Slipstream Mission

apt-1A slipstream is a region behind a moving object in which a wake of fluid (typically air or water) is moving at velocities comparable to the moving object. Think of it as a wake with momentum. This momentum is powerful, often chaotic, and sometimes dangerous. Many would suppose to draft behind such movements to take advantage of the speed and power already forged by the original mover. Sometimes it make sense to do so, other times, it can be catastrophic.

When it comes to mission movements, some are intuitive and can “jump in where God is already moving.” Others, spend inordinate amounts of time studying the movement so as to duplicate it, or time it just right to latch on or hitch a ride. Don’t get me wrong, there are times when it is appropriate to do so. There are times when synergizing, symbiosis, and sensing are advantageous to a given mission. But, I believe there are far more authentic and original movement opportunities for the people of God than are taken.

The personal, or individually corporate, body has 4 choices; to move, to move towards, to move with, or to move away. There is a 5th option, namely “to not move,” or remain sedentary, but this is always a directed and temporal situation for restoration and recuperation. (Psalm 46:10) The purpose of the 5th option FOR the body of Christ is to return to one of the other 4 options WITH the body of Christ. (Acts 17:28)

We are each tasked to create a holy disturbance within our own contexts, and at times, in others. The potential energy for movement rests within each person because it is intrinsic to our being created in the image of God. The kinetic energy is built up in us and given as we choose to follow, lay hold of, or run towards God’s mission of reconciling all things.

When we seek to enter God’s slipstream, because He is the 1st mover, it may be turbulent, but He will sustain us and give us the stabilizing tools to stay the course. If we seek to enter human slipstreams whose origins are primarily artificial or systematic, then our timing will mostly be off, we’ll grow dependent on exclusive human methodologies and tools, we’ll grow weary, and we’ll always remain susceptible to be caught in other’s commotions.  A few questions:

1.  For you personally, what are some characteristics or indications that a movement is “Of God?”

2.  Do you tend towards movement making or movement joining?  Why?

3.  It seems that most New Testament mission movements are corporate, but in your opinion, is there room for movements that are catalyzed by individuals in the New Covenant era?




0 thoughts on “Slipstream Mission

  1. Morgan Bush says:

    I think it’s challenging at least to define “of God”-ness in a movement. It has been my experience that God moves in clouds of darkness, in the sense of outside the conventional wisdom or thinking. But a few things I look for are apostolic involvement, roots in Scripture, an “impart and release” mentality at every level, and a decentralized origin. As for making or joining, it depends on who is making. If it is of God, one can do nothing but join it. If it is of man, stay away from it. Ultimately, every movement of God is corporate, because God Himself is corporate.

  2. Marshall says:

    beginning to comprehend movements as like turbulence [ακαταστασια]; perturbing current flows and modes. Historic “Christian” movements seem to fit the description in their effects of disturbing minds & conscience, not unlike dramatic weather or flooding, where humans pause what they’re doing and may subsequently look upward. This comparison also suggests how catching the “wave” or movement’s slipstream may become “sometimes dangerous”.

    With God as “not the author/source of movements”, our understanding of earthquakes, violent storms, Azusa Street, great Awakening, Graham, Keswick, volcanism… phenomena that can and often do prompt men to be shaken so as they might (again) see God. A meteor rides in fire across the sky, and after a little time most men will return in the day to whatever work they had been doing — but not all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.