion and for that I deeply apologize.
The difference here in letting go of self as opposed to letting go in the prayer point is that we need to give up our sense of self-importance. Our lives need to be readily available for the use of the work of the Spirit. Our need for recognition, to be known, and/or to be exalted, all need to be surrendered to the work that God has planned for us. If we desire to see an organic movement of Christ in our community, the Church needs to lay down our desire for recognition and work to lift Jesus so that he can draw everyone to himself.
Requirement #3 - Let Go of Our Plans
We pack our days so full that we walk right by opportunities to pour ourselves out into the lives of those around us for the sake of the gospel. We all have neighbors, co-workers, and family members. What about our social media acquaintances, the post office worker we see regularly, other parents at the sporting events, or the guy across the bar at the restaurant we frequent. If we could spend just one day realizing how many people we come across on a daily basis that are in the natural flow of the day and that we have opportunities to build relationship with, I believe the idea that “all my friends and family are Christians” would no longer allow us to continue walking by without the desire to engage them.
Practically speaking we will need to do two things in order to fulfill this requirement.
1 – Be willing to delay, change, or give up on our plans for the moment, or day, and be readily available for God to step in and use us.
2 – Make opportunities. Host a cookout for your neighbors. Stop and have a conversation with the postal worker (if there isn’t a line behind you), go to practices for your child’s team and stay off your phone for a bit.
We need to allow God to open our eyes to the daily opportunities surrounding us. Sometimes that won’t be easy.
Requirement #4 - Let Go of Convenience
From prayer, to letting go of self, and letting go of plans we have one common thread. We have to let go of convenience. Prayer takes time, letting go of self puts others first, letting go of our plans allows God to step in and change in an instant what we desire to see happen that day. All of these require us to let go of the convenience we are raised with in so many ways. Meals in an instant. Entertainment in any form at our fingertips. Connectivity to anyone and everyone at all times. It all comes down to convenience. We have it and we hate when it is taken away.
To experience an organic movement of Christ we are going to be put out A LOT! But in pursuit of people and opportunities to serve and pour out we have to lay that convenience desire down.
This is all easier said than done. That is where our “fueled by the Holy Spirit” part comes in to play in our definition. If we try to make this happen in our own power, by our own efforts, than we will only succeed in seeing an organic movement of exhausting frustration. However, fueled by the Spirit, for love of Jesus and his gospel we can position ourselves under the faucet as we intentionally go about our daily lives with the Kingdom of God in mind. Let’s stop relying on big events to make something happen. Let’s look at small victories that happen day in and day out as we live out our lives for Jesus and see a people raised up through the fervent, faithful work of the citizens of that very Kingdom.