How To Find Potential Leaders and Fruitful People

find potential leaders

Our resources are limited. Time, money, energy, and personnel are all stretched far too thin when pioneering in new areas. Some people seem to only drain our precious resources. As disciple makers, how do you avoid wasting time on the wrong people? How do you discover the potential leaders who will be most helpful in growing the movement?

Don’t Just Guess- Give Assignments

While it is tempting to try to guess who will be worth investing in, we are often wrong in our guesses. The best way to discover who to invest in is to first train a larger group of people. Give them assignments to apply the training. Then, watch to see who does what they were trained to do. Those who actually take steps to begin working are the ones worth investing in. These are the people who will most likely be the most fruitful.

*Jeremiah- An Unlikely Choice

I was invited to speak in a Discipleship Training School (DTS) for Youth With A Mission (YWAM). There were about 15 students. I was teaching for a week on the Biblical Foundation for Missions. My goal was to present the need of reaching the unreached. I would then call people to get involved in church planting efforts. 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

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

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.

Do I Think About Reproducibility at Every Level?


There is a big difference between the way rabbits and elephants reproduce! We know this. It is often referred to when explaining what a Disciple Making Movement is. Movements multiply rapidly. They grow and reproduce organically. Getting your disciples to take off and multiply like rabbits can be easier said than done.

To see rapid, rabbit-style reproduction of disciple makers, you must depend heavily on the Holy Spirit. Many of us lean too much on our own skills and experience as we train disciples. The Holy Spirit lives within even the newest of believers.

He is able to help them as they step out in obedience and faith. Another key is intentionally using simple patterns that can quickly be learned by everyone you train.

Rapid reproduction in a movement looks messy, but without it your movement won’t ever begin to see organic growth.

Trusting the Holy Spirit

Do you trust me?” the Holy Spirit’s still small voice seemed rather loud in my ear. I was arguing with Him. Yes, sometimes I do that. I know I shouldn’t, but it’s okay. We are friends. read more

Converts or Disciples? Why Leading Someone To Christ Isn’t Enough

converts or disciples

People are opening up like never before…” he said. My friend works in a restricted access nation. He described an unusual openness in his country. “Persecution has reduced by many, many times. There is almost none right now,” he told me. We continue to talk. Those he trains are leading people to Christ on the phone every single day. While excited about this, a question arose in my mind. Are they making converts or disciples?

Are these what we might call rice Christians?

I wonder if a new term will surface. Will we call them COVID Christians? Those who in a time of global crisis prayed a sinner’s prayer but were never disciples? When the crisis is over, will they return to their former lifestyle and ways?

My intention isn’t to be negative about the incredible levels of openness we see across the globe. The harvest has never been riper! It’s almost as if thefruit is falling off the trees. We rejoice!

Short-Term Converts or Disciples Who Make Disciples?

I fear that if we do not make disciple makers, what could have happened during this time will not. If they pray a prayer, but we are not immediately training them to obey His commands, what will happen? We may not see lasting fruit and Disciple Making Movements result. read more

Why It’s Better Not to Meet in a Church Building

church building

We’ve been looking for a place to have our Discovery Bible Study. I’m so excited! The pastor has said we can use the church! It solves our childcare problem too. We can use the nursery area for the kids.” She sounded so happy. Inside, I cringed. “Oh no! That doesn’t sound like the best option. How do I help her avoid making this strategic mistake?” Gently, I began asking questions. Eventually, she began to see. It’s probably better not to have Discovery groups meet within the church building. Not if her goal is to start a Disciple Making Movement.

When you’ve grown up in a traditional church environment, this can feel strange. Everything we do as DMM practitioners must be run through a reproducibility test.

Let me explain further.

Discovery groups (whether they are DBS, T4T or story groups) have two primary goals;
1) to introduce people to Jesus who don’t know Him yet,
2) to train every disciple to make disciples themselves.

In deciding where to have your group meet, you need to ask these questions.
– Does this venue help us reach new people easily?
– Or could it be a barrier for them?
– Is the venue itself going to lend toward multiplication and second-generation groups?
– Or hinder that from happening? read more

4 Principles of Integral Mission and DMMs

integral mission

Can community development and Disciple Making Movements flow together? This guest blog on integral mission was written by my friend Martine. Her story and input provide a clear answer to this question.

My first experiences in mission were in a time of famine. We worked among a nomadic tribe. They were one hundred percent of another faith and lived in Sub-Saharan Africa. As a medical doctor, I treated them during the day, and as a missionary evangelized in the evening.

During an epidemic, many children were dying of cholera. Often, too often, mothers brought me back the medicine I gave them, with their dead baby in their arms. They would tell me: “Thank you, Dr. M., for what you did to help us. But it was God’s will to take my child away “. As a young doctor, I felt more and more inadequate and desperate.

How could the Gospel I was sharing with these people bring them into His Kingdom? How could this Kingdom bring real transformation to their life and community?

At that time, these people had no clue what life in God’s Kingdom could look like or how to embrace it. read more

What is M.A.W.L.?


Acronyms are funny. They don’t translate well into other languages. At the same time, they do help us remember things. One of the acronyms I’ve heard used from my early days in church planting is M.A.W.L. I believe it was first used by David Garrison in his Church Planting Movements booklet. What does it stand for and how can it help your disciple-making?

M.A.W.L. stands for Model, Assist, Watch and Leave. It has to do with the disciple making process.

Jesus used this process with His disciples. He modeled how to do the work of the Kingdom. They went with Him, watched Him and learned. He then invited them to assist Him in the work. They joined Him in feeding the five thousand, and in healing the sick, casting out demons, etc. He then sent them out to do the same. Then He checked in with them (watch) to see how they were doing. Jesus left and returned to Heaven, giving them a command and commission to carry on the work.

The mission I have worked with for years is good at model and good at leaving. We don’t do so well on the assist and watch parts of M.A.W.L. Modeling is fun and exciting. If you are a natural pioneer, you also like to leave, moving on to new places and visions. read more

Who Is Best Qualified to Effectively Train Others?

qualified to train

I don’t feel qualified to train others in DMM,” she said to me. “I haven’t started a movement yet.” Her face was downcast and sad. This active, field practitioner felt unworthy to speak to others about Disciple Making Movements. They hadn’t yet seen multiplication as they hoped. Who is qualified to train others?

The reverse is also common. “This is the way you should do it,” he declared. His speech was dogmatic. “Without this (fill in the blank) you’re wasting your time.” When asked about the fruit of his ministry, it became clear. This person was a theorist, not a practitioner. I find it hard to listen to people who teach but don’t do.

DMM trainers need to speak from real experience. Our worthiness to speak on this topic does not come from our fruitfulness in the field alone, however. DMM principles are worth teaching because they are biblical. The worthiness comes from the content, not from your fruit. Yet, our commitment must be to stay personally engaged with disciple-making ourselves. This needs to happen before, and as, we train others. read more