4 Things You Need to Begin a Movement

During your mission trip, you were part of something incredible – a bunch of people with a similar idea doing something great together. Now that your mission trip is over, maybe you’re still itching to be part of something bigger than you – something meaningful and incredible.

You’re not alone! People have been banding together to do great things since the beginning of time. So perhaps this is your moment to gather others and start something together. Before you dive in, check out these 4 necessary ingredients to beginning a movement.

1. A Passion

The world is full of needs, and every need is also an opportunity to serve others. But it would be impossible for you to serve everyone. The good news is that you don’t have to. While you might care about a lot of issues, there will be a few that stand out as especially meaningful to you. Your job is to figure out what those passions are.

Maybe during your mission trip you realized how much you liked talking with the elderly or playing with children or working on a house or cooking in a kitchen. God wired you a certain way, giving you desires and talents and – now – opportunities. Think through which of those opportunities you really care about, then find a way to serve through the things you are passionate about.

Questions to think more about your passion:

  • What is an issue that has affected your life that others also face?
  • What group of people do you spend time thinking about?
  • When have you felt deep compassion for others? Who were those people?
  • What unique skills do you have that could be used to help others in need?
  • What kind of service have you really enjoyed?
  • Where have you recognized a need that you want to do something about?

2. A Plan

Once you’ve landed on an issue you are passionate about, make a plan for what you’ll do. But making a plan doesn’t mean you sit in a room by yourself trying to figure out what you should do. The first step is to learn about the issue and listen for the needs of those you want to serve. If you are reaching out to a local group of people, you might even go ask them what needs they have. We often rush in too quickly, assuming we know more about the issue than the people in the middle of it. Instead, get curious and ask, then listen carefully.

Once you’ve done your research, get to work on making a plan. It’s OK to start small. You might seek to serve a few people before you serve many. You might work at meeting one need before meeting many.

Also, consider what you need to make your movement happen – that includes people, time, supplies and finances. Make a timeline for what you want to accomplish. Once you’ve begun, don’t be afraid to reassess how things are going and, if necessary, adjust your plan.

Questions to think more about your plan:

  • How can you learn more about the issue you are passionate about?
  • What are some great questions you can ask to find out what you want to know?
  • Who could tell you more about the needs of the people you want to serve?
  • What are some creative ways you can meet those needs?
  • What do you desire to be the result of your movement? Do you want it to happen by a certain time?
  • What do you need to make your plan successful and how will you acquire those things?

3. People

Of course, no movement is truly a movement without likeminded people. Once you find your passion, find others who also care about that issue. Communicate your vision; paint a picture others will follow. And start inviting.

It might be tempting to ask only people who are just like you. But most movements need people with a variety of skills and resources. While one person communicates the vision, others will pull together the details and still others will support through financial giving. In 1 Corinthians 12, the Bible says we are “many parts, but one body” – in other words, we all bring different gifts as we seek to serve and love God and others. Look for people who can compliment your movement with gifts that are different from yours.

Remember that movements keep gaining people along the way, so include some key people in planning, then keep the door open for more to join in. Even if you start small with the people you involve, dream big about what might be possible when others catch the vision.

Questions to think more about bringing people onboard:

  • Who should you involve in your planning process?
  • What kind of skills do you need to help turn your plan into action?
  • What are some ways you could make your invitation heard? What platforms do you have?
  • Who are some people who also care about this issue?
  • Who are the people who want to support you, whatever the cause?

4. Prayer

If you really want your movement to be full of authentic love, make sure you constantly keep Jesus at the center. Leading a movement is not about being out front, but about putting Jesus’ compassion on display. Let go of any needs you have to be the center of attention, and turn that attention toward Jesus.

One of the best ways to do this is to pray at every step of the way. Ask God to drive your passion, to be in your planning and to help you gather people. Listen for God’s direction and be willing to follow.

Questions to think more about prayer:

  • What’s your motivation for serving others?
  • What is Jesus inviting you to do?
  • How can you be like Jesus in the ways you serve others?
  • How can you keep Jesus at the center of your movement?
  • How can you make prayer a part of recognizing your passions, making a plan and gathering people?