Motivation #3- A Biblical Understanding of the Priesthood of All


What is the primary reason the Great Commission task is not yet finished?” I asked this question to a group of students this week. Many different answers surfaced. None of them matched my own. I believe the main reason we haven’t yet made disciples of all nations is related to the priesthood of all believers. In elevating professional pastors, we have somehow overshadowed a powerful truth. Jesus died to make everyone a priest of God. There are no more high and low castes. Everyone who follows Jesus is fully empowered to do the work of the Kingdom. Disciple-making Movements embrace this.

I am motivated by a deep commitment to a New Testament understanding of the priesthood of all Jesus-followers. While I honor and respect spiritual leadership, in DMMs, every believer is empowered. Without this being taught, and also practiced, we will not complete the Great Commission. I am passionate about seeing a shift in the mindset of the Church worldwide regarding this concept. DMMs make room for this. read more

Motivation #2: When God’s Heart for the Lost Grips Yours

God's heart

The mountain was high, the trail steep. I’d started out enthusiastic. Now each step felt hard. Up, up, up, I went. What would keep me going until I reached the top? Starting a Disciple Making Movement can be a bit like that hike. We start well, our passion high. A few months (or years) later, it’s an uphill climb. We need solid motivations clear in our hearts. They will carry us upward toward the release of a DMM.

As mentioned in previous blogs, some motivations will sustain you on the DMM journey. Others will not. In my last article, we talked about the number one reason for wanting to start DMMs all over the world. A passion for God’s glory will keep you through the messy, dry or painful seasons of launching DMMs.

Motivation #2

The second most important motivation is a deep God-given love for lost people.

This deep, heartfelt compassion for the lost, is placed there by God. It comes into our hearts as we spend time with Him. It rubs off on us. The more we draw close, the more His love fills us. This sacrificial love will keep you motivated. It will compel you to pursue a DMM and keep you going until you see the radical multiplication you dream of. read more

Motivation #1: A Passion for God’s Glory

passion for God's glory

Motivations matter. Your why comes before your what. Simon Sinek’s book Start With Why is a best-selling business book. His premise is true in more than business. It’s true in life. Motivations affect us as we pursue Disciple Making Movements. If your reason for wanting to launch a movement is not clear, you may not experience what you are hoping for. Our first important motivation must be a passion for God’s glory.

How deeply do you long for His glory? What does that mean?

In my last article, I described the many different motivations we have for wanting to multiply disciples. Some of those motivations are inappropriate. Some are healthy and good. Not all motivations will sustain you in the long road of launching a movement.

A passion for God’s glory will.

This article is not an attempt to develop a theological treatise on the glory of God. Space is way too limited. So is your time to read this. I do want to describe a time God helped me understand more about this important topic. read more

What Do You Have In Common With Winston Churchill?

tenacity in disciple making movements

Never, never, never, give in!” These were the words of Winston Churchill during one of England’s bleakest moments. It was 1941 and Hitler’s troops were advancing. The American forces had not yet entered the war and things looked bad for Europe. He went on to say, *“Never yield to force; tenacity in disciple making movementsnever yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” We need great tenacity in Disciple-Making Movements (DMMs). We must never, never, never give in until God’s Kingdom is established and growing among the unreached.

What Exactly Is The Meaning Of Tenacity?

Tenacity is defined as “the quality of being very determined.” I love those words- very determined. How tenacious are you about seeing your people group reached? Or the one God called you to work among? Victory is ours in Jesus. We already know that. But there is still an enemy who so often looks hard to defeat. Like in Churchill’s quote, sometimes we are tempted to “yield to the overwhelming might” that is displayed around us. We must not. We must be extremely determined to overcome the obstacles. Difficulties must be faced until we see the victory we are guaranteed. Tenacity in Disciple-Making Movements is a must!

I Feel Like Quitting Every Day

For many years I did active church planting in the field. I would often tell people, “I feel like quitting every single day.” Too honest? Sorry about that. It was true. I hope you aren’t disappointed in me for that. Okay, I need to restate this.

Many times in my life as a leader I’ve felt like quitting almost every single day. I hope I am not shocking you! Again, my apologies.

God has always somehow called me to do things that are humanly impossible. I’m not sure why, to be honest. Why would he entrust someone like me with these amazing visions and tasks? Why would He call me, in all my weaknesses, to start movements of disciples around the world? Maybe it’s because He knew I understood the need for tenacity in Disciple Making Movements.

When we are faced with an impossible task, I guess it is normal to feel like quitting. The important thing though is that you don’t. Feeling like quitting, and quitting are two different things!

By God’s grace, though every day I felt like quitting as a disciple-maker and leader, I have not. I’ve been able to be tenacious, to stay very determined. It is that God-given determination that helped me and those I worked with. Tenacity helped us press through obstacles. We kept going, until the vision for DMMs, became a reality in our situation.

“No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.” Romans 8:37-NLT

What Are You Overwhelmed By? God or the Enemy?

I love this verse from Romans. It doesn’t focus on the overwhelming aspect of the enemy. It focuses on the overwhelming victory God promised. Do you feel overwhelmed? Feel like quitting? You are not alone. Yet we must press on!

Judges Chapter 3 is really interesting to me. We see there that God sometimes puts difficulties in our lives to train us. In that passage, we read how God left certain enemy nations in the Promised Land. He needed to test the new generation in Israel because they had not seen a war in the desert. Though the Promised Land was theirs, God wanted them to have to fight for it.

Why Would That Be?

God is developing us into people who can overcome. He sometimes allows us to have to fight so we will grow strong. If there is no resistance, we do not become powerful.

It is a bit like lifting weights or exercise. If you don’t have to push against something, you don’t develop strong muscles. The bigger the challenge, or weight, the more the determination it takes to be able to lift it. But as we press through those things, we get stronger.

God wants to develop your spiritual tenacity muscles! He wants you to continue to pursue the dream of a Disciple Making Movement, even if you “feel” like giving up.

I was talking with someone who reads my blog the other day. As we spoke of rapid multiplication, he mentioned the difficulties. One thing that loomed large for him was the traditional church in his area. There, pastors don’t believe in ordinary believers being released to share the gospel. They don’t think they can disciple others and start groups (house churches) on their own. Especially not new, “ordinary” believers! That is indeed a tough obstacle.

God wants to show him, and all of us, how to overcome! That difficulty is not too big for God! Nor is it too big for you. Press on! Grow in tenacity! Don’t give in!

What Is Your Greatest Test?

What challenges are you facing? Do you feel like quitting? Giving up on the dream of a Disciple Making Movement? Settling for something less than the fullness of what God spoke to you about?

God hasn’t given up, and the battle isn’t over yet.

Take a few minutes and meditate on the verse above (Romans 8:37). Write it out and put it somewhere you can see it every day this week. You might even want to memorize it.

Do you need some extra prayer for your particular DMM challenge? Feel free to post about it to the DMM FB page or request to join a new WhatsApp group I am creating for my readers.

And if you haven’t yet, be sure to subscribe below!


The Struggle to Believe for Disciple Making Movements

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.

struggle for faith

I remember saying, “This isn’t a fair thing to ask people to do. For the vast majority of people, movements are just a dream. It’s like asking a junior league baseball team to attempt to win the World Series.”

Stuck In Unbelief

Let’s just call it what it was. I was stuck in the sin of unbelief. I didn’t believe God was able to do this through me or through the people I was training. Thank God, He took me through a process and convicted me of my unbelief. He renewed my faith. Faith not in myself, but in Him.

Jesus was never soft with his disciples regarding the sin of unbelief. He regularly rebuked them for their lack of faith.

Stubborn Refusal

I recently re-read the account of His resurrection. The words “stubborn refusal to believe” jumped out at me.

9 “When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. 11 When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it.”

12 “Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. 13 These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either.”

14 “Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.”

Mark 16:9-14- NIV

They were presented with eyewitness accounts that He was alive. Still, they refused to believe.

We may have heard of Disciple Making Movements in other places. Perhaps we have even heard first-hand accounts of them taking place. Still, we doubt. Still, we are skeptical.

“They must be lying or exaggerating the facts,” we say. “That works in China, but it doesn’t work in my country.” or “That happens with tribal people, but not with Buddhists.” On it goes.

We don’t recognize that what we are doing is giving in to unbelief. We stubbornly refuse to believe in God’s power to bring about His will.

Does this sound harsh? I don’t mean it to be.

Recognizing this sin in my life was the key to unlocking what God wanted to do through me. My heart is for you to experience the same kind of breakthrough. Victory over the struggle for faith starts first in our hearts.

Repent Of Doubt (Skepticism)

Are you convinced that God wants to save the Lost? Do you know He desires that none would perish but that all would come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9)? In spite of this, do you still find yourself cynical or skeptical? Does it seem highly unlikely that thousands of your people could be swept into the Kingdom in a short period of time? Dear one, that is called unbelief. It is a struggle for faith.

Name the problem and repent. I had to.

Even now, stop and ask God to forgive you for your lack of faith in Him. Ask Him to replace your skepticism with hope. Ask Him to fill you with faith in His ability to do what is impossible through you.

Make Faith Declarations

Then, begin to make declarations of faith. Pray the promises God gave when you first started to work among these people or in this place. Praying scripture will build your faith. Pray them as declarations over your people group…over your life.

These are some of my favorites. I go back to these when I face a struggle for faith.

  • Phil. 4:13- “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”…even start a DMM Lord!
  • Mark 9:23 “All things are possible for those who believe”…even seeing my Buddhist neighbors come to faith in you!
  • John 4:35 “I tell you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are ripe for harvest.” That is my people group, Lord. They are ripe for harvest today.
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    A Vital Key to Breakthrough: Perseverance

    My previous blog was about Praying with Faith. That is the first key to seeing breakthroughs in Disciple-Making Movements. The second key for breakthrough and growth is perseverance.

    Perseverance – Lessons from Snoozy

    When I was a kid we had a dog named Snoozy.  She loved to play.  We would take an old sock, tie a knot in it, and let her grab hold of the end.  A game of “tug of war” soon started.  If I got the sock away, (and it was hard work to finally do that) Snoozy would lunge after it again.  The game could go on for hours!

    What I loved about that dog was no matter how long you played with her, she wouldn’t give in.  She was always ready to give it another try.  Once she got a grip on the sock, she wasn’t letting go.  You could literally pick her up high off the floor. She’d be hanging from the sock she had gripped in her teeth like she was permanently attached.

    Perseverance is

    a refusal to give up or give in. 

    As we pursue discipleship among the unreached, we need that kind of attitude.  It is a major key to releasing Disciple Making Movements. read more

    3 Important Things to Do as You Start the New Year

    The New Year approaches! One of my favorite moments this Christmas came the day after. I sat for a few hours beside our Christmas tree. It was early morning. I found myself reflecting on the goodness of God in my life over this past year. I allowed those moments to surface in my memory- the times when He had protected me, given guidance to me, surprised me with His kindness or favor. How very, very good He has been!

    New Year

    Remembering His goodness in the past year

    1. REFLECT.

    -How has God shown you His goodness this past year?

    -When did you experience unusual kindness or grace?

    -When did you sense His support, protection or presence in a unique way?

    I’m not a huge fan of Facebook, but I do appreciate the way it helps me keep in touch with people. That morning as I scrolled through my news feed, I was struck by how many smiling faces I saw…people wishing me a Merry Christmas…people who didn’t know about Jesus before our paths crossed. Now they were posting pictures and videos of Christmas gatherings, people dancing, preaching, celebrating the amazing story of the King of Kings born into this world. I saw pictures of spiritual grandchildren and great-grandchildren. My heart was warmed. Disciples were making disciples. His kingdom and His government had and were increasing. I had somehow played a part in that. What a blessing! What a gift!

    -Who is celebrating Christmas this year who wouldn’t be, if it wasn’t for your witness?

    -Who is passing on the gospel message to others because you were willing to live out the message before them?

    2. RELEASE.

    As we reflect, painful feelings also surface. There are things we wished for but didn’t see accomplished. People we prayed for, who still seem so hard and closed. Times we hoped and fought for a miracle, but it didn’t happen like we expected. There might be memories of offense and disappointment you experienced. Heading into the New Year, RELEASE those things to God. Let go.

    –What offense have you been carrying in your heart?

    –Is there anyone you need to forgive?

    –Are there any disappointments or losses you need to grieve then release to God?

    One thing that helps me release the pain of the past is looking for my “takeaways.” There are lessons I’ve learned from the painful experiences of the past year. These can become building blocks for my future leadership and ministry. It is my choice if those painful memories will be burdens I drag with me into the New Year, or if I turn them into stepping-stones for something positive in my life.

    I like stepping-stones better than burdens! How about you? 🙂

    3. RENEW & SET GOALS. The New Year is a great time to both set and renew God-inspired goals. I am not a huge believer in New Year’s resolutions. I definitely believe in practicing the habit of goal setting with God each year. Pause and listen at this time of year. Hear what God has on His heart and know what He is inviting you to do with Him in the New Year.

    -What is God inviting you to do with Him this year?

    -What Promise is He giving to you?

    -Is there one thing He particularly wants you to focus on? Something that would make a significant difference in moving toward your God-given destiny?

    -What promises from the past is He speaking again? What keys has He already given that He wants to show you how to use more effectively this year?

    God has an incredible year planned! He invites us to join Him in establishing His Kingdom among the last, lost, least and lonely. There are some major miracles on His agenda. He is looking for those who will reach out in faith and take hold of His promises, for those who will dream with Him. It is going to be a year of expansion, a year of growth, a year of going deeper with God to see greater Kingdom fruit.

    Take time today in the midst of the parties and activities to reflect, release and renew. Embrace the New Year and all God has ahead. It is going to be amazing!



    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.

    Faith Is Necessary

    Faith is a necessity as we talk about starting Disciple Making Movements. I regularly return to Hebrews 11 to stir up my own faith. Hebrews 11:1 tells us that faith is believing for things we can not see yet and verse 6 says without this kind of faith it is impossible to please God.

    How does that play out in our daily lives? What does it look like to be people of faith as we attempt to start a DMM?

    Our faith takes shape in our actions and goals. What we believe, actually believe, shows up in these two things.

    I recently trained a group of church planters. We talked about multiplication and movements, about disciples making disciples and groups starting groups. Everyone seemed on board with what I was sharing. Then it came time to set goals for the coming months. Suddenly, faith was tested. What do I really believe is possible? What will I attempt to do?

    It is not easy to set God-sized goals that reflect multiplication. We are afraid of failure. We may not reach those goals. If God doesn’t intervene, those things may not happen and I might be disappointed in myself. Others may also see me as a failure.

    Take Risks In Goal Setting

    There are risks involved in setting faith filled goals. Speaking out a goal and going after it feels dangerous. There is indeed a chance that you won’t reach that goal. There is also a chance that you will! If you never attempt something great, you are unlikely to achieve it. If you never ask God boldly for something, He probably won’t give it to you.

    Why set small goals that are humanly achievable?! There is no place for God to be glorified when we do that.

    We all know that nothing is possible without God. Not even small things can be done apart from Him. So when we ask, why shouldn’t we ask Him for more? It is going to require Him working anyhow.

    The only thing that limits God is our own inability to believe in His greatness.

    Does He love lost people around you? Yes. Does He desire that they be saved? Yes. Is He able to convict the world of sin? To change hearts? Again, yes. Did He choose you to bear much fruit? Indeed. So why aim for something less than a God-sized goal to see rapid multiplication?

    I’m not encouraging foolish goals that have no basis in reason, or that we randomly pull numbers out of the air. What I am advocating for is that we ask Him boldly for the things that He is both able and wants to do through us! I’ve always liked the Schuller quote “I would rather attempt to do something great and fail, then attempt to do nothing and succeed.”

    God is able. He is ready to work. Are we?

    Set bigger goals, pray bigger prayers, and expect God to work in bigger ways through you this week!

    You Are a Royal Priest

    royal priest

    Our beliefs about who we are, dramatically impact how we behave.  In the last blog I talked about who we are as people God has chosen to bear much fruit.  We are the chosen ones.  Today I want to focus on another aspect of identity – who you are as a royal priest of God.

    1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”- NIV

    It’s important to understand the major shift Jesus brought about when he went to the cross and rose again.  He destroyed the old system of Levitical priesthood and established a new system where all who followed Him would be royal priests. In the new covenant you are not physically born into the priesthood.  Instead, when you receive Jesus, you are spiritually born into this status.

    A Spiritual Caste Through Spiritual Birth

    For years I lived in India. There, people of high caste birth have certain privileges. In Hindu society there are specific things only Brahmins are allowed to do.  You can not become a Brahmin through study or effort – you must be born a Brahmin.  It is not that different from the Levitical tribe.  You could not become a Levite either.  You had to be born a Levite. read more