Discipleship

Do We Need To Live Among Them? Incarnational Ministry Questions

incarnational ministry

My kid’s school is far away from my ministry field.  How important is it that I live among the people I’m trying to reach?  If I can’t live “on site” how much will that affect my fruitfulness? It is important to consider the significance of what is called incarnational ministry.

Jesus was incarnational.  What that means is though He was God, he took on human flesh and became a man. He left heaven, came to earth, lived among us and through that, that helped us to see what God the Father was like.  He is our model. How important is it that we do this?  This article addresses, not the issue of adapting to culture, but the question of living among the people we serve. read more

In The Beginning- Prayer Cells or Training Groups?

prayer cells

Many disciple makers hope to see God do something great among the unreached, but they follow a strategy that eases slowly into evangelism and discipleship. They start with beginning prayer cells.  People they meet are invited to attend a worship time of some sort and to receive prayer.  As God begins to answer their prayers, they are more interested and slowly they begin to believe.  This is not a bad model, but it is not the model to use if you want to see a Disciple Making Movement.

Why? You may ask.  It seems good.  People encounter the love and power of God.  This approach doesn’t scare off interested seekers.  “No one seems to persecute us if we are just praying for people in a new place,” you may say. read more

6 Factors That Get Discipleship Movements Moving

movement

What makes a disciple making movement move?  How can you get multiplication growth to happen (and be sustained) as you make disciples? There are certain movement growth factors to keep in mind in your ministry.

The following are the most important keys to pushing your disciple making into multiplicative growth.  Some are obvious.  Some are more easy to ignore.

VISION CASTING movement growth factors

Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no vision, the people perish…” (KJV)

How deeply ingrained in the heart of each disciple is the vision to see lost people around them come to know the Lord?  When we talk about vision as it relates to Disciple Making Movements, we are specifically talking about the vision for lost people to meet Jesus and be saved.  This passion, this vision for lost souls must be spoken out repeatedly in every meeting and in multiple ways.  It has to become a part of the “talk” of the movement.  It has to move beyond something only leaders think about and become ingrained in the hearts of all.  This happens by creative and consistently motivating people to reach the lost around them.  Cast vision to see your movement move! read more

Prayer- A Leader’s First Ministry

prayer and leadership

A Disciple Making Movement (DMM) leader’s most important role is to intercede for those they lead.  Leader’s who accomplish much, do so on their knees.  It is in the place of prayer that we hear His voice, gain direction, strength, perspective, encouragement and where ultimately the real breakthroughs happen. Prayer in leadership is essential.

Prayer Can Not Be Delegated

The work on our knees can not be delegated to others. It is the responsibility of every Christian leader to pray themselves.  We need to lead the way in prayer.  That is not to say that we don’t also mobilize and raise up many others to intercede.  We do.  We must.  There are others who may spend more actual hours in prayer than we do, or who may carry the work of intercession in very significant ways.  As leaders, delegation is an important skill.  This is one that you cannot delegate away though. read more

A Bulldozer Anointing for Discipleship Breakthroughs

annointing

“You are like a bulldozer” he said.  Wow.  That was interesting to hear.  I wasn’t sure I liked him saying that.  What did it mean?  I understand better now what this prophetically gifted man was referring to.  To release Disciple Making Movements (DMMs) ,we need to move in a “Bulldozer Anointing”, pressing through obstacles until we get to the breakthrough God wants to give.

Obstacles Come – Big & Small

In life we all face obstacles.  This has got to be even more true for those who are boldly pursuing the release of a movement of disciples among the unreached.  We face financial obstacles, visa related obstacles, persecution related problems, family issues, discipleship and marriage problems and many other things.  Big or small, the obstacles come with regular frequency. read more

Trainees – What Gospel Do They Share?

gospel sharing includes the cross

Gospel Sharing- Some Big Concerns

I’ve been concerned as we have been training in various locations. How do we approach gospel sharing and evangelism? We have been training people in how to share the Jesus story, Creation to Christ stories, and the basic gospel message.  I’m quite shocked at the number of pastors, church planters, elders and local believers who seem to have little understanding of what the gospel is.  Many cannot easily and clearly share a simple gospel story.  Some of those unable to do this went through credible Christian training and discipleship programs.  This is worrying. read more

Why Saying “No” is a Crucial Skill

I personally don’t like saying no.  It feels…not nice.  It seems…unkind, or like I don’t value the person who is asking me to do something.  Yet saying no, and meaning it, is a crucial skill for those of us pursuing DMMs.  This is why we need to learn not only what to say no to, but also how to say no with honor and respect.

Lets start with the what part.  What do we need to say no to as a DMMer?  (Is that a thing? Can I call us that?) Sorry.  Rabbit trail.  Okay, so my point is, we need to say “No” to things that side track us, that pull us away from the main vision we are going after- a Disciple Making Movement.  Anything that seems good but isn’t related to making disciples who make more disciples or to reaching lost people should go on our “I might need to say no” list. read more

Staying Focused as Disciple Makers

What is the number one enemy you will face as you pursue the release of a Disciple Making Movement among the unreached?  One would imagine that it would be intense spiritual warfare, keeping a visa platform, persecution, or some other kind of external challenge.  Those are real and they are there to be sure.  In my opinion, however, the greatest obstacle for those pursuing the release of a movement,  is the inability to stay focused on what is most important.  The tendency to become distracted doing many good things without doing what iblack-and-white-1845826_1280s most important is typical of those who hope to see movements but don’t. read more

You Are a Royal Priest

royal priest

Our beliefs about who we are, dramatically impact how we behave.  In the last blog I talked about who we are as people God has chosen to bear much fruit.  We are the chosen ones.  Today I want to focus on another aspect of identity – who you are as a royal priest of God.

1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”- NIV

It’s important to understand the major shift Jesus brought about when he went to the cross and rose again.  He destroyed the old system of Levitical priesthood and established a new system where all who followed Him would be royal priests. In the new covenant you are not physically born into the priesthood.  Instead, when you receive Jesus, you are spiritually born into this status. read more

God Chose You to Bear Fruit

I’ve always wanted to be fruitful in God’s kingdom.  I longed to make a true difference.  Doubt often filled my heart.  Would God really use me to start disciple making movements? Was I the right kind of person?  Did I have it in me? I needed to know my disciple making identity.

I looked back on my years in missions and saw lots of evidence that maybe the answer was no.  False starts.  Failed attempts. Lost people I’d made friendships with but never managed to truly share the good news with, or not very effectively anyhow.

disciple making identityWas it unwise to even hope that God would want to start a movement of disciples through me?  Maybe I was setting myself up for failure and further disappointment by embracing this goal.

If you can identify with this, you are not alone.  Many of us who God calls to his kingdom work of seeing multiplication among the unreached feel that way at one time or another. (Or sometimes fairly regularly.)  So what is our baseline?  What do we go back to when deciding whether or not Disciple Making Movements- DMMs are for us? (Sometimes we have to decide and re-decide this fairly often).

In this post and the next few that follow, I’d like to give you my scriptural baseline.  This is where the foundation for faith that God can use me to start DMMs comes from.

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.– John 15:16 NIV

That is my bottom line.  God chose and ordained me to bear lasting fruit.  This is my disciple making identity.

Out of all the millions on this planet, He looked around and He saw me and said, “I want her on my team.”  Remember those days back in elementary school, when they picked teams for kickball? It felt so good to be chosen by the captain to play for their team!

That is exactly what God has done for you.  He chose you to play for His team.  He chose you to bear fruit that would last.  That is what this verse proclaims!

It takes away the ifs and buts of DMMs for me.  Its not about if I am smart enough, capable enough, outgoing enough, persevering enough, or anything else (fill in the blank) enough!  All we need to know is that we are His chosen ones.  Since He chose us; He will coach us, train us, guide us, empower us, anoint us, and use us to bear much fruit in His Kingdom.