Tag Archives: disciple making movements

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

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. 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? 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

Key #3 DMM Breakthrough Growth: Train Don’t Teach

trainer of trainers

Do you long to see more multiplication through your discipleship training?  Are you tired of only seeing a few new disciples each year?

The last two blogs talked about Keys for seeing DMMs released. The first keys were  Key #1: Praying With Faith and Key #2: Perseverance.

There is another crucial key to releasing a movement. If you want to multiply disciples, an important change needs to happen in how you do discipleship training. You need to shift from being a teacher to becoming a trainer. read more

Tracking and Reporting in DMMs

disciple making movements

Many people struggle with the idea of reporting progress on church or ministry growth. Reporting in disciple making movements can be controversial.

Recently, I had a meeting with some people to bring a better understanding of this issue. There was a lot of confusion related to this topic. Emotions ran high.

Why report and track? There are lots of reasons people choose not to report.

For some, it can feel controlling. Others think it isn’t loving. Some feel it isn’t necessary. It can feel too business like and not very spiritual. Some think we are obsessed with results and don’t care about people.

As I was considering this the other day I asked myself “Is the “value” reporting and accountability? Is that really the core value?” As I thought more about this I concluded that it was not. The core value is not reporting or accountability. The core value is

a deeply held commitment to be obedient to the vision God has given read more

What NOT to Depend on in Disciple Making

discipleship

Discipleship, especially when you are wanting to make true disciple makers, is a process that can seem long and difficult. We often look for shortcuts.

Have you ever found yourself trying to go somewhere fast and then decided to take a shortcut? You see this little lane and you are pretty sure it will cut through to the main road? “I’ll go for it,” you think. It seems like a good idea that will save you time and get you there faster.

As you are driving along on your motorbike or in your car, suddenly, the road narrows and there is a huge truck parked in the road. You can’t get by because the road is too narrow. That has happened to me more than once. Another time, I came up the road and suddenly found a big pile of rocks dumped in the road for the construction of a nearby building. Then there were the times I took a shorter road but hit an avalanche. When this happens, you back up, turn around, and by the time you get back to where you started from, you are frustrated, annoyed and it is 15 minutes later but you are still at the same place.

This reminds me of when we try to make disciples using only a weekly meeting with them. It looks like a shortcut, but it’s not.

Discipleship Is Not A Meeting- It Is Doing Life Together

Discipleship doesn’t happen only in a weekly meeting. It is an intense investment of our lives into others. This is a whole lot more than what happens in a weekly gathering where you “preach” to them, or even do a Discovery Bible study or tell a Bible Story.

Discipleship happens when we do life together. It’s when we become a community of Jesus followers who challenge, encourage, support and commit to helping one another grow in following Jesus. Our lives “rub off” on others and they “catch” from us a passion for the lost, a faith in the God of the Impossible, a love for God’s Word, etc.

I’m always interested in strategies and structures. I’m fascinated to learn about what different people are using for their short and long-term discipleship. Having a good system can facilitate a lot of things being released. Sometimes, though, we look for the “perfect” system and think that is what will turn things around for us in our efforts to multiply disciples.

Discipleship Is Not A Structure Or System

The last few years I have been doing a lot of training in T4T (Training for Trainers). The T4T meeting structure includes all the important elements that are so vital to multiplying disciples; celebration/accountability, member care, worship, the Word, goal setting, fellowship. It’s a proven structure that has produced great fruit around the world.

The same could be said for DBS (Discovery Bible Study) groups- another great system to use.

As much as I like these systems, I must say that both T4T and DBS are just structures and systems. They will not produce fruit unless coupled with a deep commitment to relational discipleship. We must “go deep” with those in that T4T or DBS circle.

We must get into their lives and let them into ours.

That is what Jesus did with his disciples. They lived together, spent hours around the fire cooking fish and eating together. They did ministry together, and Jesus spoke into their lives not only as a group, but one on one.

We can’t do that with everyone. We need to choose a few key people, those who are faithful, fruitful and focused.

I know you are busy. You might be thinking, I just don’t have time to give more than I already am.

Here’s is what you need to do.

This doesn’t take a ton of time, but it will get you started in going beyond trying to just disciple people in a meeting.

  • Choose 2 key people you are training who you will invest in more.
  • Think of one simple way to let them into your life in a deeper way. (For example, have coffee and share a time of failure you had and how you overcame it).
  • Think of one simple way you can get more involved in theirs. (For example, show interest in one of their hobbies or children).
  • Do those two things this week.
  • read more

    Key #1 DMM Breakthrough Growth: Praying With Faith

    praying with faith

    In the next few blogs I want to share some keys to seeing breakthroughs that lead to a Disciple Making Movement. The first one is praying with faith.

    Let’s start with a funny story to illustrate.

    A journalist was assigned to the Jerusalem bureau of his newspaper. He gets an apartment overlooking the Wailing Wall. After several weeks he realizes that whenever he looks at the wall he sees an old Jewish man praying vigorously. The journalist wondered whether there was a publishable story here. He goes down to the wall, introduces himself and says: “You come every day to the wall. What are you praying for?”

    The old man replies: “What am I praying for? In the morning I pray for world peace, then I pray for the brotherhood of man. I go home, have a glass of tea, and I come back to the wall to pray for the eradication of illness and disease from the earth.”

    The journalist is taken by the old man’s sincerity and persistence. “You mean you have been coming to the wall to pray every day for these things?”

    The old man nods.

    “How long have you been coming to the wall to pray for these things?”

    The old man becomes reflective and then replies: “How long? Maybe twenty, twenty-five years.”

    The amazed journalist finally asks: “How does it feel to come and pray every day for over 20 years for these things?”

    “How does it feel?” the old man replies. “It feels like I’m talking to a wall.”*

    Frustrated With Prayer?

    Do you ever feel that way about prayer? Ever feel frustrated and like it isn’t making much difference, so why do it? Ever feel like it is something we do first before we get to the “real work” of church planting?

    There have been times in my life when I felt like prayer was a duty and a chore more than a joy.

    That has changed a lot for me in the past few years. Prayer is now a great blessing to me. Prayer is my first priority. It is now some of the most meaningful kingdom work in my life. I have repeatedly seen God use prayer to dramatically impact the amount of fruit He releases. I’m sure that all those who have seen disciple making movements truly multiply would say the same.

    Not all prayer feels that way or produces those results. What makes the difference?

    Jesus And The Fig Tree

    In Matthew 21, there is an unusual little story of Jesus and a fig tree. Jesus is hungry. He sees a tree without fruit. A bit frustrated (it seems), He curses it and it withers. His disciples are amazed at His power and comment about it. He then tells them, this is nothing…

    “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” (Matt 21:22)

    What makes the difference in our prayers according to Jesus? Faith.

    When we pray with faith, amazing answers are released. 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