How Church Moves To Movement – TOBBIAS NGALA (#NewThing Western Europe Director)

My notes from the NewThing Reproducing Catalyst at Ivy Church running one the next few days. Tobbias is my great friend who I first met in Kenya when he was planting in Mombasa, he’s now residing north of London. I’m delighted that he will be speaking at this year’s LAUNCH – book now for the best available deal and bring a team!

At NewThing we have a mantra – Missional people + multiplying people – collaborative networks = Movements

Collaboration – what if we worked together, to get greater results. 

Movements begin through one person. 

Jesus founded a missionary movement that now spans the globe.

Movement – a group of people pursuing a common goal. 

Let’s look at what we are doing through the framework of Steve Addison’s 5 Characteristics of Movements 

NB these are not steps I follow sequentially to get somewhere, but together they lead to movements. 

  1. White Hot Faith. 

We follow Jesus with such abandon and passion that our obstacles and trials are consumed. People see what you are about and what you are about. You have profound encounters with God. If we were more diligent with prayer and faith, what would be the result? Are we lazy with prayer and devotion? How intense are we about seeking God? We look at the apostles and see that prayer and studying the world; are majorly part of the job description. Everything flows out of fresh encounters with God. 

This often comes out of crises. We realise something needs to change. They wrestle with God and the problem. But they realise too that passion can’t sustain the movement. They need processes. Pioneers must put processes in place. 

  • Commitment To A Cause 

Movements are causes that demand followers. People have to care deeply enough to act. People are not looking to join churches – but many are hungry to follow Jesus. Give them what they long for. What are your deeply held beliefs? That forms your identity. Commitments come from – clarity around what you believe and exist, alignment around what commitment looks like, and being able to hold the tension between being unpopular at the start as you move forward, and the danger of becoming mainstream at the end. 

  • Contagious Relationships 

Close, personal, real. People don’t follow our plan – people follow people. Jesus said ‘Come follow me.’ Paul said ‘follow me as I follow Christ.” Will the people I lead, and connect with, connect through me to Jesus? 

  • Rapid Mobilisation 

The harvest is plentiful, the leaders are few. 

Develop disciples, who make disciples. 

Always think ‘Who will carry it forward?’ 

Who are we looking for? People who are looking to go, wherever we are sent. 

  • Adaptive Methods 

Eric Hoffer “In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.”

Movements thrive on easily transferable methods, that can be carried by the simplest among us. What’s the least we must give and require from someone who gave their life to Jesus? 

Matthew 28: 

Teach them to obey 

Tell them to GO. 

Jesus tested the loyalty of his disciples – ‘do you want to leave?’ 

NO! We have received something of such value from you – where else can we go? 

Many leaders in the west are struggling to get their people to implement, they spend all their time explaining it and being complex but when it’s simplified and taken to e.g. an African nation, the people their get on and do it simply. 

Model a life of simple obedience, and require the same of others.