MOVE by Greg L. Hawkins & Cally Parkinson

Spiritual Growth is an “increase in love of God and for others” (p.126)

MOVE presents the results of the “REVEAL Spiritual Life Survey” by Willow Creek Church and used over six years in over 1,000 churches. The idea was to look at numbers and activity level to assess people’s spiritual condition. The book is presented to help Christian leaders in their task of making disciples.

Part I: The Spiritual Continuum

This section details the profiles of people attending churches.

1. Exploring Christ: Getting to know those who are searching for God

A. The Profile (on the spiritual fringe):

  • They attend church regularly, but have no personal relationship with Christ
  • Their pace of spiritual growth is sluggish
  • The longer they attend church, the less likely they are to become Christ-followers

B. Love of God: a struggle with beliefs

C. Love of Others: not interested

D. Leading forward:

  • These people are giving us their permission to influence them.
  • Never allow people in this segment to feel comfortable about just showing up to church once a week to receive what you have to offer them.
  • Help them to see stakes are high
  • Support needs to be paired with a challenge

2. Growing in Christ: getting to know those who are open to God

A. The Profile (embracing the church)

  • They represent the largest segment on the spiritual continuum
  • They are the most active participants in virtually all church activities
  • Their spiritual growth remains slow but steady

B. How do they grow?

  • Participation in church activities does not necessarily drive spiritual growth
  • They not only desire but expect to be challenged

C. Love of God: Becoming a personal value

D. Love of others: Growing but restrained

E. The coaching role of the church: they are vulnerable to insecurity and doubts

F. Leading forward:

  • Never let the passion to serve eclipse commitment to personal spiritual disciplines
  • Don’t confuse high levels of service with qualification for Christian leadership ‎

3. Close to Christ: getting to know those who are on personal terms with God

A. The Profile (Building close friendships with Jesus)

  • Independent from others (mentors, dynamic preaching, etc.)
  • They listen to and talk with God all the time
  • They go public with their faith

B. Love of God: Is a central value

C. Love of others: Backbone of the church

D. Leading forward:

  • Provide training opportunities
  • They are eager to be trained and to learn
  • They are eager to “feed a fire deep in their souls”

4. Christ-Centered: getting to know those who are surrendered to God

A. What does it mean to be “surrendered”? Giving up things that matter most to us.

B. The Profile (Undeniably transformed)

  • They are Christ’s workforce: serve the church, care for the poor, tithe, evangelize, demonstrate spiritual behaviors
  • Their love for God exceeds that of every other segment
  • They have two big spiritual gaps between what they say and what they do
    • The Stewardship Gap (want to give money, but don’t)
    • The Serving Gap (want to serve but don’t)
    • No evangelism Gap
  • What the Christ-Centered Gaps mean for the church: they are underchallenged

C. Love of God: Willing to risk everything

D. Love of others: On the brink of spiritual greatness

E. Spiritual leadership requires constant challenge: leaders must model a life of surrender

F. Leading forward

  • Value their commitment to development
  • Challenge them to re-surrender
  • Willing to release them from serving exclusively in an official ministry of our church


Part II: Spiritual Movement
1. The catalysts of spiritual growth

A. Category 1: Spiritual Beliefs and Attitudes

  • Observation 1: Weak beliefs inhibit spiritual growth
  • Observation 2: People do not buy into these beliefs all at once

B. Category 2: Organized activities

  • Implication 1: Weekend services most benefit those in the earlier segments
  • Implication 2: Other church activities serve distinct purposes
  • Implication 3: Serving is the most catalytic experience offered by the church

C. Category 3: Personal Spiritual Practices

  • Implication 1: Reflection on Scripture is the most powerful spiritual practice for every segment
  • Implication 2: Every congregation needs consistent, intentional encouragement to communicate with God on a daily basis

D. Category 4: Spiritual activities with others

  • Implication 1: Spiritual community is a critical catalyst of spiritual growth
  • Implication 2: Evangelism is the most powerful public catalyst for a move from Growing to Close & Close to Christ Centered
  • Implication 3: Fear of going public marks this “final frontier” of spiritual growth

2. Movement 1: From Exploring Christ to Growing in Christ

A. One essential fact about spiritual growth:

“Spiritual growth – defined as an increase in love of God and for others – […] is a growing personal relationship with Christ”

B. 13 catalysts that lead to accepting Christ

  • Insight 1: The church is indispensable
  • Insight 2: The church’s most important job is to build trust in Christ

C. The 5 most influential catalysts

  • Belief in salvation by grace
  • Belief in the Trinity
  • Serving the church
  • Praying for guidance frequently
  • Reflecting frequently on the meaning of Scripture

D. How can the church help:

  • Teach vision and beliefs
  • Provide opportunities to connect and serve
  • Introduce fundamentals of personal spiritual practices

3. Movement 2: From Growing in Christ to Close to Christ

A. 20 catalysts lead to a personal relationship with Christ

  • Insight 1: Confidence is crucial (deepening conviction)
  • Insight 2: Personal spiritual practices are key
  • Insight 3: Going public is catalytic

B. The 5 most influential catalysts

  • Believing in a personal God
  • Praying to seek guidance daily
  • Reflecting on Scripture frequently
  • Having six or more meaningful spiritual conversations with non-Christians in a year
  • Tithing

C. How can the church help

  • Building competence and confidence to read and reflect on Scripture

4. Movement 3: From Close to Christ to Christ-Centered

A. 17 catalysts lead to a personal relationship with Christ

  • Insight 1: it’s all about movement of the heart (sacrificial love)
  • Insight 2: it takes place largely outside of the church

B. The 5 most influential catalysts

  • Giving away their lives
  • Deciding that Christ is first
  • Embracing an identity in Christ
  • Believing in the authority of Scripture
  • Reflecting on Scripture daily

C. How can the church help

  • Encourage “becoming” instead of “doing”
  • Explain simply difficult goals

5. Barriers to Spiritual Growth: The stalled and the dissatisfied

A. Two barriers to spiritual growth

  • Observation 1: the stalled and dissatisfied overlap
  • Observation 2: they plan to stay in church

B. Getting to know those who are stalled

  • Characteristic 1: The stalled invest little effort in their faith. People who persevere learn to appreciate
  • Characteristic 2: The stalled are less connected to and more disappointed in the church
  • Characteristic 3: The stalled say they are too busy. “To be stalled is to be disillusioned. But most of those who are stalled seem less disillusioned with the church or in God than they are with their own lives” (p. 181)

C. Getting to know those who are dissatisfied

  • Insight 1: The satisfied and dissatisfied share the top two priorities: understand the Bible in depth and develop a relationship with Christ
  • Insight 2: All segments share the same top two priorities

D. How can the church help

  • Help them to understand the Bible in depth in creative ways
  • Build curriculums


Part III: Spiritual Leadership
1. The Spiritual Vitality Index

A. Best Practices:

  • The church’s role
  • Personal spiritual practices
  • Faith in action (evangelism, care for the poor, etc.)

B. Four patterns of church effectiveness

  • The apathetic church (motionless)
  • The introverted church (strong bible knowledge, lack of connection to Christ)
  • The average (and average-plus) church
  • The high energy church
    • Get people moving
    • Embed the Bible in everything they do
    • Create ownership “I am the church”
    • Pastor the local community

2. Get people moving

A. The “Get people moving” paradigm shift: not launching more activities, but a quest to embrace and surrender to Christ

B. Three key strategies to get people moving

  • Make the destination clear
  • Make the spiritual jump start non-negotiable
  • Make the senior pastor the champion (in the push to people)

C. The “Get people moving” dilemma: will we scare them away?

  • Not about church growth, but church health

3. Embed the Bible in everything

A. The “Embed the Bible in everything” paradigm shift

  • Not a natural by-product result of church ministry

B. Three key strategies

  • Make the Bible the main course of the message: not just to inspire people to study God’s Word, but to love and internalize it
  • Take away excuses
  • Model Scripture as the church’s foundation:
    • Take time at staff meetings
    • In leadership: what does the Bible say about issues?

“How the Bible is treated by the leaders is more important than teaching what the Bible says”

    • Take church members to God’s Word when they come with questions and issues

C. The “Embed the Bible in everything” dilemma: Can it really become the new normal?

  • Normal when it is routine
  • “Church leaders need to bleed Scripture when they’re cut”

4. Create Ownership

A. The “Create Ownership” paradigm shift

  • Change the mentality of “I am going to church” to “I am the church”

B. Three key strategies

  • Empower people to be the church
    • Preach it
    • Reinforce it
    • Do it
  • Equip people to succeed: Empowering is not enough, people must be equipped
  • Hold people accountable
    • Small groups
    • Friendship, accountability, coaching, counseling

C. The “Create Ownership” dilemma: So you say you want a revolution?

5. Pastor the local community

A. The “Pastor the local community” paradigm shift

  • Not just serving the local communities, but step up to inspire them

B. Three key strategies

  • Set a high bar for serving the church and the community
    • Be a high-expectation church: membership and service are expected
    • Constantly monitor serving activity: watch for burn out and uninvolvment
    • Make it easy (to start serving)
  • Build a bridge into your local community
    • Meet local officials
    • Plan for resources
  • Make serving a platform for the gospel
    • Social justice does not exclude evangelism

C. The “Pastor the local community” dilemma: It is an Uphill Climb

  • Overtrained people, but not given enough hands-on experience
  • Encourage more people to serve, not just core people

6. Lead from a Christ-Centered Heart

A. Christ-Centered Leaders are disarmingly humble

B. Christ-Centered Leaders model a surrendered life

“It is not his words, but his actions that speak the loudest. […] transparency is key. What congregants see modeled in these leaders is not perfection so much as a work in progress” p. 251

C. Christ-Centered Leaders focus on growing hearts, not on growing attendance

D. The one thing you must do:

“to follow Christ with your whole heart every day of your lives” p. 254



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