Christianity is not a philosophy that can be learned separate from those who embody it. If the truth that is Christ were a truth that could be known “in principle’ then we would not need apostles. But the way the gospel is known is by one person being for another person the story of Christ. Jesus summons the disciples to him, and, so summoned, they become for us the witnesses who make it possible for us to be messengers of the kingdom. The disciples are not impressive people, but then, nether are we. Their mission, as well as our own, is not to call attention to ourselves but to Jesus and the kingdom.
Mike Breen in his new book Leading Kingdom Movements begins to crack the code of how “the ‘everyman’” can “change the world.” Breen states that “a kingdom movement is a community of disciples who passionately seek the expansion of God’s reign here on earth through the reproduction of disciples, seeking the transformation of the places they inhabit (22).” Movements begin and are sustained through development of three aspects of community: up, in, out. A community that becomes a movement must always focus upward on God, inward by consistently developing community, and outward in their attempt to reproduce and disciple (52). By establishing the need that movements must have community upward, inward, and outward focused, Breen then moves into the nuts and bolts of how to create and sustain a movement by using St. Paul and his missionary journeys as the primary example.
Placing primary emphasis on the Greek concept of oikos, Breen shows how St. Paul discovered that the extended household is “the single most significant vehicle of mission that God has ever released on the world (121).” Through movements of 20-70 people, households, or missionalcommunities, network with other MC’s always looking to reproduce into another MC. In this type of system, the whole church is able to participate in the three aspects of community (up, in, and out) all while having enough people power to make a change and while staying scaleable and sustainable (144).
Breen states “We would much prefer the event to be the answer rather than the process. We would much prefer the conference with the amazing leader to be the key trigger instead of our life being thecrucible of transformation as we invest our life in another person, who invest his or her life in another, who does the same, and on and on (145).” To start a movement, the church must create discipleship communities that are scaleable, sustainable, and reproducible; Breen believes this happens best through missional communities. I happen to agree with him and I recommend this book without reservation.