What is a DMM?

Disciple Making Movement (DMM) Definitions

Various definitions of a Disciple Making Movement (DMM) are used in the world of global evangelism.  The unfamiliar can easily be confused by the terms. CPMs, DMMs, DBS, T4T…there is a lot of terminology and jargon that is thrown around! For our purposes, we try to keep things pretty simple.

The terms  Disciple Making Movement (DMM) and Church Planting Movement (CPM) are basically interchangeable. Some would say that a DMM emphasizes disciples making disciples while a CPM emphasizes church planting churches.  For common purposes, however, the concepts are basically the same.  If you have disciples making disciples, you generally will also have some kind of discipleship groups multiplying as well.

4 Important Characteristics of A DMM

Disciple Making Movements (DMMs) are:

1) fast growing

2) indigenous (of the local culture)

3) multiplying groups

4) obedient Jesus followers (disciples).

Disciples gather themselves into groups that we sometimes call “house churches” though these groups can meet anywhere, not only in homes.  In some DMMs, groups meet in a tea shop or under a tree. The groups can be called discipleship groups, story groups, T4T groups, etc. The name is not important.  What matters is that they are a group of people who are following Jesus and committed to obey His commands together.

Whatever you call these groups of Jesus followers, in Disciple Making Movements (DMMs), they multiply quickly and start more groups.

The first generation group of disciples start a second generation.  Usually more than one group is started from the first one.  The second generation groups do the same. True DMMs experience multiplication growth, not simply addition growth.

In a Disciple Making Movement, the emphasis is not on growing an ever increasingly large church, but in mutliplying small groups of disciples who make disciples.

When within a short space of time (three to five years) we see:

  1. at least four generations of groups,
  2. a significant overall number of groups (I like to think of seeing at least 50)
  3. a growing number of obedient disciples (there is no exact number but likely you will see at least 500 baptized)

we can say that a genuine Disciple Making Movement (DMM) has begun.

Disciple Making Movement (DMM)
A DMM/CPM is a supernatural move of God’s Spirit sweeping through a people group or area where thousands of lives are transformed as people enter God’s Kingdom and become part of His family. These movements use simple methods and are indigenous.

An addition that some organizations like Beyond have added is that there need to be multiple streams of disciple-making groups.  So in other words, not just one fourth-generation church, but many of the groups are reaching the fourth generation and beyond.

While definitions like this are important, let’s not over-complicate it.  Let the researchers and strategists debate the definitions…let’s focus on multiplying disciples among the unreached!

When there is a move of God, disciples are rapidly multiplying, thousands of people are coming into the kingdom in a short amount of time through ordinary disciples passionately obeying Christ and boldly spreading the gospel everywhere they go…that is a Biblical movement!

The rapid multiplication of disciples among the unreached is incredibly exciting and very much needed if we are to see the Kingdom of God advance! Without it, if we allow ourselves to be content with only addition growth of Jesus followers, we can barely keep up with natural population growth rates among most of the unreached. There are many other reasons why we need to see more DMMs taking place.

Following are several definitions by leading writers and teachers of CPMs and DMMs from their various perspectives.

David Garrison author of Church Planting Movements:

A definition for Church Planting Movements: “a rapid multiplication of indigenous churches, planting churches that sweeps through a people group or population segment.”

David Watson author of Contagious Disciple Making:

To see a CPM, the equipping of leadership is critical.  Our definition of leadership includes reproduction of leaders.  A leader makes more leaders regularly, and…

To see a CPM, the obedience-based discipleship of all people is essential.  Our definition of a disciple includes obedience to Jesus and the reproduction of disciples.  An obedient disciple makes more disciples regularly, and…

To see a CPM, Bible story/study groups reproduce regularly, and…

To see a CPM, churches reproduce regularly, and…

To see a CPM, church members are ministering to their communities, and the Kingdom of God is expanding from individual to individual, family to family, community to community, city to city, and nation to nation.

YWAM Frontier Missions:

Our goal is never only to plant one church.  We want to start groups of Jesus followers (disciples) that then start other groups of disciples growing into movements of disciples.  Everything we do should lead to multiplication.  Apostolic teams should carefully evaluate their strategies and ways of working to make sure they are reproducible.  We avoid doing things that have proven to hinder multiplication, such as building church buildings, paying local pastors or elders, or bringing in a lot of foreign finances and forms.

Disciple Making Movements (DMMs) Are Happening

These are exciting times in the history of world evangelization.  There has never been greater challenge or greater openess than we see today.  In many parts of the world, among some of the hardest places and most resistant people, DMMs are sweeping through communities and nations as people encounter Jesus. 

As Jesus said, “the harvest is ripe.”  We have a great privilege to partner with Him in the things that are on His heart in our generation.  One of them, very obviously, is to release Disciple Making Movements among the unreached.

Want to know how to get started in pursuing a DMM in your area?  Subscribe here! We would be honored to walk with you on this journey.


  1. Clando Brownlee

    Yes I’m very much interested in the movement training and materials for DMM would like to receive some information and even follow up from someone on your team Lord bless you.

    Thanks Clando Brownlee Jr.

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    2. Pst Maca Anyadike

      I am a Pastor in Dominion city church
      I need this materials to make all the church members a disciple making disciples

    3. Phil

      Hi! Can you give any training and advice for DMM in Western Contexts? I am interested/ praying for strategy and resources for London where there are scores of people groups all living side by side.

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  2. Mansuk Milton

    This is powerful!

    I’m a South Sudanese, working with south Sudanese refugees in Uganda. Wondering if I can get access to your DMM materials?


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      Wow, that sounds like a wonderful work. So happy to hear of it. Sure, you are most welcome to our materials. What in particular do you need? Have you subscribed to receive the weekly blogs? That is a great place to start. Feel free to email about specific issues or things you need and to share more about where you are at in your work so I can help you in the most appropriate way. Blessings and I look forward to connecting more.

      1. Pastor Lawrence Chitedze

        That’s powerful and implementing great commission. Am in for it. I already having five discipleship groups but needed direction and materials to multiply the disciples

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  3. richard emokol papa

    really i believe its God a pointed time to restore back priesthood of every believer through DMM.
    please i request more material.

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  4. James Lilly

    Where are you located? One of the members of our network of DM practitioners in the Twin Cities thought that you were in the metro area.

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      1. Charles Chalson

        Interested in Discipleship Materials and training disciples and leaders to make disciples (and multiply groups),

        I’m a former Police Officer in Baltimore,
        Our Lord Jesus Christ gives me grace for public preaching, deliverance, and physical and inner healing.

        Thank you!
        Charles Chalson

    2. mozid

      My country’s name is Bangladesh, Bangladesh is the capital of Dhaka. I am located in Dhaka. I was able to communicate with you through the internet. Glad to be able to communicate with you. Thank you, thank God for the opportunity to talk to you. I pray, there are many ethnic groups in our country who have not yet found, and those who have found are losing so that again everyone can communicate with the Lord and God can bless everyone. And I want to work in partnership with you. You will pray privately. God bless you all.

  5. Lance Glendenning

    Do you believe that a disciple can be a non-Christian? Your materials talk a lot about obedience and discipleship and not much about Salvation. I’m a little confused, I always thought that disciples were Christians seeking to grow closer to their savior….

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      Thanks for your question. To answer simply, no, I don’t think you can be a disciple without first receiving salvation. I’m curious what gave you the idea that I thought that! The first step of obedience to Christ is to repent and believe in Jesus, accepting His free gift of salvation. You then begin that love relationship with Him you spoke about…growing closer to your Savior. The first of the discipleship lessons we use has to do with salvation- our spiritual birth. See the blog post on how to work with new believers https://www.dmmsfrontiermissions.com/starting-strong-new-believers/ for more information on this. Discipleship does involve obedience and it is definitely a characteristic of movements that they are obedience based, not knowledge based, but they are also definitely relationship based as well. Hope this clears things up for you. Blessings!

  6. zablon makanga

    Currently working with PLWHIV in Coast region of Kenya; both Muslims and christian involved. I would love to hear from you how i can effectively win souls for Christ especially the Muslims in my group. Looking forward to hearing from you soon

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  7. Ogy

    \Hi, God bless you for al the good work. I’m interested in the movement training/materials for DMM and would like to receive some information/follow up from someone on your team around this. Lord bless you.

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  8. Kamapi William

    Im in Cameroon in Central Africa, i have been praying according to a burden i received recently from the Lord to take the church to the next level through disciples making. I need a training in disciples making. Its so urgent for me. Hope i will receive some help from you. Shalom

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  9. Saleem Masih

    I’m Saleem. working on the project of Disciples Making Movement and kids ministry in small villages, where no one reaching out to the unreachable people and groups, so I heard about this movement in 2015 from some international friends and I really touched and felt that this movement should be start here and we started it as Jesus ways of Discipleship no conversions. My country is hard target and not easy land for Christian preachers. In 2017 we graduated 200+ youngsters and 3000+kids in different areas. Spiritual Multiplication had begun but we didn’t have regular mentors to support us and keep us on the track its always an obstacle to our ways towards this movement.
    So this time as we have Christmas season we’re working on the project kids ministry and letting the families and kids about the real gift of Christmas and it’s purpose with super book movie and booklet materials. In January we’re again going to restart our DBS and DMM movement and we need proper training and prayer support.
    Please let me know how we can work together on this mission?

    Blessings and love.

  10. Scott Smith

    I’m a former minister who is now trying to grow a Jesus movement in a very secular post Christian part of the USA. I sure would like to know how to do this. All my training seems like it doesnt fit with what’s needed.

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  11. N J Hauman

    Good Day

    Paul as a missionary and disciple set the example of continual focused effective wise prayer on behalf of his disciples and himself.

    That is why Paul was the most effective in ministry

    In many of the prayers he recorded, he uses the terms, “I always pray for you, we have not ceased praying for you,, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy”

    I would like to share with you a combination of scriptural prayers designed by and given by the Holy Spirit that covers the absolute essentials for spiritual growth and dynamic spreading of the Word of the Lord.

    These prayers have a logic sequence and follows the blue print given by the Lord Jesus.

    Andrew Murray said, “If the global body of Christ prays effectively it will cause the biggest world wide revival of all time” .

    When new disciples know these prayers and WHY they pray them it will greatly enhance their spiritual growth

    Kind Regards and God bless

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  12. Madukauwa

    This is what I believe God wants in Mozambique.. a DMM.
    Am already subscribed in Getting Started in DMMs. I can’t wait to learn!

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  13. Pastor Benjamin Mondal

    I am pastor Benjamin Mondal from khulna Bangladesh.
    I am very much greatful to you that included me in your prayers and reaching goals.
    I started planting churches since 1998. But I have only my family in the beginning. We are husband and wife with our 3 God gifted childre. It continued up to 2000.
    God wanted me to go to others with His good news and my wife asked me to go I started. In 2002 we have 8 except my family.
    That time we don’t have enough experience about discipleship.
    When we read Mathew cheaper 28 :19-20 we valued thease verses. Because that was Jesus last commandments to His disciples.
    From that time with 8 (from different locations) started to follow Jesus commandments. It is continuing. Today we have 90 (45 pastor and 45 disciples) from new locations.
    Our focus is to go unreached people groups.
    We need better trading for new disciples and new commers to encouragement.
    If there is any team who wanted to teach more practically will be helpful for us to reach to our goals. Making disciples and to send them with good news to unreached people. To plant churches in their community.
    Thanks again.

  14. kadondi tom

    I am kadondi tom from kenya your former student I am so much happy with your training it work well on me,I share a lot from what I learn from you.I n other we say that God are the one who brought you from us.we always meeting with our friend who came out side from our town, they always using there money on traveling ,in short because we are looking for multiplication not only in one place but every where they requesting me to have your resource, so i said to them that i need to request permission first then to give them feed back, what can I do to them to move on with the training?

  15. Cindy Owino Maua

    This is so Powerful, av already reached out to a number to start up with, so far, 4have responded, and lam so excited to hold my first meeting this Thursday 9th July 2020. I believe and l am trusting God more, as l plan to reach out to many more. My dream is reaching out to the remote areas within our country, my initial target was schools with the Youths that l have been mentoring, but with the schools closed due to COVID 19, we are still going to reach the youth and the others by all means. just as in

    1Thessalonians5; 11
    Encourage one another and edify (strengthen and build up) one another just as you are doing.

    We need your prayers.

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  16. Maria

    Hi! I would like to support with this project. I just saw the documentary “Sheep among wolves” and I really want to be part of it, if its possible. In that case, please contact me, I’ll be very happy to help! Thank you 🙂

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  17. Erick

    I am very much delighted with the program , it will be helpful with our prison outreach ministry in Kenya , after DMM training i would be able to impart this great lessons to prisoners and after their parole they will be able to make disciples in their respective places.

    i appreciate the reading material and we will like to know if we can get more materials


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