Yesterday, I was watching a video about the “New Hymns Movement” and I started thinking about all of the movements that I have seen in my lifetime. There was the Church Growth Movement, the Purpose Driven Movement, the House Church Movement, the Multi-Site Movement, the Emerging Church Movement, the Praise and Worship Movement, the Gospel-Centered Movement, and probably a dozen others that I did not notice. That does not include all the movements that came before me time.
There’s another word for movement. It is fad.
For some reason, Christian leaders seem to be very susceptible to fadish thinking, with every new idea that floats across a publisher’s desk becoming the next big “movement.” People rush out and buy the new books, attend the new conferences, download the new podcasts.
The Holy Spirit is amazing, and He does glorious things in the Church; but he is not schizophrenic. He is not sending out mixed messages to the churches. He does not play mix-and-match or bait-and-switch with the gifts he bestows upon local congregations.
The next big movement might be your identity, but odds are that it is not. What we, as leaders of the church and followers of Christ, should be seeking to know is our identity and our place within God’s work on earth. Odds are that you might learn something from people involved in these movements; but they are not your identity. The more obsessed with movements we become, the more confused our purposes are.
Seek to know what God has called and equipped you to do as a congregation, and do it. Stop trying to fit into whatever is “big” at the moment. You will find yourself following fads more than you follow Jesus.