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.
Coaches can be scary! I remember one I had when playing American baseball as a kid. He had a good heart, but he intimidated us a lot! Just knowing he was watching me try to hit the ball made me strike out. Coaching in disciple-making movements, however, shouldn’t be frightening.
Similar to me, many people have bad experiences with coaches or teachers. These so-called mentors have been harsh, scolded them or expected more than they were capable of. Even worse, some have shamed them when they failed. These negative experiences affect how we think about coaching. It doesn’t have to be like that. Coaching is a very fruitful and helpful practice in Disciple Making Movements (DMMs).
Whether it is a cricket match between England and Australia or two teams playing in the Super Bowl- we like to pick a side. Who are you cheering for? The same is true in many other aspects of life. Disciple-making urgency or transformational discipleship? Which is more important? Put more simply- what matters most? Getting people saved or transformed?
Both-And Not Either-Or
Many Kingdom priorities are not either/or issues. Instead, they are very much both/and. Jesus is both God and man. We must both love God and also love our neighbor. Our human tendency, however, is to put ourselves into one camp or the other on theological issues.
When we work hard but don’t quickly see results, it’s just plain difficult. We need to know how to stay motivated in disciple making and evangelism while we wait for the fruit to come.
Lessons From Our Superheros
“With great power comes great responsibility”
says Uncle Ben in the Spider-Man movie.
I love that quote. I can see the scene in my head and hear his voice. It’s an “Aha” moment for young Spider-Man. I guess I just like Superheroes.
These champions inspire us. They help us to dream of what might be possible, with a little superhuman strength.
There is a simple way to almost immediately double or triple the number of people you are reaching with the gospel. Do you want to hear how? Most people would! Here it is. When you properly understand the key role of women in disciple making movements, your disciple making efforts will take a leap forward.
The tremendous potential of mobilizing and releasing women is a blind spot for many people. There are various reasons for hesitation to release women in ministry. This article will not address them all. Instead, I hope to shine some light on this topic, share my story, and take a look at scripture. The goal is not to convince you of a particular position on this topic. I hope, instead, to give you a key to growing your movement rapidly. By considering changes in how you release women, many more lost people come into the Kingdom of God.
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.
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 Training. Just 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.
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.
How do you get generational growth in disciple-making movements?
They were a faithful and passionate team of local workers. They shared the gospel often and led people to the Lord. They worked hard. They had started 10 1st generation groups of disciples. Not too bad by most peoples standards. Generational growth in disciple-making had not yet begun though.
They were stuck at 1st generation (1G) growth. They only knew how to start groups themselves. They didn’t know how to get the believers in those groups to start new groups. Sound familiar?
“I love the idea of making disciples of new believers and seeing those discipleship groups multiply! I’m in!” you might be saying. “But where do I start? What do I need to do first to see a disciple making movement begin?”
There are 3 “basics” that are needed as every DMM gets started.
- A Prayer Strategy
- Abundant Seed Sowing
- Finding the Person of Peace
I played basketball in college. I wasn’t amazing, but I enjoyed it. It was fun to be a part of a team. I loved the games. I hated the practices. Our coach would push us hard on the court in the early morning practice. We had to dribble, shoot layups and free throws until we were sick of it. We ran back and forth, up and down the court dribbling and passing the ball until we could do it in our sleep. It was these basics that won the games.