Post Women’s March, a pep rally commenced with the overlying question, “What do we do next?” According to the New York Times, Planned Parenthood held a training session for 2,000 organizers to give action plans for the upcoming year, with health care at the top of its list. David Brock, the Democratic activist assembled a group of about 120 leading liberal donors to hear plans for allocations against Trump.
So the question for Christian woman should be the exact same,
We should be looking down the shoot of the next four years compelled by the gospel, a servant to it, and wondering how do we stay in the good fight? How do we advocate for women and the church and justice for all?
Because Jesus would be doing the same. (Maybe this is feminism to its core?)
He spent His ministry in the good fight, advocating for women, the church and justice.
And so while the pomp is gone from the Women’s March and the streets are cleared, the leaders of that movement are being strategic and trying to capitalize on the momentum to turn an event into a sustained movement.
Fortunately for us, we can do the same. And we have the most excellent example of turning an event into a sustained movement. Because for over 2,000 years one event has turned into the largest sustained movement in all of history: Christianity.
We have a lot going for us.
And just like that we are watching Jesus hang on the cross. A man who said He was King of the Jews and ate with sinners. A man who sat down next to the woman, an outcast in her own town, and spoke with her. He gave her dignity and kindness, His grace overflowing from his dirty, white robes. And to tip the scale, Jesus, King of All, was the man who the religious leaders of the day questioned and poked and prodded with the Law.
This Jesus, He is our leader and our unashamed love for Him is the fuel for a sustained movement.
After Jesus died and rose from the dead, we see the early church grow and flourish. An event turned sustained movement. So what made them keep the momentum? How did one event change all of history? Let’s look at four (strategic) points and see how we can do the same:
Discover Daily Perspective
The men and women who walked with Jesus witnessed Him die. They watched the nails pierce His hands. They listened to His groaning on the cross as He looked down at them full of compassion and grace, dripping in blood and mercy. And even among the mocking voices, they heard Him whisper, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34
Then, three days later, they witnessed a stone that was rolled away, an empty tomb and an angel telling them, “He is not here! He is risen”
It is wise for us to feel and experience and remember these events daily. Yes, daily.
Dear one, if we are not firsthand experiencing God, then we are going to fall short of sustaining a movement. We can’t sustain something that doesn’t urge us. So how do we find fresh perspective over the life, death and resurrection of Jesus? We get in His Word. We keep returning to it again and again.
This and this alone will fuel the Christian woman to depths she never thought she could go.
Strive for Togetherness
The word “compel” means to drive forcibly; from Latin “compellere,” can be broken into two parts: com, ‘together’ and pellere, ‘drive.’ So to stay compelled, we must be together. One cannot sustain a movement on her own.
Nada. Zilch. Zero movement is happening on your own.
Case in point: have you ever tried to “eat healthy” on your own? Do you know what happens when you do that? All of a sudden that donut at the gas station that has never intrigued you, all of a sudden becomes the most lovely looking treat in all the land.
Case in point ended.
The event of Jesus’ death became a movement because the people banded together. They were com-pelled. “They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and prayer.” (Acts 2:42)
Now, let’s make this relevant. First century believers didn’t go from one group to the next wondering what “group” would serve them best or what gathering played the “best music.”
They were far too compelled for such small talk. They had a mission to do. Let’s be careful about looking at our “gatherings” in such light. May our mission-minded souls be consumed with the movement of Jesus, rather than the sideline issues of American culture.
Become a Listener
The last thing I desire out of this text is to create an us vs. them mentality. Instead, we should become the humble servants laying down our lives to serve and listen and create relationships with those who differ from us.
Because Jesus served us by laying down his life while we were quite a mess.
“For very rarely will someone die for a just person – though for a good person perhaps someone might even dare to die. But God proves his own love for us in that while we are still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:7-8
May our lives as believers be characterized in service to those not like us. This type of servanthood is what has brought us to the sustained movement we see today. The disciples considered themselves bound by the gospel, servants to it. And because they understood exactly what they had been saved from, they could continually lay down their lives.
Practically speaking this means we become good listeners in the 21st century. We don’t place a blanket statement over one side of an issue. We get to know people on a one-to-one level and we serve them until we are broken. And then we return to God and start all over again.
I saved the best for last, but for good reason. No one likes the idea of suffering. Give me my couch, a bowl of ice cream and an episode of This Is Us and I am satisfied.
At least my American body thinks so.
But may I try to persuade us through God’s Word?
“Dear friends, don’t be surprised when the fiery ordeal comes among you to test you as if something unusual were happening to you. Instead rejoice in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may also rejoice with great joy when His glory is revealed. If you are ridiculed for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of God is on you.” 1 Peter 4:12-14
“Hashtag blessed” because the spirit of the Lord rests upon you when you suffer. So rejoice, sweet girl, when that big, fat hurdle is in your way because the Spirit of the Almighty God is upon you. Dig in deep into that spiritual battlefield and rejoice. And if you need a friend to rejoice with you, find one. If you don’t have one, call me.
This is not an exhaustive list by any means as to how we answer the question “What’s Next?” post Women’s March. So I want to hear from you. What keeps you a servant of the gospel? What keeps the life of Jesus a sustained movement in your own life?