The Anatomy of a Movement

In his book Tribes, Seth Godin (quoting Sen. Bill Bradley) writes that a movement needs three elements:

(1) A Narrative: A story about who we are and the future we’re trying to build.

(2) A Connection: Between and among the leader and the tribe.

(3) Something To Do: Action!

Mr. Godin goes on to say that “too often organizations fail to do anything but the third.”

As I read this, I asked myself which element(s) the Church was missing (or in danger of missing).  I am sure that it varies from church to church, but this one thing I know, we cannot afford to leave any one of these three out.

(1) Our Narrative: We have a story about who we are, how we got here, what our purpose is, how to see our purpose fulfilled, and the future that we are trying to build.  It is the Word of God.  It is Truth.  If we lose this, then we have no purpose.  All of our action and interaction with each other and the world makes no difference.  The Word is our foundation, our guide, and must be our treasure.  Hold on to the Truth!

(2) Our Connection: We must have a strong connection with our leader (Jesus) and with each other.  It is not enough to be able to quote Scripture, we must Know the Word, we must Know the Truth (“I am the…Truth” -Jesus).  We need to have a deep and personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  We must also have a strong connection with each other.  Over and over again, the Apostle Paul exhorts the church to Unity and Love.  And I think I remember the leader saying something like, “by this shall men know that you are my disciples”.  He was talking about loving one another.

(3) Our Action: The Church has something to do.  It flows directly out of our narrative and our connection with our leader.  In fact, if we lack those two, we are like a boxer beating the air.  However, if we embrace our narrative and our connection with our leader and refuse the call to action, we do ourselves and this world a great disservice.  We have been commission to Go, Teach, and Baptize.  If you are full of the Holy Spirit, then you have the Power to be a witness, you have something to do!

I would really like to hear from you, which element do you think the Church is in the greatest danger of neglecting?  Which one do you struggle with the most?