Before Your First Discipleship Group – DMM Basics 101

“I love the idea of making disciples of new believers and seeing those discipleship groups multiply! I’m in!” you might be saying.  “But where do I start?  What do I need to do first to see a disciple-making movement begin?”

There Are 3 “Basics” That Are Needed As Every DMM Gets Started.

  1. A Prayer Strategy
  2. Abundant Seed Sowing
  3. Finding the Person of Peace

I played basketball in college.  I wasn’t amazing, but I enjoyed it.  It was fun to be a part of a team.  I loved the games.  I hated the practices.  Our coach would push us hard on the court in the early morning practice.  We had to dribble, shoot lay-ups and free throws until we were sick of it.  We ran back and forth, up and down the court dribbling and passing the ball until we could do it in our sleep.  It was these basics that won the games.

It is easy to try to rush through these 3 important steps in seeing discipleship begin.  Don’t do it.

Develop a Prayer Strategy

John Wesley said, “God does nothing except in response to believing prayer.”  Every church planting or disciple-making movement that happens, starts with prayer.

discipleship groups
It starts with prayer!

Many disciple-makers start with regular visits to the area they want to reach. Then they do prayer walks through the neighborhood.  They ask God to speak to them and show them what the spiritual strongholds are in that area.  They pray and raise up others to pray for those “strongholds to be broken” and for God’s blessing to come.

Others organize intercessory teams to pray on-site.  Some people make maps of the area taking note of important locations like the temples, mosques, or key places of commerce and government. Some organize all-night prayer or 24-7 prayer chains within the team.  They saturate the place with prayer.  In the midst of this, they begin to sense from the Holy Spirit what God wants to do there.

Even after the first discipleship groups begin, prayer must be a central part of the disciple maker’s life.

Do you have a short and long-term prayer strategy? Are you consistently prioritizing prayer in your efforts to reach this new place or people group?

Abundant Seed Sowing

As you begin to know your community, boldly share the gospel with many.  This is what will lead to seeing discipleship groups in the near future.

When I train rural church planters in Asia, I often do a drama about a wise and foolish farmer.  The foolish farmer sows only a few seeds and then is surprised that he doesn’t get a harvest.  The wise farmer knows that in order to get a great harvest you must sow thousands of seeds.

Abundant seed sowing works! There is a common “mistake” for those trying to start their first discipleship group.  They share the gospel with a few people.  Those people don’t seem interested or are even resistant.  They then decide that they don’t want to “turn people off,” so they will just make friends first with everyone and slowly share the gospel.  Friendship evangelism is a nice idea.  The problem with it is that it takes a very long time before you see fruit.  Often, before we are even sure the person is open to the good news, we invest a lot in getting to know them.  Then, when we finally share Jesus with them, we find out they are not interested.  This is deeply disappointing and the end result is we don’t start any discipleship groups.

Instead, find ways to share the gospel with hundreds (if not thousands) of people.  There will be some who are open.  God has already prepared people to believe.  You find them through sharing the gospel abundantly with as many people as possible.

Finding The Person Of Peace

Luke 10 refers to the person of peace.

“If the man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you.”- Luke 10:6 NASB

Jesus sent His disciples out to heal the sick, cast out demons, and proclaim the good news of the Kingdom.  As they did that, they were to find the “Person of Peace” who would offer them hospitality, a place to stay, and would also gather others to hear their message.   They were not to move around but to stay with that person.

Finding people from within the community who are open to you and your message and who call others to listen is very key to starting a new movement of disciples.  Until you find this person, prayer and abundant seed sowing will be your main activities.

Have you found a person of peace?  Remember, it’s not just someone who likes you and gives you hospitality, but someone who welcomes both you and the message of Jesus through you.  If you’ve found them, invest in that person and train them as a disciple.  They will then train others, and you will form your first discipleship group through them. You’ll be amazed at how, from their contacts, the gospel message will spread.

Which of these 3 things are you doing the most?  Which do you need to be more active in?

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  1. Ashish kumar

    I want to work with you i like discipleship. How i can join with you
    I m ashish kumar independen pastor i serve lord jesus last 10 years

    1. Post

      Hi Ashish! We’d love to work with you in whatever ways we can. Please subscribe using the form at the end of the post or sidebar and we can get started from there! Blessings!

  2. Bekele Mamiru

    I realy amaized about the vision similarity we have the article discuses about what I am doing things in the disciple making and church planting movements
    Now to bigin in a new area I have choden 15 missionary husband and wives as a fsmily to send them fiftin different area to make family based disciple making church planting mission movement so that many will understand our God’s love.

  3. humberto flores

    I am working more in mentoring some leaders spread in many cities, I pray for them and encourage them to continue growing in Christ’s love and passion.

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      1. Okedi Julius

        I’m doing well on my Discipleship. I was trained by Roger Thoman from Apple Seed ministries in 2016. Down the road I have trained over 20 Disciple trainers who have also got more members across Northern and Eastern Uganda. We are doing good and we are praying for Moslim friends every day so that they also get to know Jesus as their personal saviour. I look forward to welcome your support.

  4. Edouard

    Hello, thank you for this post. I did know understand well the concept N° 2 of “abundant sowing”. I thought that when you do DMM you use DBS as a tool to gather people for bible studies and it is sufficient to meet people. If you find your Person of Peace, why will you need to sow broadly? I understand that sowing broadly = sharing gospel with many people. Please explain.

    1. Post

      Great question! In order to find the Person of Peace you need to sow broadly. If you’ve already found someone and you are sure they are truly a person of peace, then you can focus less on seed sowing and more on them. Abundant sowing is necessary to find the POP. Make sense? Please go to the resources section and download the free ebook about finding a Person of Peace. I believe that will help clarify this for you.

  5. Cindy Owino Maua

    This was great information especially the No. 3. ”Finding a Person of Peace” This one stood out for me considering that l have always used such persons in my work while dealing with Communities as they help me a lot with the Mobilization of the groups l need to work with. This, am so sure l will succeed as l understand the Community Entry Point clearly. Thank you for bringing this out!

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    I am totally agreing with this text: “make friends first with everyone and slowly share the gospel” does not works in my life. Very good text. Thank you. It is helpfull to see that I am not alone in this great work. Thank you Jesus !

  7. David Ekoel Maisa

    Can somebody use local government authorities as the entry point to use as man of peace?
    Because in some places people are wild even into enter their territories,

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      C. Anderson

      You can find a person of peace there or elsewhere. Read my blog about what is a person of peace to make sure you are clear about what kind of person you are looking for.

  8. Glenn

    This paragraph raised a question: “Instead, find ways to share the gospel with hundreds (if not thousands) of people. There will be some who are open. God has already prepared people to believe. You find them through sharing the gospel abundantly with as many people as possible.”
    Question: Do you mean sharing with hundreds or thousands one at a time? Or in a group gathering? Or both?
    I have been encouraging my proteges to share one on one. But to do so with hundreds would take a long time. That is why I am curious.
    Thank you

    1. Post
      C. Anderson

      Great question! How do you share with thousands one or one or in small groups? By training everyone you know to do that. You said you are training people to share one on one. Excellent. Who are they training? Who are the people they are training training? No I don’t mean sharing with thousands at one time. I mean that we need to exponentially multiply the number of people who are sharing with others. Make sense?

  9. Abraham Kiria Mojo

    Hello, thank you so much for showing me the keys to how to start my disciple group making and may God bless you more. I believe God is going to use me through your emails to start my disciple making group in my country.

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  10. James Nyumah Tamba

    I am grateful to God for you, through your help I have started DMM in Liberia and Sierra Leone.
    I am only believing God for more partners to expand the work.

    Again, thank you very much for being my coach and mentor.
    I have desire to work closely with you.

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