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Sustainability as Mark of a Strong Movement

by Olin Galan

“A movement is only as strong as its leaders and its capacity to replicate its leadership.”

This statement was uttered during our New Staff Trainer’s Orientation, and it left an indelible mark in my life as a developing leader. It taught me that when it comes to leading a movement, there are three things that are indispensable.

First, a movement does not revolve around one person or personality. The movement runs because of the interdependent work of many people towards a common goal. Second, God has the ultimate choice or final say when it comes to divine appointment for leadership. Now is my time to be chosen, and it behooves me to add value to whatever He has entrusted to me with the limited time I have. Lastly, knowing I am bound by time, I need to do the best I can to prepare the next generation of leaders for the work ahead, in the same way my leaders have prepared me for the work needed to be done in the here and now. It’s a generational responsibility.

A spiritual movement like Cru must work towards sustainability. Sustainability, as defined by Dr. Bekele Shanko (Global VP for Global Church Movements), is the ability to maintain, continue, and prolong something. In our context, it means that when Christ-centered multiplying disciples (CMDs) are nurtured in a missional community, they develop ownership of the mission and its pursuit. The CMDs then take responsibility to grow and develop ministry strategies and resources towards Kingdom expansion and movement continuity. This is how we envision the concept of sustainability.

So how do we move towards a sustainable movement? With prayerful dependence on God, we harness and direct our efforts towards developing and strengthening the following characteristics in all the different teams and ministries of Cru in the Philippines:

  1. Connecting the lost to Jesus. There must be a deliberate and consistent effort to evangelize by making it our lifestyle.
  2. Life-changing discipleship. There is a need to develop a lifestyle of discipleship that is transforming and evolving. It is directing the disciples’ commitment to the Lordship of Christ and anchoring their life of obedience on the Word of God both in one-on-one and group interaction setups, resulting in Christlike behavior and way of life.
  3. Multiplying leaders. It is important to have leaders that multiply themselves in other people’s lives. In other words, they realize that the movement must grow and continue even after they are gone so the mechanism for sustainability must be put in place. This is only possible if disciples consistently disciple others and keep multiplying.
  4. Generating self-sustaining local resources. There is a need to develop local resources that can be used and reused by future generations. Along with it is working towards material and financial viability to give strong and dependable support towards the mission and its future work and growth.

The aim towards sustainability is an act of stewardship. The movement must have a strong workforce of Christ- centered multiplying disciples that will not stop “until” everyone knows someone who truly follows Jesus. This is the way to transform a strong movement into a sustainable movement.


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