BUST A MOVE: Keith Rowell
I’m honored that Kevin has asked me to be a guest on his blog. I’m just a young leader that knows that God has a plan for my life. I believe my purpose, no matter the avenue, is to empower people to be who Christ has created them to be. The avenue God has blessed me with currently is being the youth pastor at Celebration Outreach Center in Elberton, GA. It’s amazing and the students keep me feeling young.
Starting a movement is not a 1, 2, 3 process. It’s a living organism, something that will look different in every community. Just because it worked for that one person in that amazing, empowering book doesn’t mean it will work in your community necessarily. I’ve fallen in that trap. I read about five different books and look at dozen of models for small groups. I then took a little bit from each model and developed my own. I cast vision for it got everyone excited about it, trained leaders, got the audience pumped. We held a service just about small groups and afterward people signed up for different groups. Within a month the whole thing crumbled. It crumbled because of my leadership and my stupidity of focusing more on a model than what the people needed. Every movement revolves around people, moving them in the direction of becoming who Christ created them to be. It’s not about reproducing a method but making God’s will a reality. These are the concrete needs to start a movement, without them the movement will just be a ripple that will only go as far as the length of the puddle. However, if you implement these factors the movement will out last your leadership and even catch the heart of other leaders to start their own movements.
Dummy Disclaimer: If you want to start a movement it starts with you having a close relationship with God. If you have a hard time having consistent time with God, the most you’ll be able to accomplish is a big bible study. You have to know where God is taking you and what He wants to accomplish in the movement, because it’s His not yours.
Your obedience is someone else’s victory. When God calls you to go into “that” neighborhood to share Christ do so without hesitancy. Be obedient to what God is calling you to do. There are different type of movements, like before don’t try to mimic what God is doing somewhere else. Seek after God yourself and see what He wants to do through you to build His Kingdom.
LOVE THE PEOPLE
A movement revolves around God’s will and His people. The people God will put around you develop the movement. Speak life into your people. It sickens me when I hear about leaders talking about how terrible there congregation is, about how they hate their city. If you hate the city you’re in do those around you a favor and leave, because you will never start a movement unless you love where God has placed you. Love the people that God has put around you because they will be the main ones who push the movement forward. The only things you do is fuel the people with the vision God has given you and empower them to make it a reality. Take time with them and share your life with them. Love them for who they are and for whom Christ is transforming them into.
SERVE THE PEOPLE
If you truly love the people then you will serve the people. Perry Noble preached a sermon entitled “Saved People Serve People” and the title said it all. If you want to start a movement it means that you will spend time meeting needs, not just planning events. If you want a movement it will mean that will find out the needs of those around you and will do whatever you can to meet those needs. What does your community need? The answer to this question is fuel to your movement.
A movement moves. Your consistent pursuit of knowing God’s will and making it a reality is what keeps the movement moving. If at any point the movement becomes about you and not about God, it fails and stops. All Christian movements move towards the Father. Towards accomplishing His purpose and spreading the Gospel of Christ to everyone it comes into contact with.
Starting a movement is easy, but how long will it last. Every movement at some point will come to an end. This is not a bad thing, some movements last decades and some only a few years. But what will you do with the time God gives you? Who will be changed because of your obedience? What movements will erupt because of your obedience? Who will take the lead when your leave? What will this movement accomplish?
Keith and Lauren Rowell reside in Elberton, GA. They are the youth pastors at Celebration Outreach Center. I have known Keith since he first gave his life to Christ. He served faithfully as an adult leader at Celebration Outreach Center and Reaction Student Ministries when I was youth pastor there. He is now the youth pastor and taking the youth ministry to new levels. They are also expecting their first child.
follow him on twitter: @keithrowell