Training

Need a Great List of the Most Vital DMM Startup Tools?

DMM Tools

Rice, meat, spices, herbs, onion, garlic…you make your list and go to the market. Before making a special meal, you first prepare the ingredients you need. You wouldn’t want to start cooking and then have to stop and run to the store. In the same way, as you begin your journey with Disciple Making Movements (DMMs), it is good to get your tools, training, and material in place. This will give you a better chance of moving forward in your DMM journey.

Invest in Your DMM Toolbox

There are many different tools you can add to your “toolbox” as you make disciples. But there are several things that are most essential. Get those basics in place. Then, as a builder or carpenter does, when you come across various new materials and skills, you can also add them to your DMM tool belt. read more

How Not to Motivate Your Team (and 4 Ways that Work)

team

Working in a united team with a high level of commitment and diverse gifts is an amazing experience! As the Bible says, “One man can chase a thousand, or two put ten thousand to flight…” (Deut. 32:30-NIV.) This is only true when your team is united around the same vision and moving in the same direction. How do you get your team, or church, on board with the idea of launching a Disciple Making Movement (DMM)?

Much vision casting is necessary during the beginning phase. It carries on throughout the movement launching process. Learn how to do this well from the start. A deep commitment to multiplication will become an integral part of the movements’ DNA. read more

Why and How to Track Progress in a Disciple Making Movement

track progress

Why track DMM progress?  Let me illustrate.

I come from a city in America called Minneapolis. It has many beautiful lakes. We like to rent canoes and go boating on them. I learned something about canoeing. Keeping my eyes fixed on the other side of the lake matters. Otherwise, it is easy to paddle around on the lake for hours without actually crossing it.

Some people engage in disciple-making efforts without tracking their progress. They are a bit like me on the lake.  They take their eyes off their goal.

That is fine if you just want a fun way to spend a day off. But if you are serious about making progress in starting a DMM, you have to measure forward movement.

You need to know where you are at. You must be able to determine whether or not the movement is multiplying.

Multiplication is your destination.  Stay focused on it. The only way to know if you are getting there (or not) is to keep careful records and regularly measure progress. Are you seeing multiplication growth or only addition? Tracking allows you to celebrate, assess, and make needed changes.

“How do I do this well?” you may ask. Few people like to fill out monthly reports! Especially volunteers and unpaid workers like we have in house church movements.

Indicators, Charts, and Evaluation

  • First, identify which DMM indicators you want to track.
  • Then, create a simple way of monitoring those things. Many people use generation charts or maps to help them do this. Particularly with oral culture people, a visual picture is very helpful. Compare previous charts with current ones. This makes it easy for trainees to see their progress (or lack of it).
  • Lastly, evaluate. Diagnose problems and make plans in response to what you have learned through the reporting process.

Big Reports- Pride and Exaggeration

In an email from a mentor, I read the following words.

“Big reports are driven by one of two reasons; Ego/pride, or the desire to influence funders and donors.  The first is always sin and the second can become sin when it leads to exaggeration, claiming other’s fruit and dishonesty.”

Wise words of caution when we talk about reporting.  If your goal in tracking movement progress is either of these things, take note. Carefully guard your heart.

Building Trust

There is often resistance to gathering data. I used to get frustrated with this. Wanting to understand their reasons, I asked further questions.

The reasons eventually surfaced. They didn’t want to give me their numbers if I was going to use them to raise funds for myself.  I could understand that! They didn’t want to be used for my gain. Others feared being viewed as a failure if they didn’t have big “numbers” to report.

Building trust took time. We needed to go through a process of helping our trainees understand. The reason we were gathering reports was to help the movements grow. It was not to build our own egos or to raise funds. We certainly didn’t want to make them feel like a failure!  The reports were to help them.

A few others had concerns about whether it was Biblical to track numbers. They were concerned about God’s judgment on David when he wanted to count his army. If that is a concern for you, please see this blog I wrote on that years ago.

“Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air.” 1 Cor. 9:26 NIV.

How To Track Progress in a DMM

1. Identify which DMM indicators you want to measure.

There are many different things you can track as it relates to a movement’s growth. Keep it simple. Make a list of things you want to know, then cut it down to the absolute essentials. The shorter the report, the more likely they will complete it.

At the bottom of this post a free pdf download  with a list of indicators you could consider choosing from.  It’s not complete but will get you started.

2. Devise a simple way of monitoring that works for your group.

Many people use generation charts to track progress. When we began doing that with our teams, we saw a huge difference. Each training we had, the trainees made updated charts.

A circle represented a house church or disciple-making group. Looking at the chart you could easily see which generation it was (1st, 2nd or 3rd). You could also quickly see which groups were multiplying and which were not.

Then, as a coach/trainer you ask questions like this. “This group seems to be starting other groups. What is happening here that isn’t happening in your other groups?”

See my video that explains how to make a generational growth chart.

 

3. Determine how often and where you will collect reports and track progress. read more

How to Make Sure Your DMM Efforts Are Headed in the Right Direction

Dmm basics

Have you ever gotten on the wrong bus or train and not realized it? I have! Without a good understanding of Disciple Making Movement (DMM) principles, we can easily get off track. We waste time going in the wrong direction in our discipleship or church planting efforts.

Oh No! I’m On The Wrong Train!

A few years ago, I was heading to Bangladesh to train a group of church planters. I went to the train station. A local porter helped me carry my bag and get on my train. Being a bit late and in a rush, I didn’t check the name of the train carefully. I was lazy to read the Hindi script fully, so only read the first part of the train’s name. It was Kanchan something.

Not a good idea! Instead of getting on the Kanchenjunga train, I boarded the Kanchankanya train instead. I went in the completely wrong direction.

A few hours later the train conductor came to my berth. He checked my ticket. “You are not on the right train!” he announced.

I had to get off at the next station, board another train and return back to where I had started from. Arghh!! My husband kindly booked me a new ticket and the next day I started my journey again. This time, I got on the right train.

In our attempts to multiply disciples among the unreached, we can similarly go the wrong way.

When we aren’t familiar with the basic DMM principles we end up on the wrong path. read more

How To Find Potential Leaders and Fruitful People

find potential leaders

Our resources are limited. Time, money, energy, and personnel are all stretched far too thin when pioneering in new areas. Some people seem to only drain our precious resources. As disciple makers, how do you avoid wasting time on the wrong people? How do you discover the potential leaders who will be most helpful in growing the movement?

Don’t Just Guess- Give Assignments

While it is tempting to try to guess who will be worth investing in, we are often wrong in our guesses. The best way to discover who to invest in is to first train a larger group of people. Give them assignments to apply the training. Then, watch to see who does what they were trained to do. Those who actually take steps to begin working are the ones worth investing in. These are the people who will most likely be the most fruitful.

*Jeremiah- An Unlikely Choice

I was invited to speak in a Discipleship Training School (DTS) for Youth With A Mission (YWAM). There were about 15 students. I was teaching for a week on the Biblical Foundation for Missions. My goal was to present the need of reaching the unreached. I would then call people to get involved in church planting efforts.

Some of the students looked like they would be wonderful church planters. They were attentive to my training. They spoke up in discussions. Good questions were asked and they seemed to understand the concepts.

Others, well, they seemed pretty “villagy.” I wasn’t sure they were understanding well, even

find potential people
Ask God to show you their potential!

though the translator did a good job. Sometimes they stared off into space blankly.

This was especially true of one older man named *Jeremiah. He didn’t seem very “with it” and he wasn’t very educated. I would never have chosen him as the person in the class who would produce the most fruit. But he did! Jeremiah applied everything I taught. God spoke to him during that week about an unreached nomadic group of honey hunters. He quickly made plans to go live among them.

Later, through this uneducated man, whole villages came to Christ! The others who had looked so bright? Most of them ended up doing ministry things of some kind. But they didn’t lead very many unreached people to Christ. Who would have known Jeremiah would be the one worth investing in? Certainly not me!

Train Everyone, Not Some

Ying Kai of T4T says it so well, “Train everyone, not some.” Jesus taught this principle in the parable about the net.

“Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away.” Matt. 13:47-48 NIV

We could say that this parable refers to evangelism efforts. Jesus, however, never really separated evangelism and discipleship the way we do. His goal was to call people to follow Him. He wanted to make disciples who would obey His command and would multiply His Kingdom. So the principle definitely applies both to evangelism and discipleship.

Don’t Filter Too Early

Often we are tempted to “pre-filter” those we will train as disciple makers. Consciously or unconsciously, we pre-determine who has potential. Our rationale behind this is that we don’t want to waste our time on the wrong people. We have limited time, energy and finances to use.  But, so often, the people we think will be faithful and fruitful are not the ones who actually are! I can’t emphasize this enough.

It isn’t the person who is the most charismatic, extroverted and educated. Neither is it the smart, responsive, well dressed, organized or passionate that end up being most fruitful. It is the person who is the most willing to obey and put into practice what they learn.

Many Good Hearted People Don’t Have Time read more

What is Just In Time Training?

“Just in Time Training” was an unfamiliar concept for me. Why are they not applying what I taught them?  We taught how to create a set of stories for discipleship in the Orientation Program, but they are just preaching. They seem to have completely forgotten everything they learned in the training!  Argghh!!

Have you ever felt frustrated that you invest a lot in training people only to see little field application happen?

I sure was!  Then I put into practice what is called Just in Time TrainingJust in Time Training (sometimes called Micro-Learning) is when you give people only what they need to use immediately. You train in small learning segments.

You start with where they are and train them step by step.

  • Do they already have five 1st generation groups?  What do they need to see those multiply?
  • Can they share the gospel effectively? Maybe they need help with choosing a gospel story?
  • Are they just beginning to learn the language?
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    Key #3 DMM Breakthrough Growth: Train Don’t Teach

    discipleship training

    Do you long to see more multiplication through your discipleship training?  Are you tired of only seeing a few new disciples each year?

    The last two blogs talked about Keys for seeing DMMs released. The first keys were  Key #1: Praying With Faith and Key #2: Perseverance.

    There is another crucial key to releasing a movement. If you want to multiply disciples, an important change needs to happen in how you do discipleship training. You need to shift from being a Teacher to becoming a Trainer.

    What is the difference between the two?

    Discipleship Training: Are you a Trainer or Teacher?

    I was speaking in a training program the other day and began to realize how big of a shift God has brought in me over the past few years. What I do when I am invited into a classroom full of people wanting to learn and grow has dramatically changed.  I’m still speaking about the same topics, but my mindset is very different!

    Don’t choose Easy- Be Fruitful

    Teaching is easier but yields less fruit. In many ways, teaching is more satisfying to my ego.  When I teach, I give information and pass on knowledge.  It’s quite easy to feel good about myself when I teach.  If I make a good presentation and everyone likes it, responds well, and gets excited, …then it was a success.  I like teaching and there is certainly a place for it.  It is a wonderful spiritual gift that God uses.

    However, I  realized it was not as effective. When I began to deeply look at fruitfulness in comparison with the results I was seeing, I knew I needed to change.  My goal is making disciples who make disciples. That means doing things differently.

    discipleship training
    Training in the Jesus story

    Trainers Are Different From Teachers

  • Trainers are practitioners. They do what they are training people to do.
  • Trainers demonstrate and model both in the classroom and in the field.
  • Trainers are learners themselves, not experts, though they are probably some steps ahead of the trainees.
  • Trainers follow-up and check on how things get applied after the classroom period is over.
  • A Trainer’s goal is not only to pass on knowledge but primarily is to develop skills.
  • Trainers are careful to keep their training style simple enough that everyone they train can pass on the same material to others immediately.
  • Success for a Trainer is when the student/trainee is able to actually do what they taught and train others to do the same.
  • read more