Tag Archives: church planting movements

Disciple Making Urgency and the Kingdom of God

disciple making movements

Whether it is a cricket match between England and Australia or two teams playing in the Super Bowl- we like to pick a side. Who are you cheering for? The same is true in many other aspects of life. Disciple making urgency or transformational discipleship? Which is more important? Put more simply- what matters most? Getting people saved or transformed?

Both-And Not Either-Or

Many Kingdom priorities are not either/or issues. Instead, they are very much both/and. Jesus is both God and man. We must both love God and also love our neighbor. Our human tendency, however, is to put ourselves into one camp or the other on theological issues. read more

5 Steps for Moving from 1st Generation groups to 2nd, 3rd and Beyond

generational growth in disciple making movements

How Do You Get Generational Growth In Disciple Making Movements?

They were a faithful and passionate team of local workers. They shared the gospel often and led people to the Lord. They worked hard. They had started 10 1st generation groups of disciples. Not too bad by most peoples’ standards. Generational growth in disciple making had not yet begun though.

They were stuck at 1st generation (1G) growth. They only knew how to start groups themselves. They didn’t know how to get the believers in those groups to start new groups. Sound familiar? read more

Coaching and Disciple Making Movements

coaching disciple making movements

Coaches can be scary! I remember one I had when playing American baseball as a kid. He had a good heart, but he intimidated us a lot! Just knowing he was watching me try to hit the ball made me strike out. Coaching in disciple-making movements, however, shouldn’t be frightening.

Similar to me, many people have bad experiences with coaches or teachers. These so-called mentors have been harsh, have scolded them or expected more than they were capable of. Even worse, some have shamed them when they failed. These negative experiences affect how we think about coaching. It doesn’t have to be like that. Coaching is a very fruitful and helpful practice in Disciple Making Movements (DMMs). read more

Women in Disciple Making Movements- Why Not Women?

women in ministry

There is a simple way to almost immediately double or triple the number of people you are reaching with the gospel. Do you want to hear how? Most people would! Here it is. When you properly understand the key role of women in disciple making movements, your disciple making efforts will take a leap forward.

The tremendous potential of mobilizing and releasing women is a blind spot for many people. There are various reasons for hesitation to release women in ministry. This article will not address them all. Instead, I hope to shine some light on this topic, share my story, and take a look at scripture. The goal is not to convince you of a particular position on this topic. I hope, instead, to give you a key to growing your movement rapidly. By considering changes in how you release women, many more lost people come into the Kingdom of God. read more

Want to start a DMM? Heal the Sick!

Healing the sick is an important part of a disciple maker’s life.

What? Heal the sick? How can I do that? Only God can heal the sick! True. Not true. Wait! It can’t be both. Or can it?

There are several foundational things needed in disciple making movements. Obedience to God’s Word is one of them. In DMM training, we often focus on obedience to Christ’s command to share the gospel or be baptized. These are vitally important! If movements are built only on miracles, they tend to be shallow and often don’t see generational growth. At the same time, Jesus gave us an important model. He healed the sick and trained His disciples to do the same. read more

The Struggle to Believe for Disciple Making Movements

Do you ever struggle for faith that disciple making movements are possible? Or possible in your place? Or possible through you? I certainly have. I’m not proud of it, but it is true.

Sometimes in what Michael Hyatt calls the “messy middle” we stop believing. The “messy middle” is a place between the vision’s beginning and it’s realization. It’s the place where we wonder if our dream is possible.

My Struggle For Faith

There was a long “messy middle” for me. It was 20 years from when I heard about DMMs (back then we spoke of multiplying daughter and grand-daughter churches) and the time I first saw 4th generation groups. On that journey, I often wanted to quit. I regularly doubted it could happen. read more

5 Things That Destroy Discipleship Movements

Death Factors

Some months ago I wrote about 6 Factors That Get Your Movement Moving.  It’s always good to look at positive things we can do to see greater fruit and growth!

It is also important to be aware of what kinds of things kill a Disciple Making Movement(DMM).  Sometimes we call these “Death Factors.” These are things to be extremely careful about.  While seemingly normal or innocent, if your goal is a multiplying movement, they will definitely “sink your ship.” When these things start to happen, you can be sure that the movement will stop growing.  If you are just getting started, the movement can die before it every really starts.  There are other “death factors” to consider, but here are five of the most common. read more

Starting Strong with New Believers

Starting strong with new believers is important. Unfortunately, many times we don’t do our discipleship job well as people come to Christ. Here is an example.

You shared the story of Jesus. At the end, you asked the question – Do you believe that what I’ve been sharing with you is true? Do you want to receive the free gift of salvation Jesus offers you today? They respond with a yes! Woohoo! Praise God! You pray with them introducing them to Jesus for the first time. He becomes their Lord and Savior. Things are going well. You are thrilled at what is happening in their lives!

What Is Next For New Believers?

It is at this critical point when the “slow down” factor often happens in our disciple making. This is not the time to reduce our engagement with this person. Not if we want to see a disciple making movement take place. Sometimes we don’t take the next steps because we don’t know what to do. Or perhaps we are just relieved that they are now “saved.” We feel we can relax just let them grow slowly by attending church.

A Critical Time

Immediately after someone receives Christ is as critical a time in their spiritual life. It is the same as the first month is for a newborn baby. We would never think of bringing a child into the world and then telling the baby, “Now come once a week to this meeting we have and you will get the food and care you need.” Would we? Of course not! Yet this is exactly what often happens with new believers.

If we train people in evangelism but don’t train them in how to disciple new believers, they don’t know what to do next. At this point, many simply invite the person to start attending church with them. That is all the follow-up they do. This is a major loss of opportunity for that person and for the movement. If we train on this issue and make a few key changes, we can see much greater multiplication!

There are a few critical things we must train our disciples to do with new believers.

new believers
Share the good news with Boldness
1) Get them to immediately start sharing their story (testimony) with others.
2) Start meeting with them regularly to teach the basics of what it means to follow Christ.

Jesus Told New Believers To Immediately Share Their Testimony!

In Mark, chapter five, we read the story of Jesus casting many demons out of a man. The man begs Jesus to let him stay with him. How did Jesus respond?

“Jesus did not let him, but said, ‘Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.'”(Mark 5:19)

Immediately after this man met was set free, the Lord instructed him to begin evangelizing others. If Jesus felt new believers were ready to start ministry immediately, then we too can follow that model!

Teach Simple Baby Lessons

In addition to encouraging new believers to witness, start meeting with them often. They need to quickly learn some basics. Ying Kai, of T4T, calls these the Baby Lessons. There are different foundational discipleship tools you can use. They need to be simple and reproducible. Make sure you get the new believers to start praying, receiving from the Word of God daily, and connecting with their new spiritual family. For this to happen, those who led them to Christ will need to meet with them often. Generally speaking, I’d recommend a few times a week in the first few months.

Obstacles- Time and Training

What are the biggest obstacles to quality discipleship for new believers? They are training and time.

  1. Training. We often train disciples to evangelize but don’t train them in how to disciple new believers. It is not hard to train them in this. Equipping in this way will make a huge difference in releasing multiplication. Give trainees a simple system to do this. A system makes it easier and less time-consuming than creating from scratch. (Sign up with the form below to learn how to use the oral culture friendly “Baby Lessons” we recommend).
  2. Time. People with full-time jobs and families, don’t have a lot of free time to follow-up on those who respond. Encourage them to give adequate time to care for those who receive Christ. Show them how to train the new believers to witness to their friends and family. This may mean they will have less time for evangelism. That is okay.

As you address the issues of time and training you will make disciples who both evangelize, make disciples and start new groups of disciples. We call these people green and blue people. 🙂

Start New Groups Through New Believers read more

3 Things That Increase Bold Evangelism

bold evangelism

“I have tried and tried to get the believers in our fellowship to share the gospel, but they are fearful, shy and just don’t seem able to witness. Bold evangelism just isn’t happening!”

This is not unusual to hear from the church planters I am coaching. What can we do to increase boldness and help the disciples we work with to overcome their fears?

3 Things That Increase Bold Evangelism

1. Receiving the Holy Spirit

The classic biblical example is Peter in Acts Chapter 2. When Jesus was being tried, three times he denied even knowing Him. He certainly wasn’t witnessing at that point! But after he received the power of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, he stood in front of thousands and boldly proclaimed the gospel with authority and conviction. If your church members aren’t witnessing, pray for them to receive the power of the Holy Spirit. It will make a world of difference.

2. Practicing

Many people lack confidence to witness. They are embarrassed when they stumble over their words or don’t know what to say, how to answer questions, etc. After teaching them how to share their testimony, make sure to take time practicing it in a safe environment with other believers. Let them share it several times and get feedback. Do the same when training people to share a Creation to Christ story. Practice builds confidence and helps them to overcome fear of failure.

3. Making a List

Ying Kai of T4T says that people don’t share because they don’t know who to share with. He encourages people to make a two column Lost and Saved list. Pray daily for the people on that list. The lost side of the list are those in your friend and family circle (oikos) who don’t yet believe in Christ. The saved side of the list are those you are discipling. Regularly pray for them too!

After making a list, you can choose a few people each week and make plans to share your testimony with them. Being specific and accountable about plans to share the gospel helps us move forward. If you are training others, be sure to affirm and encourage a lot. Do this even if their efforts don’t yield success in the beginning.

It goes without saying that we as trainers also need to really pray for believers in this area. Model bold evangelism in your own life too! If we are demonstrating a lifestyle of evangelism and courageous witness, they will see it is possible and that they too can do the same.

Bold evangelism is a major characteristic of growing DMMs. Believe God to help you increase the believer’s boldness!

Which of the “3 Things” will you start to work on this week? Mention it in the comments and we will pray with you as you work on this!

What Makes a Church a Church?-Part 1

church what is it

When people typically think of church, they think about a building, pastor, pulpit, church members, and a weekly meeting. Sadly, this is what the definition of a church has become. Even Merriam-Webster defines the word church as “a building for public and especially Christian worship.” This definition, though a commonly used one, is sadly not biblical.

Church – What Is It?

In the New Testament, the original Greek word for church is ekklésia. It means those who are “called out of the world to God.” To the Greeks it meant an assembly of people.*

There are two primary metaphors used in the New Testament to describe the church.

These are 1) the Body of Christ and 2) the Family of God. When the church functions as a body and a family, it begins to look like what the Bible describes as a church.

THE BODY OF CHRIST

The church is made up of people contribution different gifts.
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