6 Best Books I Read This Year

Ever had a book sound great?  You pick it up, or buy it online only to find out after a few chapters that it wasn’t worth your money? I have!  Let me save you the trouble by giving you some Christian leadership book recommendations.  Below are some great books on Leadership and Missions that are a definite good investment.

Prov 1:5 “Let the wise listen and add to their learning,
and let the discerning get guidance—”

I’ve given a short summary of the six best books I’ve read in the last year and how they have influenced me.  I hope you will glean from these “mentors” as much as I have. read more

Faith and Works- Opposites or Equally Important?

faith and works

“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. 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

God-Sized Goals

God sized goals

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. 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

Being Contextual Without Being a Zealot

contextual

One of the important aspects of a growing movement is that it becomes indigenous.  Disciples are free to live out the gospel message in a contextual way. What does the word indigenous mean and how can we contextualize without going too far?

Miriam Webster defines indigenous as: produced, growing, living, or occurring naturally in a particular region or environment.  We speak of indigenous plants, indigenous people, indigenous culture.  What we mean by indigenous Disciple Making Movements (DMMs) is that within these movements disciples grow naturally in their own context and culture. read more

Filtering: What it is, How it Helps

filter-192936_640When I first heard the term “filtering” being used in DMM/CPM circles I wasn’t sure what I thought about it.  It was definitely NOT a part of my organizational culture to do this!  I wasn’t sure it was biblical.  I wasn’t sure I wanted to do it.  I particularly didn’t like the idea of “filtering people out” of our trainings and priorities.  It just sounded kind of….mean.  The pastoral, member care side of me reacted to it.

After a few years of working with this concept, I have seen however, that it is necessary to “filter” for what I call the 3F people- the faithful, fruitful and focused.  I like to call it “filtering up” rather than “filtering out”. read more