From Lone Nut to a Movement


August 20, 2012 by cbbeard

Have you ever noticed when you read the Book of Acts that the church we read about there is not very static?

First, there is the amazing growth that took place by multiplication. The church grew from 12 disciples and a small crowd of others to thousands virtually overnight!  We are told that every day, more disciples were being made.

Secondly, the church didn’t stay in one place.  Before Jesus ascended to heaven after his death and resurrection, he told his disciples that they would be his witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8).  And that’s what happened!  The church started in Jerusalem and was spread throughout the known world.

Have you ever noticed when you look at the “church of today” is a lot more static?  I think its time that we re-introduce some movement into the church; in fact I think the church, when it is at its best IS a movement.

So how do we start a movement?  Watch this video for some instruction:

Some thoughts I love from this video:

“A leader must have the guts to stand alone and look ridiculous.” – The leadership needed to bring movement and momentum into the church is going to have to stand out.  The changes necessary to create movement and momentum in the church may seem ridiculous at first!

“The first follower transforms a lone nut into a leader.” – The first followers require just as much guts as the lone nut!  When I look at leaders in the Bible, I see that many of them had the courage to stand out; but we cannot overlook the importance of that first group of people that said “sure, I’ll walk out into the parted Red Sea”  or “sure, we can take this city with some trumpets and torches!”  In fact, you can see how detrimental it is to not have first followers in Numbers 13 and 14.  Joshua and Caleb were the “lone nuts” who said “We can take the Promised Land, God is with us!”  But there were no first followers.  And so the entire nation rebelled, and there was no movement.

“The second follower is a turning point.”  – Notice that the second follower joined because of the first follower!  There is great power and leadership in following courageously!

“Now we’ve got momentum!” – Two more, then three more people join, and then there is a tipping point where the group becomes a movement, and the snowball down the mountain grows bigger and quicker.  Once the movement starts and others join in, the new paradigm that seemed different and strange at first, starts to seem normal!  And now we have a movement.
So what do you think?  What role might you serve in the creation of a movement?  How do we get others to follow our example, either as the “lone nut” or the “first and second follower?”


4 thoughts on “From Lone Nut to a Movement

  1. PeggyCorder says:

    I certainly will not be the lone nut. Not sure I would even be the first follower. I might be the second or hundredth follower………maybe! This is the question I have been asking for years… fact ever since we have been in Beaumont. I know God has a plan for Beaumont…..a plan for me and I have seen him working throughout the years we have been here. However, I keep wondering how to “make a statement” or “start that movement” in Beaumont. We have seen churches ebb and flow in numbers, but I have yet to see a church in Beaumont, take off on a movement and make a statement. Not sure what is different about Beaumont, and certainly not sure what we are not doing right, but this gives way to some new thoughts as to what is going on here. You have certainly made a difference in my life…….if nothing else getting me to think and stepping on my toes, but I am still trying to figure out how to get others to follow and join us in our efforts at CCC. Keeping pushing me! I am certainly “nut” material!

    • cbbeard says:

      Peggy, the great news is that we get to be “nuts” together! That is one thing that has been re-ingrained in my mind lately is that God has called us to fulfill his mission TOGETHER! This is a team sport. And that gives me confidence, because if I’m a lone nut, I won’t have to be forever, and once we all become part of the movement, what was once scary will start to be a normal part of life!

      Thanks, as always, for the comments.

  2. Jason Britt says:

    Hey Chris:

    I use this video in the leadership class I teach online. I use it to show the power of followership. One can not be a leader without followers. What you call guts to stand alone; I frame as leadership courage.

    Leadership Courage means:

    1. Accepting responsibility; leaders take responsibility no matter what; good, bad, and the ugly.
    2. Nonconformity; going against the grain. Think outside the box.
    3. Push beyond comfort zone; another word for risk-taking. Effective leaders take calculated risks.
    4. Asking for what you want; be clear, concise, and at times direct.
    5. Saying what you think; opinions, expectations, and the truth!
    6. Fight for what you believe in.

    Courageous followers:

    1. Assume responsibility; initiating opportunities.
    2. Challenge; leaders make mistakes and followers must have the courage to challenge the leader’s thinking.
    3. Participate in transformation; share the responsibility with the leader to make change happen.
    4. Serve; as the leader serves you, you serve the leader by supporting the vision of the organization.
    5. Leave; once a follower can no longer serve a leader, they should be responsible and leave.

    Adapted from: Daft, R.L. (2008). The leadership experience (5th ed.). Mason, OH: South-Western CENGAGE Learning.

    • cbbeard says:

      Hey Jason,

      Good thoughts! I think that is a good list. I would, however, challenge the last thing on the “Courageous followers” list in the context of the church, and perhaps even within the context of other organizations. Often times followers may not see the big picture of leadership or completely grasp the vision. This may be the leader’s fault or it may not, but in the words of Adler and Van Doren (who wrote “How to Read a Book”) you must understand someone’s vision before you can disagree with it.

      I would also suggest that within a church, followers may be called to stick around even if they do not agree with leadership. However, I do understand this is a fine line, and that at some point leaving is better than rebellion or division.

      Thanks again, Jason.

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