When I think about “igniting church planting movements,” I always think of a corny old worship song. “It only takes a spark to get a fire glowing…” Sadly, I don’t know if I’ve even ever sang the song or only heard others make fun of it! (Check it out if you want to get your brain infected too!)
But, seriously, “igniting” gives me hope. I often wonder what I can do as one person. I sincerely believe two things that (I think) are both true but are opposites of each other:
1. When I die, the world will go on just fine without me.
2. One person can make all the difference in any situation.
Igniting a church planting movement actually makes sense of both of those things.
Imagine a candle lighting ceremony at a typical church. I once had the amazing privilege of attending an Easter candle lighting mass at Westminster Abby. We stood outside the main part of the church in relative darkness. Then, one person brought in a candle. We each passed the flame forward. As we did, the light grew. Together, we created an atmosphere like a sunlit afternoon. We then walked into the main church building with an amazing choir singing “Hallelujahs” on both sides of our movement.
I had witnessed the igniting of a movement. If one of those candles had gone out, the movement would have continued. However, especially at the beginning stages, one person could make all the difference to the advancement or dying out of the light.
Interestingly, later on, my candle got snuffed out by a drafty old church building! I had to turn to the person next to me to re-ignite my light, a true symbol of carrying out the “one anothers” of Scripture.