Starting a Revolution

Part of what is on my heart is a shift in the current Church culture because of the changed lives that will result: A “Reformation” or a “Revolution”

Starting a revolution requires several key components.

1. The right cultural moment. Every indication around us is that many many in the Church are very hungry and don’t know where to turn.

2. A highly dedicated and persistent group of men.

3. A message. These men unite around a core set of principles. Specifically they agree about what needs Reforming. This allows them to gain broader momentum than just a small group that agrees with them.

4. Oratory. Every revolution needs impassioned, “no holds barred” type speakers to enflame people to action.

5. Literature. The literature is designed to put meat onto the bones of the preaching. It feeds the people who have been awakened. Literature travels far and wide.

6. Young converts. Every revolution is formed by a collaboration of a few shrewd older men and a band of young hungry men who will do anything for the message.

7. A school. Every revolution has some kind of training vehicle to disciple people into its worldview.

8. Funding. Every revolution is secretly bankrolled by one or more weathly people who want it to happen. This puts workers into the field, pays for teachers in a school, publishing of literature, etc.

It’s clear that the message itself must be revolutionary enough to overturn the status quo, but no so revolutionary that it alienates the people it is trying to liberate. A revolutioary message should cause many people to say in their hearts “finally someone has spoken up”

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  1. I find that one of the big challenges is clarity of the message. Revolutions are fueled by a perceived injustice and for the fire of revolution to spread people need to see the injustice. It was clear with slavery. When Luther nailed his 95 theses it became clear. Booth made it clear in Britain in many ways.

  2. I agree that the message is both key and difficult to get right. Every Revolution/Reformation has elements which are too radical and end up being destructive. Luther had an entire wing of his based on Karlstadt’s excesses. Lenin WAS the radical element of his revolution. The white Russians were defeated by his ruthlessness.

    Yet at the same time, if you are not clear and forceful in what IS true then you will not start anything. You’ll just be another complainer.

    Of the two options, I prefer the term Reformation partly for this reason. A Reformation is essentially when existing powers have strayed from their purposes and need to be confronted. When confronted, they will try to stop/kill you. This is essentially what Jesus did, The American “Revolution” did, and Luther did. They are all really Reformations in that sense.

  3. I definitely think the last key is point. What is it that everyone these days is secretly hoping to get released from the bondage? Money? Image? (Works?) Authoritarianism?

  4. There is a point where trying to differentiate between revolution and reformation becomes problematic. If we are successful for history to notice us then history will decide.

    If we are successful though, we won’t necessarily have control over what happens. The real revolution/reformation would take off when others start following and repeating what we start. At that point we won’t be able to control what everyone else does. Some will improve upon while unfortunately others will do some harm.

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