This is the excerpt for your very first post.
Busyness is a major enemy in our lives. We can easily get so busy that we don’t have time to pray, to listen to God, to share good news with the Lost, or to adequately spend time with those who are expressing interest in coming to faith. These things usually happen in the early stages of our efforts to start a movement. When we don’t see things “take off” as fast as we had hoped, we allow ourselves to get involved in other ministry tasks that give us a bit of a sense of fulfillment. Teaching here or there, doing emails, making a video for a church about what we do, attending a seminar or conference someone invited us to…suddenly we realize we have had little time for the task of disciple making.
Later, when (and if) we do have some disciples and the first church gets going, it is again easy to become busy with things related to that church’s programs rather than continuing to pursue relationships with the Lost, or to invest in quality disciple making. We make the mistake of thinking that a weekly meeting of a few hours will make quality disciples. We fail to truly invest our lives in those God has given us whether it be in detailed prayer for them, or in developing deep relationships.
One of my favorite Old Testament Bible Heros is Nehemiah. In the sixth chapter of the book that bears his name, messengers come asking Nehemiah to attend a meeting with Sanballat and Geshem. Instead of agreeing he says,
“I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?” (Nehemiah 6:3)
Nehemiah is completely focused on his God-given task. He is not going to stop his work to go and resolve a conflict, listen to his enemies, or attend a meeting. He knows how to say a clear “no.” He continues to focus on what is most important. We need to do the same.
How hard is it for you to stay focused on what is really important? Do you clearly know in your own mind what is most important in light of your goal to see a movement of disciples?
In a recent training I asked the participants to make a list of everything they had done in the last week that took more than an hour of their time. After they had listed at least 15 things, I asked them to circle which of those things directly related to making disciples among the unreached. It was eye-opening for many of them to see how little time they actually devoted to the task they said was their primary vision. We all would benefit from a similar exercise from time to time.
Feeling convicted? I truly hope you don’t feel condemned. It’s very human to get distracted and not at all uncommon! Instead of feeling bad, look carefully at where you are at. Recommit yourself to stay focused on your true calling as a disciple-maker and messenger of the good news. Be willing like Nehemiah to say no to some things so you can say yes to what is really important.
The unreached wait to hear your message. New disciples wait to be encouraged, trained and mentored. Let’s get busy doing the most important things that lead to the release of movements.
“All men are equally lost, but not all men are equally needy.” Do you agree? Dr. Ralph Winter, a missionary pioneer, and one of the founders of the modern frontier missions movement made this claim. The assertion that unreached peoples must receive greater focus sparked debate. It also brought a new emphasis for many agencies. YWAM was touched by Winter’s trumpet call to the unreached. YWAM Frontier Missions is part of the result.
Are DMMs Reaching the Least Reached?
Yet still today, many decades later, much of our focus in evangelism remains on those who already have an opportunity to hear. Should they choose to. As Disciple Making Movements continue to grow around the world, we must continue to champion the cause of the unreached. DMMs that start, must be missional in nature. They need to have a clear focus not only on the lost, but on the least reached lost around them.
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.
Many people lack confidence to witness. They are embarrassed when they stumble over their words or don’t know what to say, how to answer questions, etc. After teaching them how to share their testimony, make sure to take time practicing it in a safe environment with other believers. Let them share it several times and get feedback. Do the same when training people to share a Creation to Christ story. Practice builds confidence and helps them to overcome fear of failure.
3. Making a List
Ying Kai of T4T says that people don’t share because they don’t know who to share with. He encourages people to make a two column Lost and Saved list. Pray daily for the people on that list. The lost side of the list are those in your friend and family circle (oikos) who don’t yet believe in Christ. The saved side of the list are those you are discipling. Regularly pray for them too!
After making a list, you can choose a few people each week and make plans to share your testimony with them. Being specific and accountable about plans to share the gospel helps us move forward. If you are training others, be sure to affirm and encourage a lot. Do this even if their efforts don’t yield success in the beginning.
It goes without saying that we as trainers also need to really pray for believers in this area. Model bold evangelism in your own life too! If we are demonstrating a lifestyle of evangelism and courageous witness, they will see it is possible and that they too can do the same.
Bold evangelism is a major characteristic of growing DMMs. Believe God to help you increase the believer’s boldness!
Which of the “3 Things” will you start to work on this week? Mention it in the comments and we will pray with you as you work on this!