Tag Archives: faith

Do Your Actions Demonstrate a Faith in the God of the Impossible?

demonstrate faith

It is easy to say we believe God can do anything. “He is a God of the impossible,” we declare. In reality, our actions speak louder than words. Does your daily lifestyle reflect this? What steps of faith are you taking that lean hard on God to do what you can not?

As we pursue movements, we must continually grow as people of faith. Those who catalyze, or lead movements, have a robust faith in the God of the impossible. They demonstrate this faith through both their words and actions.

How Faith Grows in Us

Faith and trust are similar. In our relationship with God, trust grows as we know Him better and experience His work in our lives. We learn to depend on Him and believe Him for greater things. read more

What Do You Have In Common With Winston Churchill?

tenacity in disciple making movements

Never, never, never, give in!” These were the words of Winston Churchill during one of England’s bleakest moments. It was 1941 and Hitler’s troops were advancing. The American forces had not yet entered the war and things looked bad for Europe. He went on to say, *“Never yield to force; tenacity in disciple making movementsnever yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” We need great tenacity in Disciple-Making Movements (DMMs). We must never, never, never give in until God’s Kingdom is established and growing among the unreached.

What Exactly Is The Meaning Of Tenacity?

Tenacity is defined as “the quality of being very determined.” I love those words- very determined. How tenacious are you about seeing your people group reached? Or the one God called you to work among? Victory is ours in Jesus. We already know that. But there is still an enemy who so often looks hard to defeat. Like in Churchill’s quote, sometimes we are tempted to “yield to the overwhelming might” that is displayed around us. We must not.

We must be extremely determined to overcome the obstacles. 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

A Vital Key to Breakthrough: Perseverance

My previous blog was about Praying with Faith. That is the first key to seeing breakthroughs in Disciple-Making Movements. The second key for breakthrough and growth is perseverance.

Perseverance – Lessons from Snoozy

When I was a kid we had a dog named Snoozy.  She loved to play.  We would take an old sock, tie a knot in it, and let her grab hold of the end.  A game of “tug of war” soon started.  If I got the sock away, (and it was hard work to finally do that) Snoozy would lunge after it again.  The game could go on for hours! 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

Are Your Goals Too Small? Lessons from a Nepalese Farmer

On New Year’s Eve, I wrote a post called “3 Important Things to Do as You Start the New Year.” I hope you took the time to think about the questions I listed there. Have you started thinking about your goals for the coming year? As you are goal setting for disciple making movements, I hope you will set God-sized goals.

It is sometimes hard to know how ambitious to be in goal setting. Some of us struggle with risk aversion. We want to set nice safe discipleship goals we can achieve.

Some years ago, I was visiting Nepal, a country I had worked in years before. It was early morning and I was sitting outside in the crisp air, overlooking a beautiful valley of terraced rice fields. I remembered back to the early days in our ministry when we had traveled each week by scooter, our baby strapped on in a front pack, driving up and down the windy mountain roads to the unreached valley area God had called us to. I love Nepali villages!

For the first and only time in my life so far, God spoke to me by filling my mind with a story. It was about a Nepali farmer. God used it to speak to me about disciple making movements.

The Story Of A Nepali Farmer

A Nepali farmer had 3 sons. He worked hard, saved his money, and rather than wasting it on immediate needs invested it in a small business he heard about. Those businesses grew and some prospered greatly.

One day, one of those businesses he had invested in sold and paid off all the shareholders. He received a huge payout of about 50 lach rupees (about $75,000). This was a lot of money in the village! His years of careful investing had paid off.

“I want to share this money with my sons”, he thought. “But I don’t want to spoil them. What should I do?”

The Nepali farmer decided to call his sons and tell them that he had received some extra money and that if they had any needs they should come to him and let him know. He would see what he could do about those needs.

School Books

The oldest son was grown, married, and had a child in elementary school. He went home and thought about what his father had said. “My father is a good man,” he thought. “But he is just a simple farmer.” He wondered to himself about how much money a simple and not very well-educated man could have.

He decided to ask his father for money to pay for his son’s school books for the year- for about 1,500 rupees (about $15 USD).

He went to his father and presented his request. Lovingly, his father replied, “I’m happy to do that son.” He went to his bedroom, came out and gave him the money. The elder son left happy!

A Bicycle

The second son was working in the capital city, Kathmandu. He had a job working for a travel agency there. Every day he had to go by bus or a shared auto into the city. “If I had a bicycle, I could save money and get there faster too,” he thought. He wondered about how much money his father had received. “My father is a good man and a great farmer. But, he is just a simple guy. I don’t think he has that much money to give and my other brothers will also be asking him.” He decided to ask his father for money to buy a bicycle that cost about 5000 rupees ($50 USD).

When he asked his father, he received the same loving response. He got his 5000 rupees and left happy!

A Tata Truck

The third son was still living at home in the village. He worked closely with his father on the farm each day. He too thought about what his father had said, but his thoughts were a bit different.

goal setting for disciple making movements

“My father is the smartest man I know! He isn’t that educated, but he is incredibly wise. I’ve watched his life and how he uses money. I bet he has a huge amount of money saved,” he thought. “I am going to ask him for money to purchase a Tata truck. Maybe I can start my own business to take vegetables from our village to the city for sale.”

That was what he did. He went to his father and asked for a Tata truck. The cost would be about 22 lach (about $35,000 USD).

When his father heard his request, his response was the same as with the other sons. “Sure son, I’d be happy to do that for you.” His father went to the bank, got the money and they purchased the truck.

When the other two brothers saw that their son was starting a business and driving a new truck, they were incredulous! “How did you get the money for a truck?” they asked.

“I got it from Dad,” he replied.

Angry, they stormed into their father’s room that night. “Why didn’t you give us a truck too???” they exclaimed. “We have much greater needs than our younger brother does!”

The father calmly replied to his sons, “My beloved sons, didn’t I tell you to ask me for what you needed? And didn’t I give you what you asked for?” He then told them to stop complaining and be happy as they had been before. “I gave you, exactly what you asked. You have no reason to be upset, with me or with your brother.”

My Limiting Beliefs About God

That morning, sitting outside and looking over the fields, I thought about the story God had put in my heart. The limiting factor (Michael Hyatt calls them limiting beliefs) in the elder sons’ lives was their view of their father. They couldn’t see him for who he really was. This limited view of their father affected their ability to ask him for more.

Many times I can’t see God for who He really is. I don’t really understand or acknowledge His incredible power and greatness or His goodness. I might say I believe He is great, but my actions, my goals, show me that isn’t my real belief. My God can be pretty small.

The only thing that limits what God can do through me is 1) how much I am willing to believe in His greatness and 2) how much I am willing to ask Him for.

I knew this was His Word to me that day.

As we think about our goals for disciple making movements, as we look at what we want to see God do through our lives to impact the lost…let’s remember we serve a BIG God who is able to do the IMPOSSIBLE through us.

Don’t set too small of goals. Don’t set disciple making goals that you can accomplish on your own. read more