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Today I was asked the question by the Rev. Sean Ferrell “How can we embrace & draw movements into the wider Jesus movement w/o letting differences destroy us?” This list was my response. I added to it over the course of a 12 hour day. I know that it is not complete, but it is a list off the top of my head. I thank Sean for pushing me and making me think about movements with unity and diversity.
1. Acknowledge you are a movement without attributing all of your actions to the Holy Spirit. Humility is a good practice.
2. Take responsibility for the actions of your movement, especially the ones you think are destructive to the movement.
3. Recognize that there will be power dynamics in any movement. Denying ones power is not reality and is not a defense.
4. Survey your followers and assess their needs according to your stated goals. Change if you feel that is needed.
5. Recognize that because a lot of people are talking about something doesn’t mean that anything is actually getting done.
6. Recognize that if you stand up to something that is vastly more powerful than you are, you have a good chance of being destroyed. MLK
7. Make sure there is a difference between a movement and mob-rule.
8. Do not be swayed by strong personalities or sanctimonious rhetoric over reasoned and compelling arguments.
9. If more than one person who is an friend or advocate tells you something you do not like that is not persecution or victimization.
10. If you are a movement with outrageous or sensational rhetoric it is wrong to get feelings hurt by outrageous or sensational rhetoric.
11. Do not personalize things that have to do with the movement.
12. Do not globalize your individual experiences as normative.
13. Learn from other historic movements, even ones you think are bad.
14. Do not take yourself so seriously that you miss an opportunity to laugh at yourself.
15. Do not let your members/leaders engage in destructive/abusive behavior without public consequences.
16. Because your movement is growing doesn’t make it righteous or right.
17. Sometimes you have to stand up to friends in a movement for the good of your conscience.
18. Realize that those who support the institutions are not evil. They might not even be wrong.
18. Have levity to connect with others, but not so much that when you want to talk seriously everyone thinks you are a joke.
19. Complaints should be followed by positive solutions. Just complaining is not responsible.
20. Look for those who have quit talking in your midst.
21. There is a difference between a sect or cults of personality to a viable historic movement.
22. Attempting to promote a book or church program is not necessarily a movement.
23. Rarely does the words or actions of one person change the nature of the entire church.
24. It must not ignore children.
25. It must take into account intergenerational concerns.
26. Realizing the difference between real community and discussion, argument and debate.
27. Have healthy boundries with the understanding that other people’s actions are out of your control.
27. It must listen to the poor.
28. It must listen to ethnic groups outside of dominant Western Traditions.
29. It must listen to the concerns of women.
30. It must listen to the concerns of sexual minorities.
31. Love, grace, mercy and peace are active and not passive.
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