Tectonic Shifts on a Global Scale


It’s time to unlearn everything we thought we knew…

2016: A Year of Transition.

Last weekend tribes and networks of people from across the UK and some from the US descended on a countryside location in England for the #NewformsGathering 2016 (our 10th year). We welcomed storytellers Shane Claiborne and Erik Fish from stateside in a week that literally saw our Earth quake…

As I have travelled across the UK and Europe this year, meeting different leaders, teams and communities, this common theme of Transition has emerged. We are in a time of unprecedented change…both personally, corporately and on a national, continental and global scale…

Many of the curators of the Newforms Gathering spoke of us being in a birthing process, some have felt they have been in a tomb this year, but it’s a womb. Creation is groaning for a #WholeNewWorld. (A Free State of Jones)

Our Values and Idealogies need to shift because the time and season we are in has dramatically shifted. 

What do you do and where do you go, who do you turn to, when all your normal reference points go and all the usual rules of engagment seem to have been suspended…

Many have watched perplexed as events both personal and public have spiralled out of control this year. For many, things seem to be falling apart…maybe that’s happening so that the new things, the new forms can grow, even letting things die in order to make space for something else. It’s like a pregnant pause. A waiting. Having to make a space- even though we done know what the space will hold. A long waiting in the Unknown.

We are learning to sit with discomfort

One thing is certain, For our our world in 2016: It’s Not Business as Usual

Shifts on a Global Scale

The Trump Vs Clinton episode has been described as ‘an electrifying human drama on a seismic election creating shockwaves on both sides of the Atlantic’ that has left many reeling across the TransAtlantic. UK Newspapers prophesied that ‘His [Trumps] seismic victory will have repercussions around the world’ In an analysis as to why this occurred some described a ‘primal scream’ among many voters who were disenchanted with the status quo yearning for ‘real’ political change, those who feel voiceless, disenfranchised, overlooked;  a revolt of the ‘forgotten’ blue collar/white working class

Consider #Brexit…many were both shocked and appalled at the British public vote to leave the Europpean Union earlier this year. All the polls predicted the opposite…that the British public would vote to #Remain…possibly bolstered by the near miss with Scotland a few years ago…Scotland in the end voted to ‘Remain‘ as part of the United Kingdom…

What remains to be seen is whether these shock waves across the North Atlantic will affect a disintegration of NATO, which has been the cornerstone of western security since 1949 tasked with keeping Europe and America safe

Pacific Ring of Fire

After this astonishing sequence of political events, an earthquake occured last weekend in Christchurch, New Zealand.  The group of tectonic plates that caused the earthquake is called the ‘Pacific Ring of Fire‘ which affects much of the Western World- Australasia and America. The quake was followed by a Tsunami. The Ring of Fire is a direct result of plate tectonics and includes 452 volcanoes (more than 75% of the world’s active and dormant volcanoes, about 90% of the world’s earthquakes, 81% of the world’s largest earthquakes occur along the Ring of Fire)

Tectonic shifts are occurring in Christ’s Church. In the West and beyond…


Shift From ‘Jew to Gentile’
A Tectonic Shift is occurring in Christ’s Church relating to a seismic shift from a focus on ‘restoration’ movements in the West (including the charismatic, third wave and new wine type movements) that ‘restore’ the wine, spiritual gifts and renew the Church made up of those already from a Christian background to new tribal movements among the ‘gentiles’ (meaning those who have been ‘far off’ or ‘far from’ the epicentre of ‘Christian ministry’ and church in the past 40+ years)

With that in mind, this ancient scripture is becoming prominent for many at this time;

‘You will do more than restore the tribes of Israel to me. I will make you a light to the Gentiles, and you will bring my salvation to the ends of the earth‘ -Isaiah 49:6
Shift From West to East to West

Since 9/11, more Muslims have become ‘Muslim Followers of Isa’ than at any other time in human history. Out of 73 documented movements (of up to 100+ indigenous churches), 69 of these are contemporary and occurring in the ‘House of Islam’ (9 geopolitical regions Islam is most dominant). While this is occurring in nations from Egypt to Iran, India to Indonesia waves of immigrants from places such as Syria, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan continue to traverse the European continent (I know of one team who have reported 200 baptisms of Iranians in Germany in the past 6 months alone)

Shift to Generations XYZ

Since the turn of the 21st Century, we’ve seen some unprecedented shifts. Technological shifts have made room for a mobile generation, with the rise of social media and immediacy of smart phones. Generation X grew up with MTV and video games, Generation Y with YouTube and Selfies, Generation Z were born since the millennium but many of our institutions from church to business to government to education still operate in cultures and systems born in the industrial revolution or twentieth century values.. 

On the horizon is the emergence of a new generation of leadership…and an approach to leadership that has the ethos of #Murmuration  
Go With the Flow
Many are learning to let go of control, and go with the flow as tectonic shifts occur and the ground literally moves beneath us. 

Our 3D Commission

As many abandon sterile and stagnant pools and go with the flow…they will find themselves flowing in one or more of these three dimensions of mission:

1. Pioneer Mission, the length of the great commission (geography- places) finding Persons of Peace with their social circles (oikos) until there is literally #NoPlaceLeft where Christ has not been heard (Romans 15:19-23, Matt 28:18-20)

2. Tribal Mission, the depth of the great commission (socio-political and economic- people’s) deeply embedding the gospel of the Kingdom into every tribe, language and subculture so that the promise of Rev 7:9 is fulfilled

3. Kingdom Mission, the breadth of the great commission (life-spheres including education, business, political, media and so on that influence societal sphere’s)

Shift to New Forms with Multiplication DNA

A shift in the Western church to ‘new forms’ (new wineskins/fresh expressions), movemental forms of church with disciple multiplication DNA has been underway since circa 2001. 

This requires Mobile, People, Empowered To Flow through All Sorts of New Forms, into All Sorts of Nooks and Crannies, Across All Sorts of Tribes and Subcultures and into All Sorts of Spheres of Society

A Murmuration of Tribal Mission

Recent events have revealed that we are actually still a Tribal People in the West…this is often hidden behind nation states and continental wide alliances, but recent politics have brought these tribal distinctions to the surface. There are voices in our societies that have, perhaps, been suppressed, ignored, under-represented by public institutions whether that’s church or government or media.  Some of these voices are now being amplified whether for good or bad (including what some might see as both extreme right and extreme left voices plus the rise of movements such as #BlackLivesMatter)

Tectonic Plates are Shifting, Cogs are in Motion, Murmurations are Proliferating and New Forms are Multiplying

Are You in The Flow?

(We speak more on the subject of Tribal Mission in our forthcoming book ‘TribalMission


If these thoughts resonate with you, please get in touch and leave a comment)

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