Month: December 2022

Who Will You Tell the Greatest Story to This Christmas?

greatest story

There is no time like Christmas to share the story of Jesus! A few days ago, a pastor friend asked in a group of pastors “How will you keep Christ at the center of your Christmas celebrations?” My response flew immediately to my fingers (and keyboard). The best way to keep Jesus central is to share His story with those waiting to hear it!

I realize this can be easier said than done. Not everyone wants to hear the message. Some feel they’ve heard it before and are not interested. Others, though, are longing…waiting for someone to point them toward the only One who can turn their darkness into light. read more

Multiply and Increase…Everything!

multiply everything

In recent weeks I’ve had numerous conversations with people. The topic of tracking has surfaced more than once. Is it biblical?

Tracking numbers and setting goals can feel like it isn’t relational. While the feeling is real, it doesn’t need to be true. We can be both relational and also track fruitfulness. Led by the Holy Spirit and deeply dependent on Him, we can set goals and evaluate progress while still valuing each individual involved.

Admittedly, some people swing one way or the other. Many leaders don’t hold this tension well. We tend to err on one side or the other. Sometimes we say we don’t care about results at all- “God knows my heart and how much I want to see people saved! That is enough.” It sounds spiritual, but is it? read more

Top 15 Barriers to Starting a Disciple Making Movement

Barriers to starting a disciple-making movement

On May 6th, 1954 Sir Roger Bannister did something that everyone said was impossible. He ran a mile in less than 4 minutes. Up until then, people had said it was an unbreakable barrier. Doctors made strong statements saying it was not only dangerous to try to run a mile in less than 4 minutes. They, in fact, said that it was humanly impossible. This was a record that would never be broken. Until it was. After Roger did it, in a few short months, many others also ran a mile in less than 4 minutes. Today the world record is held by a man named Hicham El Guerrouj from Morocco. He ran a mile in 3:43:13. We think some things are impossible and difficult barriers to Disciple-Making Movements. They are not.

Instead, they are problems waiting for a faith-filled person to turn them into an opportunity. When we do that, we not only change our own idea of the impossibility of that barrier. We open the door, like Roger Bannister did, for others to also follow us. As you overcome barriers to seeing Disciple-Making Movements, you make a path for others to follow. Be a creative, persistent, barrier breaker in DMMs!

All things are difficult, before they are easy- Thomas Fuller

Attitude Is Everything

One of my oldest leadership mentors is John Maxwell. I’ve read many of his books and greatly benefited from his leadership teachings. He often speaks of the importance of having a “Winning Attitude.”

Our attitude can turn our problems into blessings- John Maxwell

Maxwell didn’t originate this idea! Jesus was the ultimate leader in turning a painful cross into a bridge of salvation. He turned death into resurrection. Because of Jesus, we can break through any difficult problem finding victory and hope.

Paul wrote, in the book of Philippians, “I can do all things, through Christ who strengthens me.” Phil. 4:13 NKJV. With God’s strength, Spirit, creativity, and mind at work in us, every barrier we face becomes an opportunity for growth. Barriers become breakthroughs. Obstacles become opportunities.

I’ve been surveying people who are involved in starting Disciple-Making Movements. From their input, I have come up with a list of their top 15 barriers people face when trying to start a DMM. I’ll share these below.

Over the coming months, I will be writing blogs about these different barriers. I may take a break once in a while. But you will be seeing regular articles about these over the coming months.

An Invitation

As I start this series, I’d like to invite you into the process of praying, thinking and working with me on it.

None of these are new to me, though they mostly come from you, my readers. I’ve experienced and encountered each one. I’ve also seen them overcome. I’ll be sharing examples of how people have broken through these barriers. I’ll share how they have been turned them into opportunities for growth.

Before I start the series, I wanted to focus though, on our attitude, as we consider these barriers. Are you someone who sees a problem as a chance to grow? Do you see it as an opportunity for God to lead you in creative ways?

2 Questions

As you read through the list, identify the one that is most present in your area.

Then think with me about two questions:
– How could this problem become an opportunity for growth? In me and in those I am discipling?
– What solutions could be experimented with to creatively overcome this difficulty?

Before I publish an article related to the problem you are facing, God will have begun to give you solutions! I’m sure of it!

The 15 Most Common Barriers to Starting A Disciple Making Movement

  • Resistance from Pastors and Traditional Churches
    2. Human Nature- Need to “join” is higher than the desire to form/create a new group
    3. Cultural and Worldview Backgrounds related to Priesthood of All vs. an Ordained Leader
    4. Societal Fears- Rejection, Marriage, Burial concerns
    5. Unwise Partnerships with those who have resources but are not like-minded
    6. Difficulty in finding Person of Peace quickly
    7. Distractions and Lack of Focus- a post-modern idea that everything is equal. A need to be inclusive of other’s visions and priorities, so feel they can’t make DMMs a higher purpose to pursue.
    8. Cultural Misunderstandings of Christianity
    9. Wrong Focus- On Strategy instead of Lostness
    10. The desire for Quick Success and Results- Not willing to take time to build the right DNA
    11. Transient or Migrant People group- Believers Scatter
    12. Platform Issues- Takes Time, need for a visa, need to explain yourself, security issues
    13. Unable to Self Start and Plan (easier to join a program)
    14. Member Care related issues- team, burnout, loneliness
    15. Ignorance – Lack of understanding of the basics of how to get started in multiplying disciples
  • read more

    Before Your First Discipleship Group – DMM Basics 101

    “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.

    1. A Prayer Strategy
    2. Abundant Seed Sowing
    3. 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 lay-ups 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. read more