Imagine a man is pushing a heavy car up hill while near the top. He wants to see it roll far and fast, so with all his might he pushes it up. As he fights against the weight and gravity, he struggles under the load, but he is determined to start this movement. In fact, all he has to do is step out of the way and it will do all he wants and more. He is, in fact, the one preventing what he wants from happening. Every square pound of pressure he invests in this exercise prevents him from accomplishing his goal. He doesn’t need to do more work to make it happen, in fact, he needs less, much less. Ironically, the harder he works the further he actually gets from his goal. That pictures for me how the church is preventing the kingdom from being the movement it is intended to be. We are often like the man pushing the car not realizing that we are already near the top. God has already placed us at the top of the hill, poised to release a movement, but we are investing all our might trying to make it happen as if we were at the bottom, when all we really have to do is step out of the way and let nature do what it is designed to do.
I believe that a profound reason why movements occur more easy in places and times of severe persecution is that because the church is prevented from doing things that hold back the Kingdom—such as hiring professionals, buying and maintaining facilities, creating programs and writing curriculum—rapid and spontaneous movements can emerge. Stripped of any other resource or object of devotion and faith, in a persecuted church Christ becomes more real, and the Gospel is all the people have left, and a movement results. All the movement inhibitors and impediments are removed and the church is free to move unchecked and with great power. Can we see this in the non-persecuted Western world as well? Of course we can.