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! Let’s try to keep things 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 and becoming house churches as well.
4 Important Characteristics of A DMM
Disciple Making Movements (DMMs) are:
- indigenous (of the local culture)
- multiplying groups
- 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 obeying 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 starts 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 on multiplying small groups of disciples who make disciples.
If, within a short space of time (three to five years) we see:
- at least four generations of groups,
- a significant overall number of groups (between 50 to 100)
- a growing number of obedient disciples (there is no exact number but likely you will see at least 500 baptized)
Then, we can say a Disciple Making Movement, or DMM, has begun.
An addition to the above three things, some agencies that track movements have added one more factor to the definition. They look for the presence of multiple streams of disciple-making groups in the movement. In other words, the movement doesn’t have just one fourth-generation church. Instead, many varied parts of the movement are reaching fourth generation and beyond.
While definitions like this are important, let’s not over-complicate it.
Let the researchers and strategists debate the definitions. We must focus on multiplying disciples among the unreached!
When there is a move of God, disciples are rapidly multiplying, and 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 what we call a new Disciple Making Movement (DMM)!
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 the 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 to plant only 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.
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