There are few people in the world that know more about the Christian movement than Steve Addison. And if there are some that know more than him, I can’t be more passionate about the topic. For that reason and more it was a real honor when Steve asked me to write the foreword to his new book, Pioneering Movements: Leadership That Multiplies Disciples and Churches. Below is the foreword that I sent to him today. It is currently available in a digital format, but will be available in paperback on December 6th. If you read my foreword, you will pick on my enthusiasm for Steve’s latest project. It is absolutely terrific!
Foreword for Pioneering Movements by Dave Ferguson
When I first time stumbled upon Steve Addison’s blog at www.movements.net it was like finding a long lost brother! Albeit a more traveled, more experienced and much smarter brother. From then on I started routinely checking Steve’s latest posts and my kinship with him grew through our mutual passion and interest in movements. Without Steve knowing it, through his writings we became blood brothers as our hearts beat fast to see the church realize it’s forgotten way as a transformative movement.
So, when given the opportunity to write and publish on the topic of movements and I needed some brotherly advice, I called Steve Addison. When I needed someone to challenge the church planters and network leaders within NewThing, the movement I lead, I asked Steve to teach us. As I made plans for the next Exponential conference, where our mission is to “accelerate movements” I read everything that Steve put out for wisdom and guidance. While we live half a world apart, Steve and I share the same spiritual family and I proudly call him a brother in this great cause of Christ.
Like an older brother, he is once again a step ahead schooling us on the topic of movements. As you read Pioneering Movements: Leadership That Multiplies Disciples And Churches you will discover the following truths about movement making:
Movements are led by apostolic leaders.
In Pioneering Movements, Addison does a great job of pointing to Jesus as our pioneering apostle and then helps us immensely by giving both biblical and historical examples of apostolic leadership. In so doing, Steve presents a strong case that the church will not experience accelerated great commission expansion in the absence of this type of leadership. In fact, the greater the missional impact, the more obvious the pioneering apostolic leadership becomes. As a person who feels called to identify, equip and commission apostolic leaders, this will be a book that I will read and re-read. I will also pass along this book to church planters and network leaders within my influence because those with a pioneering gift need to understand the importance of their calling to the mission.
Movement is God’s means for accomplishing the mission of Jesus.
Jesus challenges us in Acts 1:8 with a vision of a church on the move. As Jesus paints a picture of a preferable future we see the church moving from Jerusalem, throughout Judea, Samaria and the uttermost parts of the world. Jesus left us with a vision for how His movement could accomplish the mission. Addison takes that vision and brilliantly gives us both strategy and story to show us the way. I absolutely love chapter six as he explains the five levels of movement leadership. I can’t wait to pass along that piece of developmental strategy to the men and women I am training to start networks and movements. Wisely, Steve goes beyond just strategy, but supports it with real world stories of pioneering leaders God has used around the world. As you read Pioneering Movements, you will be convicted that movement is not just the latest buzz word or trendy phrase, it is how God wants to accomplishing His mission.
Movements are not just a topic to research, but a way to join God in His great redemptive work.
My favorite line in Pioneering Movements is when Steve says, “I was an expert, but I wasn’t living it out.” What you are reading is a rarity because the author refuses to let movement become merely an academic project. It is rare because this book was written by a gentleman who knows as much about the Christian movement as anyone in the world, and at the same time is daring to put each learning into practice. It is my hope and prayer that you will do the same. Do not just read these words, but follow Steve’s example and attempt to live them out. The insights in this book are from a brother of ours who understands how our ever expanding and always including family of God was meant to live and thrive and that we are all meant to be a part of it.
For all those reasons and more, is a great honor for me to recommend to you this great contribution to the mission of Jesus, my brother Steve Addison’s Pioneering Movements: Leadership That Multiplies Disciples And Churches.