Generational growth

What 5 Mindshifts Do We Need to Release a DMM?

mindset shifts for dmm

You suddenly notice ceiling lamps swinging wildly for a few seconds, or something more severe. What you are experiencing is an earthquake. An earthquake happens when tectonic plates under the earth’s surface shift. In DMMs we need mindsets to shift below the surface of our lives. These shifts loosen and unlock the release of multiplication.

If we are to launch a Disciple-Making Movement, we need to make at least five key shifts in our thinking.

1st Mindshift: Structural

The first mind shift is a Structural Shift – it’s a move from a traditional church or connect group, to a simple church. A church is not a building. It is a gathering of people – a spiritual family who love God, love people and who love to make disciples.

Did not Jesus say that when two or three gather in His name, He is present with them (Matthew 18:20)? So, the gathering can be in a home, in a park, in a café (we had gathered twice in a café before), or under a tree. I am making the point that we don’t have to have a building to “do church.” read more

What Matters Most? Church Traditions, NT Practices, or the Commands of Christ?

church tradition

Can a layperson or woman baptize? Are baby dedications important or should we baptize the babies of Christian parents? Do pastors need to wear a tie when they preach? These and many other questions we face have a lot to do with church traditions. When we go to the Word of God, on many of these things, we find little (if any) specific guidance.

How do you sort out what to do in your Disciple Making Movement effort? Is it helpful to follow your own denominational tradition? Or do you need to embrace a different way of doing things if you want to see a DMM?

To answer these questions, many practitioners find it helpful to identify the difference between:

  • Jesus’ commands,
  • New Testament Apostle’s practices, and
  • Church/Human traditions.

While each of these carries weight and importance, we must apply them differently.

With Christ’s commands, we simply obey. Many New Testament practices of the apostles are also very helpful for us to follow. In the case of church traditions, we have a lot of freedom about whether or not to apply them in our situation. It depends on the culture and context. We also must look at the impact on the rapid spread of the gospel as we decide these things. read more

Will You Leave a Lasting Legacy?


Passing the baton to others is easier to talk about than to do.  Fears prevent us from trusting our disciples and handing over true authority to them. Without the passing on of both authority and tasks, we will not be able to multiply disciples.

This week I had the privilege of training together with an African movement leader who has seen many generations of disciples.  We learned much from this man of God. Below is an excerpt from one of his sessions.

“and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.”

2 Tim 2:2

To Timothy, you therefore my son be strong in the grace that is in Christ. So firstly is to be strong, OK? And the second thing he said, the things which you have heard from me, in the presence of many witnesses, entrust this to faithful men. Give this to the faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Now Timothy is getting instruction from Paul, which is like Paul spending much time with Timothy. He is discipling Timothy in whatever he has seen Paul doing.

Timothy also should do that, and he must also find the faithful men, who can also do the same job, which Timothy has been doing. So this is, I think, something very important for us as the missionaries when we are scattering seeds. read more

What Do We Mean by 2nd Generation Growth in a DMM?


If you’ve been around DMMs much, you’ve likely heard the term “generational growth.” There is nothing related to DMM terminology that I’ve seen more people get confused about that this! In the picture above you see three generations. Mom and Dad, daughters, and a granddaughter. What does it mean when we refer to second or third or fourth generations in a Disciple Making Movement?

We have a definition of Disciple Making Movements on our website. It says, “Within a short space of time (three to five years) we see at least four generations of groups.”

It’s important to define these terms.

In next week’s blog, I’ll be writing about the importance of tracking your movement’s growth. Before that, we need a clear understanding of key DMM terms like first generation, second generation, third generation, and multiple streams.

Not Really a 2G Group

Yesterday I was coaching someone on Zoom. I was excited! God was doing great things through this amazing woman of God. She was clearly a woman of prayer. I felt it a privilege to walk with her on her DMM journey. read more

Money- It Both Helps and Hurts


One of the greatest indicators that a true move of God is taking place is when new believers are generous in their giving.  This was true in the New Testament (see the Book of Acts). It is true today. In contrast, one of the greatest warning signs that a movement is headed toward a major slow-down or death is when the money a movement uses is coming from outside the movement.

It’s a serious dual reality: Money helps. Money hurts.

Boots in Bangladesh – Little Things Matter

Even rain boots given can stop a movements growth!

A friend and co-worker from Bangladesh told me a true story. It shows how fragile a new movement is in relationship to external finances and help

He had been working in a village area and seen really great things happening.  The new disciples of Jesus were excited about their faith. They wanted to share it with others.  They had a heart for their relatives and friends in neighboring villages who had yet to hear the good news.  In spite of heavy monsoon rains, mud, slippery footpaths, and other obstacles, they joyfully went out regularly to these nearby villages to share the gospel.  New groups of disciples were rapidly being formed as people believed in Jesus.  It was amazing! read more

What to Measure in an Emerging Movement


I felt overwhelmed. How in the world would I gather all this information? I had to answer twenty-five different questions about our disciple making work. While I understood it might be valuable to have that data, it was too much. I put off the request and didn’t complete my report. How do you know what is most important to ask for data on, as you measure the growth of the movement?

It’s an important question to ask. Keep things simple. Only measure what is most important to evaluate. Track what is most valuable in relation to DMM indicators you must see happening if you want to multiply. If you make the process of tracking too complex, it will fail. Your reporting process will not be sustainable.

Should We Measure This?

Many of our teams had not yet seen fourth generation growth. Should we even ask about generational growth when many teams were still only at first or second gen? We already knew that only a few of the teams would be able to say they had seen things reach three or four generations.

If we ask about it, will they aim for it? We were curious. Unsure if this was a good idea or not, we added it to our set of reporting questions. It was a significant change in reporting that led to an increase in generational growth. read more

How Did the Apostles Turn the World Upside Down?

New Testament Movements

A few months ago, we looked at the characteristics of Jesus’ Movement. The most important foundation of all we do in DMMs should be what Jesus taught and did, not Peter or Paul. After reflecting on Jesus’ ways of working, we can learn much from His disciples as well,

Let’s discover some basic characteristics of the Jerusalem movement, led by Peter and the earliest apostles. This movement began after Jesus rose again.

What did the Jerusalem Movement look like?

We’ll look at seven characteristics that affected the apostle’s fruitfulness.These reflect the idea that Peter and the apostles were disciples of Jesus, and followed what He taught and did. We should remember that teaching and practice were integrated. They should not be separated.

1. When the Kingdom of God was announced, wonders and signs followed.

Jesus gave the apostles power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases (Luke 9:1-2). These signs showed that the Kingdom of God was real, and helped many people believe.

In Acts we see that “many wonders and signs were done through the apostles” (Acts 2:43).

For example, Peter and John healed the lame man at the temple gate called Beautiful (Acts 3:1). Jesus had healed lame people at the temple before (Matt 21:14). Peter and John’s healing opened the door to proclaim Jesus (Acts 3:12-18). The result was that the number of believers increased to about 5,000 men, just like Jesus (Acts 4:4). read more

What Can We Learn from Jesus’ Movement?

Jesus movement

This week I’m privileged to introduce you to a fellow trainer and coach. In this short video, he addresses the question of how DMMs grow, strictly from a New Testament perspective. In Disciple Making Movements, everything we do and train others to do needs to be built on the foundation of what we see in the life of Jesus.

Jesus’ Movements

I hope you will watch this video and gain insights into what we can learn about movements from Jesus himself. He writes further about it in the text that follows.

It was 2011. Having done church planting work since 1997, and planted one church in an unreached area, I received training about a new approach. It was called Church Planting Movements, or Disciple Making Movements (DMM).

After a difficult transition, our team started to see significant fruit. It was far beyond what we had imagined!

This experience challenged my idea of what the church is and how to do church planting. I started my personal quest to find out for myself what Jesus modeled and what His Apostles continued. read more

Are You a Trainer of Trainers?

trainer of trainers

A DMM practitioner is always thinking about multiplication. Can those you trained, immediately train others in the same way?

If not, your training style may need to be adjusted. Everything you do in disciple-making must pass the test of reproducibility. When we make things too complicated, we don’t get “rabbit” churches that multiply quickly.

Did you know that according to the House Rabbit Society, one pair of rabbits can end up with 4 million offspring in only 4 years time? That is rapid growth!

trainer of trainers
Rabbits multiply very quickly

Many things stand in the way of this kind of rapid multiplication of disciples. The main problem is that we over-complicate discipleship and evangelism activities. We must keep our discipleship training simple, inexpensive and easy to learn. Then we can quickly reproduce disciple-makers and trainers of trainers.

I’ve been running a training in Africa this week. We trained in one location then moved to another. In the second location, I asked some of the trainees from the first one to help. They did part of the training instead of me. I was able to observe them, give feedback, and help them grow as trainers of trainers. read more

“Inspire All” An Interview with An Indian Movement Leader

movement leader interview

Recently, I had the privilege of sitting down for a conversation with the leader of a growing movement in India. Knowing my readers would not have that same opportunity, I decided to record our conversation and share it with my readers.

C. Anderson: How did you begin your disciple-making work?

Movement Leader: We began by doing prayer walks, visiting the many unreached villages nearby. For three months all we did was pray. We then began to distribute tracts and share the good news with those who expressed interest.

We met one lady who had a twelve-year-old son who had run away from home. She was deeply distressed about her son and asked us to pray that he would come back. Two days later, he returned home! She was so grateful to the Lord. As we shared the gospel more fully with her, she put her faith and trust in Jesus for His salvation.

C. Anderson: That is amazing. So, through that you started the first church?

Movement Leader: Yes, we started a fellowship in the street in front of her house. God began to move in powerful ways. Many people were delivered from evil spirits and healed. After eight months, two people decided to obey Jesus’ command and take baptism. Shortly after, twelve more people also decided to take that step. We then trained those local believers to share the gospel with others. They would take many tracts with them, carrying them in a basket on their heads. They were so excited to share the good news with others. Believers walked ten to twenty kilometers. They shared Jesus’ love and power everywhere they went. Even one seventy-five-year-old lady joined the local believer’s evangelism team! read more