At ECHO, we have chosen the deeper, richer, more intimate way of missional community. Our current "ECHO Community" is becoming more and more intentional about playing the long-game, no longer focusing on "cashing in" on big, flashy, high-octane methods that promise quick results. We're focusing on life-on-life disciple-making.
Sometimes we wonder, "How will we change our city, our world, if we don't move faster?"
By going slower.
Have you ever considered how Jesus changed the world? He took twelve guys and spent three years with them. THREE YEARS! Even when he was surrounded by crisis, you never got the impression that Jesus was in a hurry.
At ECHO, we have been wanting to multiply for a long time, to start new ECHO Communities across our city. It's hard not to get impatient when we want fast results. But if we rush it, will it be healthy? No church planter out there says to take three years incubating relationships before sending people out, but that's exactly what Jesus did. The Enemy wants us to believe that we're wasting time, that we need to speed things up, that if we don't act now that opportunity will pass us by. But we were never supposed to follow the Enemy's lead. We follow Jesus. And his ways are different.
The remarkable thing about Jesus' ministry was what happened after the Twelve were sent out. Over the next 50 years, Christianity evolved from a small cult-like following to a movement. It was a snowball effect. It took time to build steam, but when it finally gained traction, it was unstoppable.
If we want the sort of impact that the early Christians had, we will have to stick with it, to persevere in the face of adversity. When we get frustrated with our lack of "results," we will constantly have to remind each other that Jesus is the result and the source. He is our cause and our effect, our Beginning and our End.
Right now, we are tempted to speed up. But years from now, when we have truly become a movement, it won't be because we rushed it. It will be because we chose to believe that slow truly is the new fast.