Creating global movements, not personal empires

I have just spent a remarkable week in New York with perhaps the most diverse group of church planting network leaders ever assembled.

Drawn from North and South America, Asia, Continental Europe, Britain, Africa and Australia, what stood out was the common commitment to the cause of Christ, the enormous cultural diversity in the ways of seeing the world, and the different life stages of church planting in different regions.

One other thing stood out - the man whose vision for centre-church movements of the gospel through church planting was hardly present at all.

Tim Keller did step in for about an hour and half - total - during the week, but otherwise, he was a notable absence.

And that is terrifically impressive. It is the mark of a genuine movement, rather than a personal empire.

Movements are characterised by common vision, by decentralised authority and by a Christ-like Catholicity of spirit. Personal empires, of course, are marked by the inverse of these things - a dominating personality, strongly centralised power structures and a tightness of boundaries. 

Deep in its soul, City to City seeks, under God and empowered by his Spirit, to be a movement of the gospel of Christ in the great cities of the world for the glory of God the Father. And it was thrilling to see that growing more and more into reality as we prayed, dreamed, planned and schemed together.

As we celebrate the birth of the Son of Man, who came into this world to seek and save the lost, may God strengthen us in his service.

Andrew Katay