Tag Archives: cpms

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

No Fruit Yet? 4 Ways to Stay Motivated

stay motivated

When we work hard but don’t quickly see results, it’s just plain difficult. We need to know how to stay motivated in disciple making and evangelism while we wait for the fruit to come.

Lessons From Our Superheros

“With great power comes great responsibility,”

says Uncle Ben in the Spider-Man movie.

I love that quote. I can see the scene in my head and hear his voice. It’s an “Aha” moment for young Spider-Man. I guess that I just like superheroes.

These champions inspire us. They help us to dream of what might be possible, with a little superhuman strength. 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

What is Just In Time Training?

“Just in Time Training” was an unfamiliar concept for me. Why are they not applying what I taught them? We taught how to create a set of stories for discipleship in the Orientation Program, but they are just preaching. They seem to have completely forgotten everything they learned in the training! Argghh!!

Have you ever felt frustrated that you invest a lot in training people only to see little field application happen?

I sure was! Then I put into practice what is called Just in Time Training. Just in Time Training (sometimes called Micro-Learning) is when you give people only what they need to use immediately. You train in small learning segments. 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

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. read more

Getting from a Disciple Making Dream to a DMM Reality

Disciple making movement

Nine years ago, we had 100 teams and about 9000 believers in the churches those teams had started. We had many workers but were not seeing disciple-making movements.

We had taught and prayed for years and years about multiplication, disciple-making, and church planting movements. We had never really experienced one. Only a few teams had second-generation growth and none of them had gone beyond the 3rd generation.

Disciple-Making Movement: Dream or Disappointment?

Believe me, when I say I’ve experienced deep disillusionment in this whole process of pursuing a rapidly growing disciple-making movement among the unreached! There were many times where I thought it was impossible and that DMMs were something others would see but not us.

Today, we have about 140 teams. In 114 places those teams have seen at least one 4th generation fellowship! Total believers are now around 33,000 and rising rapidly.

What changed? How did we move from disillusionment with disciple-making movements as an idea (often a much taught, but failed idea) to DMMs as a growing reality in our work?

First, we had to get desperate. Then, we made significant changes.

I was reading my Bible one day. I read the passage in Matthew 23 where Jesus talks about hypocrisy. One verse shot off the page as I read.

“So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.” (Matt. 23:3)

Jesus is defining hypocrisy here.

“Am I a hypocrite?” I asked myself. “Do I teach and train about rapidly multiplying movements of Jesus followers but not practice it, not experience it? Am I all talk and no reality?”

“Oh, God!” I cried out. “What has to change inside of me? What has to change in my organization? We simply can’t keep going this way…talking, and talking, and talking, about multiplication but not experiencing it!”

4 Change Factors That Helped Us See Disciple Making Movements Happen

1) The change started with me

Bottom line, as the leader, I had to be willing to model growth. I had to stop saying, “I’m not a good evangelist.” I had to model a lifestyle that showed I believed the harvest was ripe around me. I had to stop being an “expert” who didn’t personally make disciples myself. I had to change my priorities to make room in my schedule to personally start a Discovery Bible Study/T4T group.

2 ) Let go of old systems that weren’t working anymore

We were willing to re-evaluate everything, and I mean EVERYTHING we did in disciple making. If it wasn’t bearing fruit, we asked God if we should drop it or how to change it. This made a lot of people angry with us. We had to be willing to give up systems and things we had emphasized before. This made space for the new things God was releasing.

3) Examine our Disciple Making Movement Beliefs (not the ones on paper, but those our practical behavior revealed)

We went through a process (with a group of other leaders) of looking carefully at our beliefs and assumptions about disciple making movements and church planting. We then intentionally embraced “New Beliefs” based on God’s Word. We shared these with our teams and grassroots workers, helping them to understand and own these new beliefs. This is a lengthy but critical process and it is still ongoing.

4) Start tracking different Disciple Making Movement factors
read more

Why Disciple Making Movements?

What is all the “fuss” about? Why do people get so passionate about Disciple Making Movements or Church Planting Movements? Is it just another missions “fad”?

Reading this and you’ve been pursuing starting a DMM (Disciple Making Movement) for some time? Read on. Be encouraged and inspired once again. I’d love to hear in the comments why you got “on board” with the vision for DMMs. Tell us your story!

The God-sized dream of seeing movements of disciples started among the last, least and lost began for me more than 20 years ago. It’s morphed and changed through the years. I’ve had highs and lows. It still burns inside of me. It still gets me out of bed in the morning. Why?

I am a missionary kid. I grew up in West Africa. I caught a heart for lost people, for those who had never heard about Jesus from my father. I often went with him to remote African villages on a motorcycle, crossing rivers on rafts, trekking into the “bush” (the West African word for jungle) in order to share the good news with those who would have no other opportunity to hear it.

I won’t tell the full story here, but years later, God called my husband and I into church planting ministry among those who were “yet to hear.” We were young, pregnant with our first daughter, and in that early stage of language learning when we heard George Patterson speak and were introduced to what he called “Train and Multiply”. Our vision went immediately from the idea of starting one church to starting churches that started others.

Nepal scene
How would they hear unless someone told them?

As we looked at the challenge of the millions of lost people around us, we knew that something had to be different from past approaches.

We had to work in such a way that more people could meet Jesus and have their lives transformed. 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.

struggle for faith

I remember saying, “This isn’t a fair thing to ask people to do. For the vast majority of people, movements are just a dream. It’s like asking a junior league baseball team to attempt to win the World Series.”

Stuck In Unbelief

Let’s just call it what it was. I was stuck in the sin of unbelief. I didn’t believe God was able to do this through me or through the people I was training. Thank God, He took me through a process and convicted me of my unbelief. He renewed my faith. Faith not in myself, but in Him.

Jesus was never soft with his disciples regarding the sin of unbelief. He regularly rebuked them for their lack of faith.

Stubborn Refusal

I recently re-read the account of His resurrection. The words “stubborn refusal to believe” jumped out at me.

9 “When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. 11 When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it.”

12 “Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. read more

Tracking Generational Growth in your Disciple Making Movement

“We never had any idea what was really happening until we started using generational growth charts in our training,” the church planting leader said with a broad smile. “Now we can actually see our progress and where the problems are!”

It is not uncommon for Disciple Making Movement trainers to be in a similar position. You keep training. You keep mentoring. Testimonies are heard. It seems like things are going well, but you really don’t know how well. You feel somewhat confused and can’t visualize progress.

confused disciple maker
What is really happening in my disciple making work?

That is where Generational Maps or Charts can really help!

What do we mean when we talk about 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generations of DMM growth?

When we speak of generational growth, we are describing the process by which one house church or discipleship group reproduces another one (or more). As this process continues and one church starts another and that one another, we can see that new generations of groups are growing.

Sometimes it is referred to as mother churches (1st generation), daughter churches (2nd generation) and grand-daughter churches (3rd generation). More often we just call it 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G growth.

This “generational growth” happens on both an individual and group level. When we make a Gen Chart though, we are tracking the multiplication of groups.

Dalia’s Story

Her name was Dalia*. She was sixteen years old and came from a strongly Buddhist family. One of our local team members had led her to faith but was unable to disciple her because she was a young woman. There were cultural barriers to his spending time with her. He asked if we would help.

Dalia moved in with us and became a temporary family member. When we first began to pray with her, she had no idea what to do! From the very simple basics of what it meant to follow Jesus, we began to train her. We prayed together, studied God’s Word together, ate food together and visited others in the community together. We prayed for the sick, shared the gospel and washed dishes together. Dalia grew rapidly in her faith and relationship with Jesus.

After a month or so, Dalia began sharing the good news with her friends at school. One of her classmates expressed a desire to follow Christ. Dalia led her in making a decision to become a disciple. She then came to me and said, “My friend Sunita has decided to follow Jesus…can you train her to be a disciple?”

“No,” I replied. “That is your job! Just teach her what I’ve been teaching you.”


I discipled Dalia. Dalia discipled Sunita. Sunita led others to the Lord who she then discipled. The movement spread.

First generation (Dalia), second generation (Sunita), third generation (other classmates).

2 Timothy 2:2 says, “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.

Paul discipled Timothy (1G), Timothy discipled “reliable people” 2G) and they were able to teach “others” (3G). We see this multiplication again and again in the book of Acts.

Churches that Paul started, sent missionaries out to new areas where new churches were formed. Those groups started other groups in new areas and on it went until all of Asia had heard the gospel (Acts 19:10).

It is helpful to track this generational growth on a chart and to update it each time you do Just In Time Training. We recommend a simple chart rather than a complex one.

As you do this, referring each training to the previous charts (it’s easy these days to take a picture and have it on your phone to look back at) you can see whether or not new growth is happening. You can also identify where the strongest growth is happening and then try to understand why.

This diagnosis of the movement is a major key to seeing ongoing and sustained growth. read more