Steve Addison: Why Movements Rise & Fall (Part 1)

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Why do movements rise and fall?

Author and speaker Steve Addison answered this question recently when he visited the Center for Great Commission Studies here at Southeastern. Based on his recent book, “The Rise and Fall of Movements: A Roadmap for Leaders,” Addison led multiple sessions and conversations surrounding the topic of “movements,” leading us back to a biblical understanding of God’s mission.

In Part 1 of his lecture, Addison begins by discussing the foundational aspects of God’s movement, primarily seen in the identity of Jesus and the mission of God carried out in his life, death, and resurrection.

To learn more, watch the full video above or continue to see key quotes and ideas.

the Foundation of God’s Movement

Key Scripture References: Luke 3:21-22 and Luke 4:1-14 – Jesus’ Baptism & Testing in the Wilderness

“What is the Father writing on the heart of the Son at the launch of this incredible move of God? What is of absolute, central, foundational importance?… We don’t surpass [Jesus]. So everything that is in Jesus’ heart in preparation for this great movement needs to be in our hearts.”

Three Key aspects oF Jesus’ Identity


Jesus is the obedient, surrendered, loving Son of the Father and he will obey the Father’s Word. He places himself under the authority of God’s Word, and he fulfills God’s Word.

“The whole biblical narrative is about God speaking and seeking a response from us.”

“Movements rise or fall to the degree which they surrender to the Word of God.

“The reasons why movements rise and fall is because the Word does the work.”

“Wherever the Word of God goes, the fruit of that is multiplying disciples and churches for the glory of God.”

“Movements rise or fall to the degree which they surrender to the Word of God.”


Jesus is perfectly dependent on the Spirit, even at his conception. The Spirit is the one guiding the mission. The Spirit is the one who comes in power to bear witness to Jesus.

“When the Spirit comes in power, the Word goes out bearing witness to the Lord Jesus and the fruit is reproducing disciples and churches to the glory of God… This is the true work of the Holy Spirit.”

“Be amazed at how weak God’s people are but somehow — through the Word and the Holy Spirit and their trust and dependence, through shipwrecks, through church splits through persecution — this work of God continues to move forward.”


The core missionary task is not bread, it’s not signs and wonders, it’s not political and cultural power. It’s the multiplication of disciples and churches to the glory of God throughout the world.

“There is only one core missionary task, and everything is the fruit and the byproduct of that.”

“[The kingdom] will come, at the end of the age, but there is not a promise of a golden age before. Jesus promised us trouble and persecution.”


“Jesus’ identity is what grounds his mission. He cannot be anything but going out to incorporate us into the community and the love of the trinity. This is not just because of the fall. This is in eternity past. This is what God is like. And it’s what he wants to build into our hearts over the whole course of our lives, and it’s what fuels the rise of movements and the fall of movements.”

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