Do you have a favorite tool for gardening or working in the kitchen? At our house, we have a favorite knife. It is sharp and the handle is just the right size. It works well for chopping about anything. If my husband and I are both in the kitchen, there sometimes is a competition for who gets to use that knife! Tools are important in seeing progress and becoming effective. The T4T Lost and Saved list is one of the best tools I have used. It will help you train people to start 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?
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.
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.