Mindset Shifts

How to Radically Increase the Lasting Nature of Your Fruit

fruit that will last

A core activity in YWAM’s Discipleship Training School (DTS) is regular one-on-ones. Staff meet individually with students to listen, pray and speak into their lives. One-on-one discipleship and individual decisions for Christ have been the primary strategy in missions for years. Did you know that in the book of Acts, there are 21 recorded conversions, and in 19 of those cases, it was a group that together decided to follow Jesus? Can you guess who the two individuals were?

Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus was one of them. The Ethiopian eunuch’s conversion is the other. These are the only two examples in the entire book of Acts of people coming to faith alone. What should that stir us to consider as disciple-makers?

Individualistic Western Culture

Western culture is very individualistic in nature. American culture, in particular, values the rights and decision-making power of the individual. There has been some positive global impact that has come from this in the area of human rights. I want to acknowledge that as well as the Biblical understanding of God’s love for each individual. Unfortunately, when it comes to evangelism and disciple-making, a Western cultural worldview has been unknowingly imposed on non-western cultures. Many cultures, unlike the West, are group-oriented in their decision-making processes. 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

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

Could a New Strategy For Training Yield Better Results?

training for dmm

There is a quite well-established path for how we as the Church train people to multiply disciples and start churches. Our traditional pathway of gaining ministerial credentials is long. It can take years in seminary or some institution. Could there be a better or more fruitful way?

YWAM FM’s Training Story

Youth With a Mission, is the organization with which I serve. YWAM broke new ground in the 1960’s when Loren Cunningham believed God could use waves of young people in evangelism and missions. With only a few months of intense training, zealous youth went to nations like India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan to pioneer new ministries. They were surprisingly successful! There were failures as well, but God worked.

In the 1980’s, the same mission began planting churches among the unreached. The School of Frontier Missions (SOFM) was born. The training’s three-month classroom phase prepared new workers for cross-cultural ministry. Church planting teams launched out of these schools and went to pioneer places. But again, the process of getting a new worker to the field was long. It took over a year. 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

Do You Really Believe God Can Do It? Through You?

God will do it

Here’s a fact. God desires for all people to come to the saving knowledge of His son Jesus Christ. Scripture says that He does not desire that any would perish, but that all would come to repentance (2 Pet.3:9). This is the heart of the Great Commission found in Matthew 28.

Let’s follow that fact with a question. Do we actually believe God wants to fulfill this through us?

Further, do we believe He can bring about the exponential multiplication of disciples (a Disciple Making Movement)? Through people as ordinary as us?

We need a mindset shift in this area. Intellectual assent to God’s desire to save all peoples is good. It’s a far cry, however, from owning it for ourselves, from believing God wants to use us to accomplish this great purpose.

The Great Commission was given to Jesus’ disciples over 2000 years ago. Today, close to a third of the planet remain unreached. Why?

This question deserves a thorough answer. We could consider varied explanations. I don’t want to appear simplistic. One of the answers we must consider, though, is what ordinary Christians believe about their involvement. Who we believe ourselves to be has had great impact on the effective fulfillment of Jesus’ final command. 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

Want an Effective Strategy for Multiplication? Embrace Simple Training For All

simple training

Our passion is to empower lost people to become obedient disciples of Jesus. We want to help them start transformational Disciple Making Movements (DMMs). Disciple-makers who we work with to see movements do not need to be part of our own organization or denomination. In fact, for fruit to multiply rapidly, we need an open-handed approach. We must train every believer to be an active disciple-maker.

We’ve struggled with this in YWAM (my particular organization). Some of us were tempted to think that for local believers to plant churches, they needed to do a Discipleship Training School (DTS). We thought they should first join Youth With a Mission, and then be equipped through a School of Frontier Missions (SOFM). After that, they’d be ready to plant churches among the unreached or join our teams.

That was a long and expensive process for people to go through! Not everyone could do this. That process radically limited the growth of active “harvesters” working with us among the unreached. read more