Church Planting

Movement Pioneers Are Busy and Overwhelmed…How Can We Help?

deacons movements

Is it time to appoint deacons? What is the difference between a deacon and an overseer? What do they do in a DMM (Disciple Making Movement)? Can I call myself Bishop if I am the leader of a movement?

I’ve been writing a series on leadership development in Disciple Making Movements. This is Part Five of that series. Please remember that what I write is not to be applied to legacy or traditional churches. My goal is not to attack churches or tell anyone that their denominational tradition is wrong.

My aim is to help DMM practitioners look at scripture and consider how to apply these scriptures in a growing movement (DMM or CPM). One that needs leadership.

If you are not involved in trying to start a movement of disciples in your area, these articles may be interesting to consider. I must emphasize, however, that they should not be used to leverage criticism of existing church structures.

In this article, we will consider passages in the New Testament on deacons, bishops, and overseers. These terms may not be helpful to use in a DMM, but principles from these passages definitely will guide us. read more

Five Tips on When to Release Responsibility in Disciple-making


Jesus gave authority and power away before his disciples were fully ready. Do we? Sometimes I am afraid to give away responsibility. What if they mess it up? Most of the time I am slower to give away power and authority than I suspect Jesus would be.

Disciple Making Movements (DMMs) model everything after Jesus. Paul’s a great model too. Today I read Luke 9 in my daily devotions. I got stuck on verse one, “He gave them power and authority…” Then, in verse two, He sent them out to use it, however imperfectly.

We find the releasing of authority repeated in the Great Commission. “All authority in Heaven and on Earth I have given to you. Therefore, go and make disciples…” (Matt. 28:18). After a few years with this rag-tag team of people, He gave them everything that was His. But first, He gave them power and sent them out when He was still nearby to see how they did with it.

In Disciple Making Movements (DMMs) and Church Planting Movements (CPMs), we apply a model of experience, debrief, train, and repeat. Before people are “ready” they are doing and trying. This is not without feedback and the help to learn as they do. read more

What is the Most Often Neglected Task of an Effective Christian Leader?

training trainers

What is the main job of a pastor or Christian leader? Or of anyone with ministry gifts and experience? Is it to prepare quality sermons that inspire and instruct drawing people to attend church services? You may believe their primary job is to provide pastoral care to those who are sick and in hospital. Or perhaps it is to oversee the staff team of the church. According to the book of Ephesians, none of these are the primary task of those with ministerial gifts and responsibilities. Our most important responsibility is to train others to do what we do.

If you are an apostle/pioneer, you need to train and mentor other apostles. If you have the gift of teaching, how can you empower others to also teach and train? If you are a leader, what other leaders can you develop and raise up?

Often, those in full-time ministry feel their job is to do the ministry themselves. After all, that is what we are getting paid for, right? Or if you are a missionary volunteer, you may think- that is what people support me to do. This is not the right mindset if we want to see the multiplication of disciples. read more

The Sow-Find-Start 30 Day Challenge

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What is the 30 Day Challenge?

The 30 day Challenge involves 3 things:

  1. Sowing gospel seeds by intentionally initiating spiritual conversations with lost people (at least one per day)
  2. Finding Persons of Peace (at least one in the 30 days)
  3. Starting new discovery groups (at least one in the 30 days)

Why Should I Participate?

We all need encouragement and motivation to move forward in the goals that are important to us. By participating in the 30 Day Challenge, you are saying to yourself, to the DMM community, and to God that you are serious about wanting to see Him work in your area. You are willing and ready to put an effort forward and to be intentional about making progress in your End Vision to see disciples multiply.

When Does it Begin?

The 30 Day Challenge starts on September 1st and will run through the entire month. If by chance you are coming in late, no problem. Start whenever you want to and do this challenge for 30 days.

Who Can Participate?

Anyone who has a heart to see God’s Kingdom grow and expand! Grab some friends and help them understand what we mean by Abundant Seed Sowing. Explain what a Person of Peace is, and train them in how to start a new Discovery group. There’s no reason to keep this to yourself! Spread the word with others. If you are a disciple-maker, pastor, or leader, invite those you are discipling to take the challenge too. read more

Ever Feel Like You Don’t Have What It Takes?

enough for fruit

As we work in Disciple Making Movements, it is common for us to think that we need more. We think, “If we only had more money it would be so much easier to do what we are called to do. if we had more workers…we would finally get results,” we tell ourselves. Or, “If we had more training and more understanding…then things would start happening.” We have come to believe that we need more, that we do not have enough to do what God has called us to do to see a movement of Jesus’ disciples start.

This is not the truth! The Word of God says in Matt 6:8, “Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.”

Again, in 2 Peter 1:3 it says,

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.

2 Peter 1:3 NIV.

Let’s look at these Scriptures and another Bible story a bit more deeply. We must begin to believe and declare the truth of God’s Word regarding this.

God Knows What We Need

First, God knows what we need to do what He has called us to do. Even before we know what we need, He knows. Our generous Father does not withhold from us the things we need.

As it says in Matthew, even before we ask, He is already at work to release and provide it to us. He is not the kind of Father God who would give us a hard task to do, without the resources and tools at our disposal. read more

Who Drives Rapidly Growing Disciple Making Movements Forward?

drives disciple-making movements

Reading this question you might think, “the apostolic leader.” Having a charismatic leader who motivates, trains, and inspires people is definitely helpful. They are not, however, the driving force in movements. The multiplication we see in rapidly multiplying movements is driven by ordinary disciples.

A less dynamic leader, who knows how to train and mobilize every believer will see greater fruit. It’s one of the key characteristics of movements. Every believer makes disciples.

Disciple-making and evangelism are not only the role and responsibility of trained clergy. In their jobs, neighborhoods, and families, lay people share their testimonies, pray for people, and invite them to read and study God’s Word. This leads to movements. This drives disciple-making forward.

Many churches and organizations say they want to fulfill the Great Commission. I don’t doubt their sincerity. The problem is that it’s not working. Millions still remain unreached. Having a desire to see the Great Commission completed is not enough. We need to actually do it! read more

4 Powerful Ways To Rekindle Your Passion For the Lost


Whatever will be will be, the saying goes. That’s not the Gospel. Nor is it the heart of God. Jesus described His purpose on earth by saying “The Son of Man came to seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10). A sense of urgency about lostness is one of the most common characteristics found in Disciple Making Movement leaders.

Some months ago, I had the privilege of interviewing one of my mentors, Bill Smith. We talked about the issue of lostness.

Hearts Broken For the Lost

Jeremiah cried out, “I am broken by the brokenness of my dear people. I mourn; horror has taken hold of me” (Jer. 8:21).

Jesus wept as he looked at Jerusalem, calling them sheep without a shepherd.

Does lostness cause us to weep? Or have we become casual in our attitude toward those apart from God?

Ask God to give you His heart in a fresh way today.

What Keeps a Sense of Urgency to Reach the Lost Burning In Our Souls?

1. A proper theological understanding of lostness.

The world tells us it is arrogant to think that others are lost and we have been found. “All roads lead to God,” say Hindus or New Agers. “Do your own thing. You be you, I’ll be me” is the millennial mantra of the West. read more

Are Ministerial Titles Helpful or Can They Harm Movements?

ministerial titles

Pastor Cindy”…ahh! That had a nice ring to it! Being called pastor somehow set me apart. I was special. When my husband and I first started pastoring, we were quite young…fresh out of Bible college. We served as youth ministers in a church that instructed us to call ourselves “Pastor Todd” and “Pastor Cindy.” Only later I came to understand the danger of titles, and what it did to increase the separation between myself and those I served.

Titles put you on a pedestal. It’s one you will sooner or later fall off of. It may be in a very visible way that hurts many. Or it could be in a hidden way, which hurts you. We all fail to live up to that standard of perfection and holiness. We’re human. The titles of Pastor, Bishop, Apostle, Reverend, sometimes cause more harm than good. This is certainly true when it comes to Disciple Making Movements and releasing the priesthood of all believers.

Where Do Ministerial Titles Come From?

This article won’t be able to go into depth or be complete on this topic. I simply want to give a brief summary to help us understand a bit of the historical context. read more

Leadership in a Disciple-Making Movement: Part 1: What is Servant Leadership?

servant leadership

The world celebrates strong leaders. Watching the news the other night, I heard a poll referenced. It was about two leaders. The poll asked, “Who is the stronger leader?” The show went on to discuss these two leaders; casting the one considered weaker in a negative light. Is strong, decisive leadership what is always needed? Is that how Jesus taught that we should lead?

When Church Planting Movements (CPMs) were first talked about, I read about the characteristics of a movement. One was that they were led by strong, charismatic leaders with apostolic giftings. This is not completely incorrect. Time and wisdom, however, have changed how we think about that.

Strong leaders are not always good leaders, and good leadership is not always the most charismatic.

C Anderson
Leadership in a Disciple-Making Movement: Part 1: What is Servant Leadership? Click To Tweet

The well-known book on leadership, Good to Great, mentions this fact. The author, Jim Collins, describes what he calls Level 5 leaders. They are those who have a “compelling modesty” and are more committed to the organization’s success than to their own.

In the book’s extensive research, they found that charismatic leaders were good. But they didn’t rise to the same level (what Collins calls great leaders) because their egos got in the way. The same is definitely true in movements. read more