Do you have a favorite tool for gardening or working in the kitchen? At our house, we have a favorite knife. It is sharp and the handle is just the right size. It works well for chopping about anything. If my husband and I are both in the kitchen, there sometimes is a competition for who gets to use that knife! Tools are important in seeing progress and becoming effective. The T4T Lost and Saved list is one of the best tools I have used. It will help you train people to start Disciple Making Movements.
Have you ever made a New Year’s resolution and then failed to do those things? Most people have. We say, “I’m going to lose 10 kilos.” Or we might say, “I’m going to start exercising.” We make resolutions, we set goals- then we go back to our old ways. Sometimes this makes us not even want to set goals! The problem isn’t with goal setting. If a goal is to become a reality though, you have to change your behavior. There is one regular practice that will make a bigger difference than any other. It is the development of a daily intercessory prayer habit.
In the next few blogs I want to share some keys to seeing breakthroughs that lead to a Disciple Making Movement. The first one is praying with faith.
Let’s start with a funny story to illustrate.
A journalist was assigned to the Jerusalem bureau of his newspaper. He gets an apartment overlooking the Wailing Wall. After several weeks he realizes that whenever he looks at the wall he sees an old Jewish man praying vigorously. The journalist wondered whether there was a publishable story here. He goes down to the wall, introduces himself and says: “You come every day to the wall. What are you praying for?”
The old man replies: “What am I praying for? In the morning I pray for world peace, then I pray for the brotherhood of man. I go home, have a glass of tea, and I come back to the wall to pray for the eradication of illness and disease from the earth.”
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.
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.