What is the number one enemy you will face as you pursue the release of a Disciple Making Movement among the unreached? One would imagine that it would be intense spiritual warfare, keeping a visa platform, persecution, or some other kind of external challenge. Those are real and they are there to be sure. In my opinion, however, the greatest obstacle for those pursuing the release of a movement, is the inability to stay focused on what is most important. The tendency to become distracted doing many good things without doing what is most important is typical of those who hope to see movements but don’t.
I’ve always wanted to be fruitful in God’s kingdom. I longed to make a true difference. Doubt often filled my heart. Would God really use me to start Disciple-Making Movements? Was I the right kind of person? Did I have it in me? I needed to know my disciple making identity.
I looked back on my years in missions and saw lots of evidence that maybe the answer was no. False starts. Failed attempts. Lost people I’d made friendships with but never managed to truly share the good news with, or not very effectively anyhow.
Was it unwise to even hope that God would want to start a movement of disciples through me? Maybe I was setting myself up for failure and further disappointment by embracing this goal.
If you can identify with this, you are not alone. Many of us who God calls to his kingdom work of seeing multiplication among the unreached feel that way at one time or another. (Or sometimes fairly regularly.) So what is our baseline? What do we go back to when deciding whether or not Disciple Making Movements- DMMs are for us? (Sometimes we have to decide and re-decide this fairly often).
In this post and the next few that follow, I’d like to give you my scriptural baseline. This is where the foundation for faith that God can use me to start DMMs comes from.
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.– John 15:16 NIV
That is my bottom line. God chose and ordained me to bear lasting fruit. This is my disciple making identity.
Out of all the millions on this planet, He looked around and He saw me and said, “I want her on my team.” Remember those days back in elementary school, when they picked teams for kickball? It felt so good to be chosen by the captain to play for their team!
That is exactly what God has done for you. He chose you to play for His team. He chose you to bear fruit that would last. That is what this verse proclaims!
It takes away the ifs and buts of DMMs for me. Its not about if I am smart enough, capable enough, outgoing enough, persevering enough, or anything else (fill in the blank) enough! All we need to know is that we are His chosen ones. Since He chose us; He will coach us, train us, guide us, empower us, anoint us, and use us to bear much fruit in His Kingdom.
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).
It’s His birthday that we celebrate each year on December 25th, right? He should definitely be given a birthday gift. The question is what? What do you give to the One who made it all? What would really make His birthday a party in Heaven?
In Luke 15, we find three very similar stories; the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin, and the Lost Son. Each of these stories ends with a description of what happens in Heaven when even one person repents. Can you imagine the party in heaven if 50 people repented? What if it was a hundred? Or 500? That would be a pretty big angelic celebration! I can imagine Jesus joining right in the dance! Woohoo! My beloved ones have come home!
“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.
What makes a disciple making movement move? How can you get multiplication growth to happen (and be sustained) as you make disciples? There are certain movement growth factors to keep in mind in your ministry.
The following are the most important keys to pushing your disciple making into multiplicative growth. Some are obvious. Some are more easy to ignore.
Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no vision, the people perish…” (KJV)
How deeply ingrained in the heart of each disciple is the vision to see lost people around them come to know the Lord? When we talk about vision as it relates to Disciple Making Movements, we are specifically talking about the vision for lost people to meet Jesus and be saved. This passion, this vision for lost souls must be spoken out repeatedly in every meeting and in multiple ways. It has to become a part of the “talk” of the movement. It has to move beyond something only leaders think about and become ingrained in the hearts of all. This happens by creative and consistently motivating people to reach the lost around them. Cast vision to see your movement move!