Every now and then in human history, there is a revolution that rises up with new ideas and new ways of seeing the world. People begin to buy in to the new ideas and it starts a movement.
The movement is not very organized at first; it is usually just a handful of passionate people who believe in a great vision of the future. Nevertheless, the movement grows, gains ground, and things begin to change for the better.
At some point, someone in the movement observes, “We have put a lot of effort in to this movement. We need to find a way to preserve the gains of the past for future generations.” It is at that moment that a movement starts to become an institution. Almost every institution in our world finds its roots as a radical movement.
Institutions are not all bad. Institutions often find systematic ways of continuing the actions of a movement even though the spirit or ethos of the movement has died. Every healthy organization needs elements of both movement and institution: people who think about the future, and people who honor and preserve the gains of the past.
Jesus did not start an institution; he started a movement. His followers made it in to an institution, which is why you hear so many people in our day admire the life and teachings of Jesus but say, “I am not really in to organized [institutional] religion.” Turns out, most people do not want to join an institution, but a movement is inspirational.
We have been in a conversation about what drives us. For every group of people there are unspoken agreements for how the group will collectively act. These unspoken agreements are based on the values that we have.
At CrossPoint, we want our values to be things like love and simplicity. This Sunday, we are going to look at what it might mean to capture the ethos of the Jesus movement. How do we avoid becoming just another religious institution that is a tribute to the past with no vision for the future? We call this value being “organic.”