Social Movements That Impact Our Creative Work

2009 Echo Conference

In this 45 minute session from the 2009 Echo conference, Ben Arment talks about the outside forces that can make or break our God-given projects. Ben is the creator of STORY, Dream Year and 1,000 Premieres. He is also a former church planter and the author of Church in the Making.

As you watch this session, take notes and write down thoughts about how this session can impact your ministry.

Ben said, "There is a force at work that can break our God-given projects." He gave the example of Donald McGavran, a missionary who struggled to plant churches in India and found out his failure was due to the caste system. When he started planting churches in each caste, the churches grew and people found Christ.

What is your passion, cause, or ministry?
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How are you struggling? What could be the social reason for the cause of that struggle?
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Ben referred to the parable of the sower found in Matt. 13:3-9. The seed is the gospel. It has all the power it needs to bring restoration and redemption. It is not the fault of the seed that some did not grow. The failure was in the context in which the seed was laid.

What is the context of your project or ministry? Could you struggling because you are casting the seed of your project, cause or ministry in the "wrong" place?
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Ben gave the sad but true fact that people would rather make easy decisions based on popularity, ratings, reviews or social conventions. We like to join others.  It's difficult to launch a project, cause or ministry where you are not known. Ben gave John Maxwell as an example of someone who worked within that social convention. He purchased thousands of his own business leadership books to get on the best-seller list so that business people would listen to him.

Where is your voice? Do you have momentum where you are trying to launch your project, cause or ministry?
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The Scripture also uses social movements to further the gospel. In Acts 2, we see that God did not lay his greatest cause on an average day. God used a Jewish festival day when Jews were gathered from all over world, to launch the spread of the gospel. And as all the Jews went back to their homes, they took the message of Christ.

What momentum or social movement could help your cause or ministry?
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Ben gave four ways to create a social movement. 
  • 1. Understand Your Target Community 
  • 2. Understand Your Platform 
  • 3. Persevere in Time and Consistency 
  • 4. Leverage Influence

Are you an outsider? Who do you know who could help you?
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What is your platform? Does it effectively reach people?
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Ben said that time will accrue a following. How long have you been working your cause? Are you doing it consistently?
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What careful and calculated risk can you take that builds off what you've started?
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Ben concluded by saying "A great cause, laid upon social movement will find great fruitfulness." May it be so.

For information or to purchase tickets to experience next year's Echo Conference live, go to