Pop Quiz: Ministry or Movement?

Here are a few scenarios to get us started in our thinking about movements. These may seem simple at first, but can we clearly articulate where we see ministry activity, and where we see genuine movement? Take the quiz…

1. The Place to Be. At one large university of 15,000 undergraduates, 600 students regularly attend a weekly Christian meeting. They come for three main reasons. Primarily, because their friends are there. Second, each week a very gifted 35-year old staff member delivers a fantastic biblical message. He blends passion and charisma with a great sense of humor. Third, the worship band is tight, fronted by a rockin’ junior gal and backed by humble, talented musicians. Most people think they sound “better than the CD.”

Is this a ministry or a movement? Why?

2. The Faithful Few. A short-term mission team just left another country after a 10-month effort to lauch something new. Prior to this team’s arrival, there were no known Christian groups or local churches engaging non-Christian students on this campus. A few weeks after his return, the short-term team leader Skypes one of the young disciples he left behind. He discovers that of the seven new believers in community, two have walked away. However, the remaining five have been meeting regularly for meals, prayer, and study. They’ve already seen three more friends come to faith since the mission team left. “We’re praying for revival on our campus,” Jorge reports, “and seeking God’s leading for a country to go next summer. Maybe God would allows us to send a few students.”

Is this a ministry or a movement? Why?

3. Generations. After a summer away from campus, the staff team and interns gather to pray and place returning students as leaders and participants into small-group Bible studies. Following 90 minutes of conversation, discussion, and white-board drawings, the clouds part and a solution emerges. Three strong, faithful 4th year students will each lead 3-4 3rd year students, who in turn will divide up the remaining 35 second-year students who signed up for Bible studies. “Once we sort through the first-year students,” an intern announces, “we can put them in groups led by 2nd year students. That will give us four generations, just like 2 Timothy 2:2.”

Is this a ministry or a movement? Why?

4. My current scenario. Is it ministry or movement? Why?

Answers tomorrow.

By Ken

Dr. Ken Cochrum (DMin, Bethel University) is Vice President of Global Digital Strategies at Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) in Orlando, Florida. An avid cyclist and aspiring guitarist, he also holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Texas and a Masters of Arts in Biblical Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary. He recently co-founded, a movement passionate about connecting people to Jesus using digital strategies. He previously served as vice president of Cru’s student-led movements worldwide. He and his wife Ann spent 13 years in East Asia where they raised their two children. Ken blogs regularly at

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