Institutionalization or a Movement

One thing that seems to keep a church from living on mission with God and from forming missional impulses is a lack of shared imagination. When I say “shared imagination” I mean a shared way of envisioning what life and society can look like when Jesus is Lord of all. When shared imagination is lacking, the Church tightens her grip on what she comfortably knows, postures her heart toward self-survival, and remains stagnant. Stagnancy always leads to death. But when a different way of being and doing life in society is imagined and shared by a community of gospel-formed people, a movement stirs and new life is created over and over again.

Institutions preserve culture. Movements create it. The gospel of King Jesus intends to create a movement in His people that through them creates a different kind of culture, one that seeks to be actively present in society in redemptive and restorative ways. This kind of community is capable of bearing witness to the alternative world God proposes to us in the Scriptures through the work of King Jesus.

In spite of what the picture suggests I have great hope for the Church. The same Holy Spirit who has worked in imperfect people for 2000 years still works in imperfect people. And He still cultivates movements.

About Fred

I am a follower of Jesus, husband and father. I am a son, brother, friend, multi-vocational pastor with Williamsburg Christian Church, TEDx alum, ethnographer, community organizer, published author, founder and president of 3e Restoration Inc, and adjunct professor at Rochester University and Regent University. I received my B.S. in Ministry/Bible at Amridge University and my Masters of Religious Education in Missional Leadership (MREML) from Rochester University. I am currently working toward my Doctorate of Ministry in Contextual Theology at Northern Seminary.
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2 Responses to Institutionalization or a Movement

  1. bishopdfaith says:

    Bro, Very thought provoking; something to focus on as I begin my day. Thanks for sending it. Breaux


  2. Great article! What I am finding lately is that some geographic locations are more open and conducive to movements than others. Some are so fearful of progress and change that they cling to their comfortable institutions.


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