Attitudes which Shape a Dynamic Movement

1. Communicating clear purpose.

The development of a movement is proportional to how fully the individuals are gripped by a sense of purpose and cause.

2. Encouraging adventurous faith.

Because God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, faith is the key to seeing Him demonstrate His faithfulness and power, thus encouraging greater individual commitment within the movement.

3. Depending on the Holy Spirit.

The essence of a spiritual movement is the Holy Spirit at work, transforming and empowering Christians and drawing unbelievers to Christ.

4. Stimulating expectant prayer.

Prayer undergirds every aspect of building a spiritual movement.

5. Serving the international student.

As real needs are met and genuine care is shown, spiritual openness will develop among internationals and ministry opportunities will result.

1. Communicating clear purpose.

The development of a movement is proportional to how fully the individuals are gripped by a sense of purpose and cause.

There is great power in purpose.  In a true movement, there is a clear sense of purpose that gives those involved an internal motivation for commitment to the cause.  People rally around this purpose.  It’s readily understood and embraced by everyone throughout–even the newest members.

How would your newest members describe the purpose of the ministry?  This is a good test of the strength and clarity of your purpose.  In a strong movement, the core values are broadly embraced and there is “transferability” to new members.

The Great Commission as expressed by our Lord in Matthew 28:18-20 provides the ultimate purpose for reaching internationals for Christ.

As a leader, your personal sense of purpose will be strong and clear as you are spending consistent quality time with God and learning to listen to Him.  Time in His Word and in prayer will cause your inner motivations to align with God’s.  Compassion for the lost will grow out of your personal walk with God.

Questions to consider:

  1. How often are you able to communicate your “purpose?”
  2. Are the students simply and clearly communicating the purpose of their movement to others?
  3. To what extent do the staff, volunteers and students understand God’s heart as represented in the Great Commission? (compassion for the lost)
  4. Is there a strategic plan in place to reach various groups of students on the campus?

Acts 20:24 – “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me– the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” (NIV)

  2. Encouraging adventurous faith.

Because God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, faith is the key to seeing Him demonstrate His faithfulness and power, thus encouraging greater commitment within the movement.

In a spiritual movement. individuals are taking bold steps of faith–especially the leaders.

Faith spawns more faith. People grow in unusual ways in a movement. The process of trusting God in the midst of faith-stretching challenges causes us to see God in new ways. This produces a “sense of awe.”

Acts 2:43 —  “Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.” (NIV)

  • When was the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone and trusted God for something that seemed beyond you?
  • Have you had a “God-sighting” lately (seeing God work in an unusual or dramatic way)?

The lifeblood of a movement is found in the stories of God working in the lives of people. The evidence of “God at work” strengthens everyone’s vision for the movement and for their individual lives.

People see God and understand Him more profoundly as they witness Him at work.  Taking faith risks allows us to move from ‘academic faith” to vibrant and living faith.

Questions to consider:

  1. How are students demonstrating real courage in the steps of faith they are taking?
  2. To what extent is your movement hindered by doubt or fear?
  3. What could you do to strengthen the faith of people in the movement?

1 Corinthians 16:13 – “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.” (NIV)

3. Depending on the Holy Spirit.

The essence of a spiritual movement is the Holy Spirit at work, transforming and empowering Christians and drawing unbelievers to Christ.

None of what happens in a spiritual movement can occur without the Holy Spirit making it happen.

John 15:5 — “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (NIV)

The Holy Spirit produces:

  • Compassion for the lost
  • Love for one another
  • Evangelistic zeal
  • Boldness and risk-taking
  • The fruit of the Spirit

Acts 1:8 — “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (NIV)

Many Christians try to live the Christian life on their own efforts.  They are either uninformed about or ignorant of their spiritual heritage as children of God. Understanding the ministry of the Spirit is a process and it can take some time to learn.  Take time to study the work of the Holy Spirit, and then take time to pass on your learning to others.

Keep the ministry of the Spirit at the center of your discipleship.

  • Explain it simply (tools can help)
  • Teach it repeatedly
  • Communicate it creatively

In your small group Bible studies, large group meetings and conferences, the ministry of the Spirit can be taught a variety of interesting ways.  If we find ourselves overlooking this important subject we may accidentally be omitting the key to growth in grace and truth.

Questions to consider:

  1. When and how is the ministry of the Holy Spirit being taught in the movement?
  2. Is there evidence that Christ-like character and the fruit of the Spirit are increasing in the lives of the leaders in the movement?
  3. Are your people demonstrating an increased compassion for the lost and power in their witness?

For helps on the topic “How to be Filled with the Spirit”

4. Stimulating expectant prayer.

Prayer undergirds every aspect of building a spiritual movement.

In a spiritual movement, we see the urgency to bathe everything in prayer–the issues on the campus, the students’ personal needs, and all aspects of the ministry.

Eph 6:18 – “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” (NIV)

With a healthy emphasis on corporate and private prayer, people discover much about God’s heart for the individual and for the world.

Prayer should be so much more than just a “prayer meeting.”  It must seep dynamically into all aspects of the movement–

  • Pray about everything
  • Pray at all times

Talk to God about men before you talk to men about God!   Especially in the realm of evangelism we must cover all our outreach efforts in prayer.  In his book The Prayer Factor, Sammy Tippit called this emphasis “the marriage of prayer and evangelism.”

“The Most Wanted List”- a simple and valuable tool.  Keep a list in your Bible at all times of non-believers for whom you feel you a particular burden.

  • Ask the Lord to guide you as you select names to place on this important prayer list.
  • Watch and wait for opportunities to initiate conversations to share Christ with these people.
  • Update the list periodically- rejoice over those who have come to faith and add new names.

Questions to consider:

  1. Is there consistent dependency upon God with an expectation for Him to work supernaturally in the movement?
  2. Is prayer at the forefront of your planning, evangelism and discipleship?
  3. Are students keeping a “Most Wanted List” — praying for non-Christian friends to experience a true faith in Christ?

5. Serving the international student.

As real needs are met and genuine care is shown, spiritual openness will develop among internationals and ministry opportunities will result.

Why serve the international?

  • We are fulfilling God’s command in the Scriptures to show love to the “stranger” and the “alien.” — Leviticus 19:33-34; Hebrews 13:2
  • Meeting “felt needs” opens the door to meet the “real needs” of internationals
  • Acts of grace often make the message of grace more understandable.
  • Christ modeled and commanded “servant leadership.”

Giving tangible help to internationals shows God’s love and validates our faith

  • help with housing
  • help with furniture
  • help with language
  • help with transportation
  • provide friendship

In a ministry to internationals, serving should not be the exception but rather the rule.  This takes time, effort, and a growing army of people to meet the needs that exist.  As the leaders serve from the heart, a serving spirit is “caught” and spreads throughout the movement.

One veteran minister among internationals has determined that he will never say ‘no’ to a legitimate need.  “If I hesitate while thinking of how to help the international,” he says, “that will make the person embarrassed to have asked.  So I just say, ‘Sure, I’ll do my best to help you,’ before I even think of how to help.  Then I ask the Lord to show me the person in our movement or in the overall Body of Christ who has the ability to meet this particular need.”

Questions to consider:

  1. Do the staff and student leaders demonstrate a joyful spirit in serving others?
  2. What are several tangible ways your movement serves the international students on your campus
  3. To what extent do the international students and members of the campus administration recognize this contribution?