10. Spiritual Movements – 1

“And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.”

Acts 2:47

What and Why


God is on the move. He is raising up teams of believers who trust Christ to work on their campus. Students just like you are saying yes to Jesus’ call to follow him. In obedience, they are stepping out in faith, reaching their friends and classmates. God is working through them to change lives for eternity!


Students are not only reaching their own university, but God is using their team to launch new movements all over the world. As more and more students discover they can be a part of starting new movements, we can begin to imagine a day when every campus in Eastern Europe and Russia will be reached with the gospel of Christ!


Watch as students from Volgograd, Russia share the story of how God is working.

These students are experiencing the birth of a new movement. What began as obedience to God became a movement that is transforming lives across their country. In the years to come, students from this small movement will fan out across the world to be witnesses for Christ. This is what it looks like to have movements everywhere so that everyone knows someone who truly follows Christ.


Remember Jesus’ promise to His disciples?

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria even to the ends of the earth…” Acts 1:8



Learning from the Word


We learn in the book of Acts how God worked among his people. For example, Paul and Silas committed themselves to make disciples of all nations. They traveled to Philippi and Thessalonica where there were no known believers. After five weeks, God established a community of believers in each city. When the apostles left, these communities flourished and eventually helped to touch all of Europe with the gospel.


Read Acts 16:11-15, 40

Click for the text


What did God do? How did he work?


What did Paul and Silas do?


What does verse 40 add to the picture of God’s work in Philippi?


In this text we see the beginning of what God did in the city of Philippi. We know that God worked in this community and it became a church. When we read Paul’s letter to the church of the Philippians we find constant inspiration.




Read Acts 17:1-4

Click for the text

What did God do? How did he work?


What did Paul and Silas do?


What challenges did they face?


In both locations Paul and Silas had to abruptly leave due to severe persecution. When they departed, who do you think led these communities?


In the passages you studied, you observed God working through Paul and Silas as they pursued a common goal. Their actions included winning the lost to Christ, and discipling people so that they would become mature (building them up). In other texts we see how some believers were sent out to spread the gospel and multiply these communities. All of this was done in order to obey Christ’s Great Commission.

And the Lord opened her heart

to respond to the things spoken by Paul.



Some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, along with a large number of the God-fearing Greeks and a number of the leading women.

Connecting to the Truth


As we review these and other texts major themes surface. God is at work. He is building a community that serves him. Paul, and those sent by God, served the Lord by Winning, Building and Sending. These themes shape our definition of a spiritual movement:


God Working,

through a Team of Like-Hearted Disciples

To Win, Build and Send

toward the fulfillment of the Great Commission

Read the following text and list the connections you see between this movement definition and what God did in Thessalonica.


I Thessalonians 1:2-10

Click for the text

In the video that you watched of the students from Volgograd, Vanya described his early efforts this way, “We were just doing evangelism because we didn’t know what else to do.” Vanya wanted to be a movement builder, but wasn’t sure what needed to be done. As we pursue the task of movement building there are three primary activities. They are summarized as:

Win - Bringing people to Christ.

Build - Investing in believers, helping them grow in maturity.

Send - Multiplying and launching new movements.


As you have worked through the lessons in VOLT you have been introduced to some of these components. In some lessons, you started to develop your skills in “winning.” Now you are competent to share the gospel and bring someone to the point of decision.

 You then developed your skills of building people, helping them grow in their faith. You will soon be studying additional lessons that prepare you to “Build” with increased effectiveness.


Walk through the interactive diagram below to see how these components join together in movement building.



These components of movement building usually begin with very small steps. Whether you are working in a team of 2-3 disciples or you are part of a large movement, God can help you apply each element.


The Me and the WE


Building movements is a team activity. The high goals associated with movements require a cooperative spirit and teamwork. As we evaluate the key elements of a movement we should both assess our personal application of the elements as well as how the team is functioning. The table below gives you an opportunity to reflect on and assess how the key elements are being lived out.


How I am Building a Movement

WIN - Connecting with the Lost: (What I’m doing)

BUILD - Life-Changing Discipleship: (What I’m doing)

SEND - Multiplying Leaders: (What I’m doing)



How are WE Building a Movement

WIN - Connecting with the Lost: (What are WE doing)

BUILD - Life-Changing Discipleship: (What are WE doing)

SEND - Multiplying Leaders: (What are WE doing) 


Taking Action


You have been placed by God at your school in order to be the light of Christ. Through you and others on your campus, God can develop a movement. Reflect on the definition of a spiritual movement and answer the questions below.


A spiritual movement is:


God Working

Through a Team of Like-Hearted Disciples

To Win, Build and Send

Toward the fulfillment of the Great Commission


What do you want to do to develop a spiritual movement?


What are you asking/trusting God to do?


Who do you want to invite to join you in this work? (co-working, praying for you, supporting the effort)


What would you like your team’s faith steps to be in the next 2 weeks in Win, Build and Send?



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