6 Movement Principles from Original Gangstas

On the streets of many inner cities in America, Original Gangsta’s (OG’s) are people of respect. OG’s are often founders and pioneers of street or prison gangs. They are natural leaders filled with vision and are willing to take risks. They have put in the hard work of paving the way for others to follow. They are OG’s.

In my opinion the dopest OG for the Kingdom of God is of course Jesus, whose vision is to fill the earth with the glory and knowledge of the Father. After Jesus I would say the Apostle Paul is straight up gangsta. No other person in history has left such a lasting impact on the mission and purpose of the Church than OG Paul.

Today God continues to use faith filled people with OG status to launch and coach movements of disciples making disciples and churches planting churches all around the world. I’ve had the privilege to learn from and work alongside some of these Kingdom OG’s. To hear their stories and see their passion for God’s heart. Here are 6 principles of Church/Disciple Making Movements that I’ve learned from some legit OG’s.

1. Bathe Everything in Prayer & Scripture

Every Original Gangsta has a source of power, truth and inspiration. On the streets it could be a gun, in the Kingdom of God it’s the Word and prayer. Kingdom Movements are launched by people who listen, trust and obey the voice of God.

One OG friend from northern India began leading people to Jesus and baptizing them immediately. After baptizing thousands traditional church leaders tried to stop him by asking, “By what authority are you doing all this?”

He simply said, “Jesus” and walked away. He was disciplined in prayer and trusted in Scripture and the fruit of his obedience has led to over a million new believers in Northern India.

2. Be A Humble Learner

Sometimes, as white faced Americans who hail from the “greatest country” on earth, we can be prideful, loud and obnoxious. We travel to different countries and use translators to impart our latest plans, strategies and tools to local people without ever understanding their language, culture and worldview.

My OG friend from India speaks 13 different languages! Before he enters into a field or new area he does research on their history and culture so that he could pray effectively. When he does trainings in other countries he asks questions in order to create a sense of discovery and ownership. He displays all at once a spirit of teachability, humility and confidence.

3. Practice Simple Obedience 

Another OG Chinese pastor and his wife that I know of had written their entire church planting strategy plan on one piece of paper. Other foreign experts in the training session had in excess of 50 pages!

A few years later this Chinese pastor launched a movement in China resulting in millions of new believers and hundreds of thousands of new communities of faith.

All the knowledge and skills in the world doesn’t amount to anything unless we apply what we know. This OG’s plan came through prayer and fasting and was focused on simple obedience to the commands of Jesus.

4. Maintain Momentum

Another OG friend in Laos shared his experience kayaking over rapids and through an enormous cave near the Vietnamese border. He learned that the trick to remaining upright is to paddle with all your strength over the rapids and maintain momentum. When faced with danger the natural reaction is to stop paddling out of fear and let the current carry you but that can cost you your life…as the current will pull you under and into the rocks.

In the same way movements are not about speed but simply about joining God in what His Spirit is already doing. OG’s know when to push forward as they observe God at work in emerging leaders. Don’t let fear keep you from changing the status quo, otherwise you can end up upside down, in the water and against the rocks.

5. Think In Generations

My OG friend from India started off by training and releasing a small network of committed leaders. These leaders went and did the same with the next generation of leaders. Currently he has tracked more than 15 generations of churches that have started other churches! OG’s are always thinking about the legacy they will leave behind and train in a way that others can train. The fruit of success for an OG is not more numbers but multiple generations of churches that reproduce churches.

6. Pursue A God-Sized Vision

A God-sized vision is something that only God can accomplish. There are lots of man-sized visions that can be done by human means but seeing communities of worship in every household on the planet is something only God can do.

The OG’s I know are able to cast vision in a way that others will believe, sign on and die for. They are broken over lost people, desperate for the Spirit and discontent with just one place of worship. They visualize entire regions filled with Jesus followers from every tribe, language and nation.  As my OG Indian friend likes to shout from the top of his lungs, “Why plant one tree when we can plant a massive forest in every nation!” Now that’s poppin fresh thinking, that’s straight up gangsta.

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