For the past several years, the effort to reach the unreached has gathered steam, gained strength, built energy, become a trend, gotten support, moved forward: in short, it has built momentum. Let's look closely at this word.
A definition of ‘momentum’ usually resorts to physics. Merriam-Webster defines momentum as ‘the property of a moving body that the body has by virtue of its mass and motion, equal to the product of the body’s mass and velocity, determining the length of time required to bring it to rest when under the action of a constant force.’
In simple terms: momentum is a number describing how likely it is that a mass (a rock, a car, a person, a movement of people, a stock price, whatever) will continue moving along a path. It describes how easy it is for the mass to be stopped or its path to be changed by objects in the way. For example, the direction and speed of a moving object can be changed by an outside force. You toss a ball in the air (small momentum) and hit it with a bat (greater momentum introducing change), hopefully knocking it a long way. Or, a moving car (great momentum) might hit a wall (small momentum), changing both violently.
Momentum is defined as the mass (weight) of an object multiplied by its velocity. The bigger the mass, or the bigger its speed, the greater its momentum. Something small moving very fast (like a baseball or a football) will have more momentum than something small not moving at all (like a window) but not as much as something really big, moving really fast (like a car or truck moving at high speed). Generally, the greater the momentum the harder it is to change, and the more likely it is that the object-in-motion will change whatever gets in its way. Swing a bat at a ball, and the bat will change the momentum of the ball. Let an armored tank pile into a brick wall at high speed and the tank will likely knock it down and keep going.
This is important because, obviously, it's not just balls, cars and tanks that gain momentum. Movements of people (fads, trends, etc.) can gain momentum as well. The effort to reach unreached peoples has indeed built momentum. Since it is has, it is easy to keep it going and even build more momentum. However, we know there are outside forces which are acting, trying to slow down or stop the effort--forces like laziness and spiritual opposition.
To improve the momentum of the effort to reach the unreached, I hope to build six things in readers: drive, energy, effort, inspiration, power, and strength. In doing so I hope to increase both our size and speed, thus building the momentum of the movement.
Drive refers to both direction and passion. It can be a passage cleared for travel (a driveway), activites taken to achieve a goal (a fundraising drive or campaign), a strong wish for something (desire), active strength of body or mind (he has drive, or energy), and the willingness to engage in daring or difficult activity. To be driven is to be following a path with passion. My first goal is to point out the path.
Energy is used to describe the capacity for action. It can mean a vigorous exertion of power, or the ability to do work, or the resources to produce work. When someone has energy they have power, vigor, fuel, gas that they ‘burn’ in order to carry them forward. My second goal is to to build the energy of readers and increase their capacity to act.
Effort is energy used. We don’t just build up; we spend our energy to achieve. I want to challenge readers to action that leads to evangelism, church planting, discipleship, and eventually to the transformation of a society and its people into the likeness of Christ.
Inspiration is sudden change created by an unexpected introduction of energy. It is the spark of life, the motivating force, the ability to cause low-momentum objects (like lazy Christians) to begin acting. My fourth goal is to help readers inspire more people to join the movement.
Power is only possible through control. Power can be physical, mental, moral or political. It means a movement that is unified, led, and disciplined. Our fifth goal is to call our readers to self-discipline, accountability, and a high degree of focus.
Strength is the opposite of effort. It is being able to resist force or attack: staying the course, keeping to your path, resisting powers that would deflect you. Our sixth goal is to build strength in our readers, so they may persevere despite the trials that come their way.
These are large goals, but I believe they are achieveable. I believe they are also important. In the years immediately after 2000, much momentum was lost. Fortunately, I think a lot of that has been regained, but we have a long way to go to the goal.
I pray this archive of writings will be a voice that will help activists around the world gain the ability to achieve new things together.