You are here: HomeReviews › Book Review The Rise And Fall Of Movements A Roadmap For Leaders By Steve Addison

Book Review: The Rise and Fall of Movements: A Roadmap for Leaders by Steve Addison

Book Review: The Rise and Fall of Movements: A Roadmap for Leaders by Steve Addison

Book Review: The Rise and Fall of Movements: A Roadmap for Leaders by Steve Addison

20 November 2019

Addison co-leads MOVE, a mission agency devoted to training and deploying workers who multiply disciples.

Reviewed by Rachel Morris

The Rise and Fall of Movements is designed to be a short synopsis of the six stages of a movement: birth, growth, maturity, decline, decay and rebirth.

Lessons on this cycle could be hugely beneficial to The Salvation Army as we continue to journey as one territory; however, speaker and mentor Steve Addison’s take fell flat for me.

Addison is a Melbourne-based author who co-leads MOVE, a mission agency devoted to training and deploying workers who multiply disciples and churches.

Although one cannot fault his desire to share as much background research as possible in The Rise and Fall of Movements, his final product became a combination of four or five differing lectures on the topic. With a very narrow view on what it is to be missional, I feel it lacked nuance in discussing the importance of engaging with the very communities the church should be planted in.

Politically, Addison is conservative. This was evident in his book as he attributed the decline of movements to a desire to change social structures over preaching the Gospel. However, my question is – can’t there be both?

To preach the Gospel is to challenge social structures and address the needs of those forgotten. Addison sends the message that preaching the Gospel and planting churches is the only way to fulfil the Great Commission. However, this sends a message to the reader that grassroots change that is rooted in a love for Christ is meagre in comparison.

Although Addison cannot be faulted in his desire for people to know Christ, he lacks the insight of community development that eliminates the ‘saviour complex’ many missionaries in the past have implemented, with horrific results.

Salvationists will find the book somewhat useful in its detailed summary of past movements. However, due to our mission to ‘live, love and fight alongside others’ – largely through social services and the Gospel message – most will find it lacking.

While Addison says his movement “is the best way to make kingdom come,” there is undoubtedly more effective approaches that can also be taken.

The Rise and Fall of Movements is available at Koorong.

Rachel Morris is a social worker based in Geelong, specialising in children and young adults. 

Comments

No comments yet - be the first.

Leave a Comment


- Will not be published

Email me follow-up comments

Note: Your comment requires approval before being published.

Default avatarWould you like to add a personal image? Visit gravatar.com to get your own free gravatar, a globally-recognized avatar. Once setup, your personal image will be attached every time you comment.