In this session from the Exponential East 2016 conference, Steve Addison and Troy Cooper unpack what it takes to make the transition from church to movement. Throughout the session, they introduce several catalytic church leaders who share inspiring firsthand stories of movement and how they’re seeing the multiplication of disciples fuel the multiplication of churches. As Addison says, “I know a lot because I partner and hang out with people who have stories to tell.”
As the director of MOVE, an Australian-based mission agency focused on multiplying disciples and churches, Steve is a student and teacher of movements, internationally recognized for his work and study on movements and how they start. Troy Cooper serves as U.S. team director of e3 Partners/I Am Second, helping lead the ministry’s vision to multiply 1 million churches by 2020. In the podcast excerpt below, Addison stresses to church leaders the importance of not changing their church to pursue movement.
“As someone who’s looking to see what we’re learning from the field, one of the surprises for me is that you don’t have to change your church to fuel movement. We’ve spent a lot of time thinking, somehow we have to restructure or deconstruct our church before we can start obeying the Great Commission. All of the energy goes into messing with what is already working in some way, and you get bogged down because you’re trying to change people, forcing something on people who didn’t sign up for that right now. Sometimes a whole church wants to transition. But most of the time, you need to let people know, ‘We’ve got a heart to reach our community and reach the world. If you want in with that, here’s some on-ramps.’
“So you don’t have to start by ruining your current church. Get permission for some experiments. You grab a couple people from your church and go to a two-day training and you just start. Start sharing the stories, start inviting others in, start asking, ‘How can the early adopters in the life of our church start doing this?’ Don’t chase some new model of church. You’re just going to make a mess rather than make disciples.”
Don’t chase some new model of church. You’re just going to make a mess rather than make disciples.
Steve Addison’s calling is to spark church-planting movements everywhere. He is a lifelong student of movements that renew and expand the Christian faith. He serves as director of MOVE, an Australian-based mission agency that multiplies disciples and churches everywhere, and is the author of Pioneering Movements, What Jesus Started and Movements That Change the World. He and his wife, Michelle, have four adult children and one grandson. The Addisons live in Leicester, United Kingdom.
Troy Cooper serves on Jeff Sundell’s team as the U.S. team director of e3 Partners/ I Am Second, helping lead the vision to multiply 1 million churches globally by 2020. The Cooper family—Troy’s wife, Rachel, and their six children—lives on mission among the 96 percent unchurched community of South Florida and is committed to seeing unreached and under-reached communities transformed by the gospel via the multiplication of healthy disciples and healthy churches.