I want to be a part of a movement. A movement (in my book) is a God-sized something that just pops up in the kingdom of God and radically changes things. The church is a movement. The reformation was a movement. The great awakening was a movement. There have been many missionary movements.
In the American church, I'm afraid many of us are more concerned with trends. Trends are what other churches are doing, or programs that are working in other places. Trends are, well, trendy. They last for a while and then a new trend comes along and everyone jumps to that. Bus ministry was trend. VBS was a trend (not all trends go away...and if your church is still doing VBS don't read more into this statement than you should...I like watered down Kool aid as much as anyone :-). Professionally programmed worship was a trend. Cool worship guys with bleached jeans and candles on the stage was a trend. Preachers in HD are a trend. Satellite churches are a trend. Churches focusing all their energy on helping kids with aids in Africa is a trend. You get the point. Not all trends (the ones i just mentioned included) are bad...it's just that they are trends. Below are my observations about trends and movements in the church.
Want to know if your church is trending or moving? Think about these...
Trends are predictable...movements are not (because the Spirit is at work and He is unpredictable).
Trends can be copied...movements can't be duplicated no matter how much you try.
Trends get headlines and lots of press...movements impact more people with neither.
Trends have answers for how things are done...movements have more questions than answers.
Trends draw crowds while the trend continues...movements change lives forever.
Trends get accolades while they are going on...movements get accolades 500 years after their done.
Trends happen where resources meet marketing...movements happen where God meets his people.
Trends are for the impatient who need immediate results...movements take time (often the leader of a movement toils for decades before anything moves).
Trends take brains...movements take faith.
Men take credit for trends...God gets credit for movements (though some men try to take it for themselves).
No matter what is trending now; the next trend is just around the corner and will make this one seem lame.
The next movement? Who knows. But if it's of God it will probably happen where a bunch of people are praying, sincerely dying to themselves so they can follow Jesus and holding up the Word of God. I want to be a part of a movement, don't you?