Discipleship

Prayer- A Leader’s First Ministry

prayer and leadership

A Disciple-Making Movement (DMM) leader’s most important job is to intercede for those they lead. Leader’s who accomplish much, do so on their knees. It is in the place of prayer that we hear His voice, gain direction, strength, perspective, encouragement and where ultimately our real breakthroughs happen. Prayer in leadership is essential.

Prayer Can Not Be Delegated

The work on our knees can not be delegated to others. It is the responsibility of every Christian leader to pray themselves. We need to lead the way in prayer. That is not to say that we don’t also mobilize and raise up many others to intercede. We do. We must. There are others who may spend more actual hours in prayer than we do, or who may carry the work of intercession in very significant ways. As leaders, delegation is an important skill. This is one that you cannot delegate awaythough.read more

Why Preachers Should Preach Far Less and Train Much More

preacher

The call to preach the gospel” was highly esteemed in my childhood home. I come from a family of preachers and am grateful for my ministerial heritage.

I enjoy preaching, and some would say I’m decent at it.

As I grew more focused on Disciple Making Movements, I had to change how I work. My calling is to multiply disciple makers and catalyze movements among the yet to be reached millions on our planet. This requires I do more than preach to people. I must train disciples to be disciple makers. I need to train them until they are equipped enough that they can train others also.read more

Don’t Let Your Hands Hang Limp- Overcoming Fear

overcoming fear

Fear can be a hidden emotion. It manifests as anger, anxiety, or passivity. Like a deer that sees a car coming toward it, we freeze. It is not wrong to fear, but we can find ways of overcoming that fear. We can move courageously forward through our fear.

Fear paralyzes, but love activates.

As you think about the past week, have you been active in making disciples? Or passive?

When you notice yourself growing spiritually inactive, examine the cause. Is fear playing a role? Maybe you’ve been active, but you notice it’s difficult to motivate your disciples toward action.read more

When a Disciple Making Group Falls Apart

group falls apart

Starting your first disciple making group is a milestone. You found someone willing to read the Bible with you. They’ve invited friends or family members and you begin. It’s exciting! That is why it can be quite disappointing when that group falls apart or discontinues. What do you do in this situation?

It is not uncommon for this to happen. Not every group that forms will grow into a strong reproducing group of obedient disciples. If it is a seeker group (Watson’s DBS approach) it’s normal to have a significant number of new groups dissolve. With the T4T approach, where they first commit to following Christ, it’s a bit less but still happens. Find out more about these two approaches here.read more

When On-line Simple Church Spills Over

online simple church

A fresh wave of regulations and lock-down orders has hit many nations. It can feel discouraging. How do we continue our disciple making efforts in times like these? A week or so ago, I interviewed a leader from South Asia who recently tried something new. His on-line simple church efforts rapidly multiplied. They spilled over to many in-person groups also beginning across the region.

WATCH THE FULL 9 MINUTE INTERVIEW 

What stood out as you watched?

Here are a few things to consider:

  • when we do what we CAN do, God does what we CANNOT.
  • creativity and innovative efforts led to fruitfulness.
  • the standstill was not accepted but they sought God for solutions.
  • the mission to start movements wasn’t hindered but advanced because of the difficulties.

Learn more about how to start a Disciple Making Movement and on-line simple church groups that multiply in the course Getting Started in Disciple Making Movements. A new cohort will open in early January.read more

Why We Need to Stop Doing Good Things

fruitful

Pruning makes things ugly. We don’t usually like the way it looks at first. In front of my home in Thailand, we have flowering shrubs. They must be pruned to stay healthy. Every few months, I go outside and trim away branches. It’s especially hard to cut off the ones that still have flowers on them. Pruning unfruitful activities and investing in fruitful actions is a must if we want to see a Disciple Making Movement.

In the last few articles, I’ve written about the key characteristics of leaders God trusts with movements. Let’s add one more.read more

5 Important Reasons to Face Persecution With Joy

persecution

It’s strange how we tend to overlook certain phrases in scripture while emphasizing others. It happened to me the other day. I was reading James 1:27, a verse about pure religion. I’ve always noticed the part about orphans and widows, but overlooked the phrase about keeping myself from being polluted by the world. Lately, I’ve felt a bit polluted when watching the news. I need to be careful. We do the same thing with scriptures about persecution. The fact that we easily overlook them is a bit troubling.read more

Will You Leave a Lasting Legacy?

legacy

Passing the baton to others is easier to talk about than to do.  Fears prevent us from trusting our disciples and handing over true authority to them. Without the passing on of both authority and tasks, we will not be able to multiply disciples.

This week I had the privilege of training together with an African movement leader who has seen many generations of disciples.  We learned much from this man of God. Below is an excerpt from one of his sessions.

“and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.”

2 Tim 2:2

To Timothy, you therefore my son be strong in the grace that is in Christ. So firstly is to be strong, OK? And the second thing he said, the things which you have heard from me, in the presence of many witnesses, entrust this to faithful men. Give this to the faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Now Timothy is getting instruction from Paul, which is like Paul spending much time with Timothy. He is discipling Timothy in whatever he has seen Paul doing.read more

Do I Start With Believers? It’s Hard For Them To Change!

new believers

The harvesters are in the harvest,” the trainer said. “Hmm…I thought. What could that mean?” I was curious to know more. Would it be possible to start a Disciple Making Movement with brand new believers instead of older Christians?

A few days ago, one of my readers wrote this to me. “It’s hard for people to change,” they said. It is a common complaint of DMM practitioners. We, humans, are slow to change our paradigms.

It is not the new believers they were talking about. The older, more mature Christians they were training were not quick to shift their ideas about the nature of the church. My suggestion? Cast vision to all, but focus effort on new disciples. Give the most time to those who readily accept the Word of God as truth and aren’t steeped in church culture already.read more

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