Discipleship

How Can Local New Testament Churches Challenge Us Today?

New testament church

In previous posts, we looked at the characteristics of Jesus’ movement. We also looked at the movement the apostles continued in Jerusalem. As the movement developed, we see what local assemblies (house churches) looked like. This adds to our understanding of New Testament movements. As we study the scripture below, we can examine our existing views of the church. Let us try to see the passage from the perspective of the early disciples, instead of our own.

What did the disciples in Jerusalem regularly do?

A summary of what the disciples regularly did in their local context, Jerusalem, is found in Acts 2:41-47. read more

Converts or Disciples? Why Leading Someone To Christ Isn’t Enough

converts or disciples

People are opening up like never before…” he said. My friend works in a restricted access nation. He described an unusual openness in his country. “Persecution has reduced by many, many times. There is almost none right now,” he told me. We continue to talk. Those he trains are leading people to Christ on the phone every single day. While excited about this, a question arose in my mind. Are they making converts or disciples?

Are these what we might call rice Christians?

I wonder if a new term will surface. Will we call them COVID Christians? Those who in a time of global crisis prayed a sinner’s prayer but were never disciples? When the crisis is over, will they return to their former lifestyle and ways? read more

Do I Think About Reproducibility at Every Level?

reproducibility

There is a big difference between the way rabbits and elephants reproduce! We know this. It is often referred to when explaining what a Disciple Making Movement is. Movements multiply rapidly. They grow and reproduce organically. Getting your disciples to take off and multiply like rabbits can be easier said than done.

To see rapid, rabbit-style reproduction of disciple makers, you must depend heavily on the Holy Spirit. Many of us lean too much on our own skills and experience as we train disciples. The Holy Spirit lives within even the newest of believers. read more

Why You Can’t Make Disciples In a Meeting

Meetings don’t make disciples, people do. Disciple making happens life on life.

We have a tendency to revert to old ways of thinking, even as we pursue a Disciple Making Movement. Christianity has become very meeting and event-oriented.

Discipleship is so much more than a weekly meeting! To make disciples who will make disciples, you must be willing to invest in deep relationships with those you train. You will need to practice life on life discipleship.

Jesus Invested Well

Jesus didn’t train disciples in a weekly meeting. He lived His life in close daily relationships with a group of twelve. He trained and invested in them. If we want to see movements, we must shift our understanding of discipleship away from meetings and toward relationships. read more

4 Principles of Integral Mission and DMMs

integral mission

Can community development and Disciple Making Movements flow together? This guest blog on integral mission was written by my friend Martine. Her story and input provide a clear answer to this question.

My first experiences in mission were in a time of famine. We worked among a nomadic tribe. They were one hundred percent of another faith and lived in Sub-Saharan Africa. As a medical doctor, I treated them during the day, and as a missionary evangelized in the evening.

During an epidemic, many children were dying of cholera. Often, too often, mothers brought me back the medicine I gave them, with their dead baby in their arms. They would tell me: “Thank you, Dr. M., for what you did to help us. But it was God’s will to take my child away “. As a young doctor, I felt more and more inadequate and desperate. read more

Making Disciples During the COVID-19 Global Crisis

covid19

Never in history has a world-wide shut down of this magnitude occurred. With so many self-isolating and practicing social distancing, it could make our job of disciple making much harder. Many would say, “Take a break. Start disciple making efforts again when this is all over.” The problem is, we have no idea when that will be. During this time, we must stay active in disciple making. Let us even look for ways to increase our efforts.

There are many ways to look at a situation like this. How is God looking at it? What is He wanting to do through it? read more

What is M.A.W.L.?

M.A.W.L.

Acronyms are funny. They don’t translate well into other languages. At the same time, they do help us remember things. One of the acronyms I’ve heard used from my early days in church planting is M.A.W.L. I believe it was first used by David Garrison in his Church Planting Movements booklet. What does it stand for and how can it help your disciple-making?

M.A.W.L. stands for Model, Assist, Watch and Leave. It has to do with the disciple making process.

Jesus used this process with His disciples. He modeled how to do the work of the Kingdom. They went with Him, watched Him and learned. He then invited them to assist Him in the work. They joined Him in feeding the five thousand, and in healing the sick, casting out demons, etc. He then sent them out to do the same. Then He checked in with them (watch) to see how they were doing. Jesus left and returned to Heaven, giving them a command and commission to carry on the work. read more

Quickly Finding and Activating Persons of Peace in a New Area

entry strategy

“How do I get started with DMMs? I’m finding it difficult to find a Person of Peace. I can’t even find someone ready to have a spiritual conversation!” my trainee said. The frustration in her voice was notable. A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of meeting an Asian movement leader who has seen incredible fruit. Their movement is now well over 20,000 believers. He shared an excellent entry strategy. As my trainee asked this question, his example came to mind.

To find a Person of Peace, or several at one time, you have to cast your net wide. You can’t “fish” with a pole…you need a big net. The Asian movement leader’s example demonstrated how he did this. read more

What Can We Learn from Jesus’ Movement?

Jesus movement

This week I’m privileged to introduce you to a fellow trainer and coach. In this short video, he addresses the question of how DMMs grow, strictly from a New Testament perspective. In Disciple Making Movements, everything we do and train others to do needs to be built on the foundation of what we see in the life of Jesus.

Jesus’ Movements
WATCH HERE

I hope you will watch this video and gain insights into what we can learn about movements from Jesus himself. He writes further about it in the text that follows.

It was 2011. Having done church planting work since 1997, and planted one church in an unreached area, I received training about a new approach. It was called Church Planting Movements, or Disciple Making Movements (DMM). read more

Can Children and Teenagers Be Part of a DMM?

children and teenagers

My teenagers need a youth group!” they said, as they told us they were no longer going to join the regular disciple makers meeting. It was disappointing to hear. Concerned parents want to see their children’s spiritual needs met. This can be a real issue. Parents express apprehension about whether their children will get what they need in a DBS or story group. How do we best disciple the children of families in our teams and disciple making groups?

This issue requires us to speak into the parent’s lives in a unique way. It can be difficult. It also creates an opportunity to help those we are training to return to a more biblical style of parenting. One where disciple making happens within families. read more