“Never, never, never, give in!” These were the words of Winston Churchill during one of England’s bleakest moments. It was 1941 and Hitler’s troops were advancing. The American forces had not yet entered the war and things looked bad for Europe. He went on to say, *“Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” We need great tenacity in Disciple-Making Movements (DMMs). We must never, never, never give in until God’s Kingdom is established and growing among the unreached.
Every single second someone in India dies not having heard the gospel. That’s 60 people in a minute. Each one is precious to God. The number of hairs on their head are known by Him. He watched them cry and laugh. He saw their joys and pain. Yet they die, having never heard of His love. India is one of many places where the needs of the unreached are massive. We could talk about the Middle East, China, Africa, or Bangladesh. Sometimes, when we see this great need, we feel completely overwhelmed by the task.
Healing the sick is an important part of a disciple maker’s life.
What? Heal the sick? How can I do that? Only God can heal the sick! True. Not true. Wait! It can’t be both. Or can it?
There are several foundational things needed in disciple making movements. Obedience to God’s Word is one of them. In DMM training, we often focus on obedience to Christ’s command to share the gospel or be baptized. These are vitally important! If movements are built only on miracles, they tend to be shallow and often don’t see generational growth. At the same time, Jesus gave us an important model. He healed the sick and trained His disciples to do the same.
Do you ever struggle for faith that disciple making movements are possible? Or possible in your place? Or possible through you? I certainly have. I’m not proud of it, but it is true.
Sometimes in what Michael Hyatt calls the “messy middle” we stop believing. The “messy middle” is a place between the vision’s beginning and it’s realization. It’s the place where we wonder if our dream is possible.
My Struggle For Faith
There was a long “messy middle” for me. It was 20 years from when I heard about DMMs (back then we spoke of multiplying daughter and grand-daughter churches) and the time I first saw 4th generation groups. On that journey, I often wanted to quit. I regularly doubted it could happen.
On New Year’s Eve, I wrote a post called “3 Important Things to Do as You Start the New Year.” I hope you took the time to think about the questions I listed there. Have you started thinking about your goals for the coming year? As you are goal setting for disciple making movements, I hope you will set God-sized goals.
It is sometimes hard to know how ambitious to be in goal setting. Some of us struggle with risk aversion. We want to set nice safe discipleship goals we can achieve.
“I’m living by faith. If God wants it to happen, it will. ” This sounds so spiritual. It can, however, deceptively hide an unwillingness to risk failure or work hard. Sometimes we unknowingly deceive ourselves. We remain passive instead of stepping out to do something new or difficult. We struggle to believe that God will reward our actions of faith. Faith and works are not opposites. They are both equally important if we want to release a movement.
The problem of speaking about our faith without taking necessary actions to demonstrate it appears in many different areas of our lives as disciple makers. It shows up in our evangelism. We see it in our fundraising and finances. How we set goals says a lot about our faith as well. Our feelings of discouragement in the discipleship process as we help new believers grow and change is another area where this issue of faith and works arises.
When sharing the vision for Disciple Making Movements (DMMs) most people are excited to hear what God is doing. As a Christian worker, who wouldn’t want to see a movement of genuine Jesus followers? We all do! It’s not hard to get people on board with the vision. It is more difficult motivating people to make necessary changes in what they believe and how they do ministry. Many also struggle with believing it is possible to see these kinds of movements in their area, or through them.