Why Individualistic Disciple Making Will Keep You Stuck in Addition Growth

start groups

Western culture is very individualistic. “Every person has a right to make their own decision,” we say. My passport culture places a high value on individual rights. Individualism is deeply embedded in the American worldview. The impact of the West on the way we do evangelism and disciple-making around the world is significant. It’s a hindrance to starting movements. If we want to launch DMMs, we must shift our mindset and actions toward always starting groups.

This will cause the movement to spread rapidly and exponentially. A focus only on individual discipleship will multiply much more slowly.

Failing to focus on groups instead of individuals is one of the most common mistakes people make in disciple-making.

How Many Cultures Make Decisions – A Story

My friend was a lawyer, an advocate. Well educated, she was single and about 35 years old. She was the breadwinner in her household and lived with her younger sister, a teacher, and her mother. We became friends through community development work my team started in her area. I visited her home often and our friendship grew. read more

Emotionally Healthy Discipleship in DMMs

emotionally healthy discipleship

Is it possible to be both deeply committed to emotionally healthy discipleship and also to the rapid multiplication of disciples? It’s an important question worthy of consideration. Can natural fruit grow fast without being eaten by worms? I’m not saying it’s easy. Is it possible?

We live in a world that tends to divide into camps. It’s an either/or world. Jesus wasn’t like this. In fact, He refused to be put in one camp or the other.

Jesus was not Democrat or Republican, or Independent for that matter. Please excuse the reference to American politics, but it so clearly illustrates our tendency toward joining a camp and being loyal to it without learning from and understanding others who are in a “different camp.”

Spoiler alert. I’ll answer my question now.

Yes, it is absolutely possible to be committed to both of these things. How do I know this? Because Jesus was. He is our model on how to make and multiply disciples rapidly and in healthy, sustainable ways. read more

What Are “Borderless Nets” and How Do I Cast One?

borderless nets

A few days ago, a friend from Bangladesh used the term “borderless nets” in a chat message. It caught my attention. I’m not sure where he got the term, or if someone else used it first. I immediately asked the question that is now the title of this blog. What are ‘borderless nets’ and how do I cast one? I thought about Luke chapter five. Could casting “borderless nets” help us catch the huge number of fish not possible in other ways?

Covid-19 forced us to think and work in new, innovative ways. It pushed us out of the box (or rut) we were in. God is like that. He turns horrible things the enemy intends for evil into good for His kingdom.

Over the past year, I’ve observed the new ways people are engaging in disciple making through online formats. I agree, we need to keep evaluating this. We must make sure it goes deep enough as far as transformation and character change. It is nonetheless an exciting new development in DMMs. Like never before, DMM efforts are crossing borders. They are jumping into places impossible for them to reach before 2020. read more

Why Preachers Should Preach Far Less and Train Much More


The call to preach the gospel” was highly esteemed in my childhood home. I come from a family of preachers and am grateful for my ministerial heritage.

I enjoy preaching, and some would say I’m decent at it.

As I grew more focused on Disciple Making Movements, I had to change how I work. My calling is to multiply disciple makers and catalyze movements among the yet to be reached millions on our planet. This requires I do more than preach to people. I must train disciples to be disciple makers. I need to train them until they are equipped enough that they can train others also.

It’s not been easy to put aside my preacher role. But that is what this vision demands.

Letting Go of the Perks

There are significant perks that come with being a preacher with a title. When I stood on a stage and hundreds (or thousands) of people listened to my words, I knew people were impacted by my message.

But did they become disciples who could make more disciples? It’s a tough question.

Most often my preaching did not result in disciples who could make disciples. I’ve motivated people through preaching, but I’ve not trained them to multiply. read more

Where Do Children Fit in a Disciple Making Movement Strategy?

children and disciple-making

Americans are used to kids learning separately from adults. Age-appropriate learning has value. In Disciple Making Movements, however, we welcome kids as disciples. They must be trained to follow and obey Jesus the same as adults. They can learn, apply, and contribute to a disciple making movement in significant ways.

Jesus didn’t separate children from adults. They were always around Him, included in His circle. In non-Western cultures this is more common than in the West.

How Did Jesus Interact With Children and Disciple Them?

One day children were brought to Jesus in the hope that he would lay hands on them and pray over them. The disciples shooed them off. But Jesus intervened: “Let the children alone, don’t prevent them from coming to me. God’s kingdom is made up of people like these.” After laying hands on them, he left.

Matt 19:13-15 The Message Bible

6 Principles for Disciple Making With Non-Christian Kids

1. Jesus welcomed children and so must we.

It is easy to overlook children and under-value them. Jesus told his disciples not to prevent kids from coming to Him. They were welcomed in His presence and on His lap. Western culture often relegates kids to children’s church rather than valuing them as contributing members of the body of Christ. read more

What Shifts Addition into Multiplication Growth?

addition to multiplication

Your goal is a rapidly multiplying movement of disciples who make disciples. Or at least that was what you heard someone share a vision about. It’s what you’ve been hoping for.

For many who start with a DMM vision, it seems awfully slow in coming.

You’ve worked hard. Shared the gospel often. Prayed much. People have even come to Christ!

But multiplication isn’t happening…

Examine Your Mindsets

Taking a hard look at the difference between what I said I believed and what my actions showed I actually believed was a “tipping point” in my Disciple Making Movement journey.

When I re-examined my mindsets (let’s call them beliefs), I needed to repent for embracing some wrong beliefs about myself, God, and how He works. After doing that, things began to change. This examination process deeply impacted me, my team, and others in our organization as we thought about these beliefs together.

The result? Addition growth began to shift into multiplication growth.

It can happen for you too!

Here are a few examples of mindsets/beliefs I had. These were things that had to shift. read more

Healthy Church Quiz

How do you evaluate the health of disciple making groups and house churches you’ve started?

Like healthy plants, healthy churches reproduce and grow. If you aren’t seeing the kind of growth you hope for, adjustments may need to be made.


Take this short survey (5 to 10 minutes maximum.) Evaluate the health of your disciple making group, church, or overall Disciple Making Movement.

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What did you learn from the quiz about healthy churches and movements? What action will you take?

Share in the comments below or on the DMM Frontier Missions Facebook group.

*The above was drawn from training materials created by YWAM FM South Asia.

When a Disciple Making Group Falls Apart

group falls apart

Starting your first disciple making group is a milestone. You found someone willing to read the Bible with you. They’ve invited friends or family members and you begin. It’s exciting! That is why it can be quite disappointing when that group falls apart or discontinues. What do you do in this situation?

It is not uncommon for this to happen. Not every group that forms will grow into a strong reproducing group of obedient disciples. If it is a seeker group (Watson’s DBS approach) it’s normal to have a significant number of new groups dissolve. With the T4T approach, where they first commit to following Christ, it’s a bit less but still happens. Find out more about these two approaches here.

Its commonness doesn’t make it less disappointing. How we handle this set back is important!

Groups discontinue for a number of reasons.

Remember Jesus’ Parable?

“A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.” Matt 13:3-9 NIV.

This Parable In DMM Language

A disciple maker shared their testimony with many people in their community. Some people ignored their words and showed little interest. Others listened and wanted to hear more. We invited them to read the Bible together, they were always unavailable. Our team talked to them a few more times, but nothing came of it. read more

Should Movement Catalysts Help People in Financial Distress?

financial distress

It is tricky. How do you love people well, without giving to their financial needs? Our words must not be empty. We don’t want to say “I’ll pray for you,” and do nothing practical to help those in true financial distress. At the same time, if we give in the wrong way, we create unhealthy dependency. This is a death factor in movements and can destroy the chances you will multiply rapidly.

As you reach out to the least, last, and lost, inevitably you will encounter those with desperate needs. These needs are emotional, physical, and spiritual. A disciple maker needs to avoid burn-out by setting boundaries on what they will do for those they minister to. How much do you give? When do you give? How do you give? These are vital questions to answer as you attempt to start Disciple Making Movements among the unreached.

What Did Jesus Do About Financial Distress?

In everything we do as disciple makers, we look first to Jesus as our model. How did He handle desperate need? Our principles on this must be more than good strategy. They need to come from Scripture. read more

Why We Need to Stop Doing Good Things


Pruning makes things ugly. We don’t usually like the way it looks at first. In front of my home in Thailand, we have flowering shrubs. They must be pruned to stay healthy. Every few months, I go outside and trim away branches. It’s especially hard to cut off the ones that still have flowers on them. Pruning unfruitful activities and investing in fruitful actions is a must if we want to see a Disciple Making Movement.

In the last few articles, I’ve written about the key characteristics of leaders God trusts with movements. Let’s add one more.

The movement leaders God uses are willing to stop unfruitful activities. They focus on doing things that yield Kingdom fruit. We must evaluate everything we do in light of the vision God placed in our hearts to obey Christ by multiplying disciples.

Leaders who refuse to let go, or make necessary endings to unfruitful programs and efforts bog down. They do not see multiplication. Good leaders evaluate what they do. They are willing to prune away the good to give time to the best. read more