Evangelism

Short-Term Teams, a Blessing or a Curse?

short-term teams

Long-term, pioneer, frontier missionaries can get a bit cynical. We’ve seen lots of problems. Many things have gone wrong over years of service. It is easy to start to see the negative, rather than the positive in both people and situations. Seeing young people God sends your way on short-term mission teams, as God sees them, is important. Finding ways to help them be a blessing, as well as being blessed, is even more vital.

Not a New Phenomenon

Short-term teams are actually not a new invention! Pioneers like Loren Cunningham (and others) led the way in their acceptance in modern missions. Yet they are a very ancient (and Biblical) strategy. read more

4 Kinds of People in Your Disciple-Making Group

4 Kinds of People

Green people?  Are we talking about Martians?  Nope.  In every disciple-making group there are different kinds of people.  Check out this video to find out more about the four kinds of people in every group.  Read further to understand how to help red and yellow people become green or blue!

4 Kinds of People
4 Kinds of People in a Disciple-Making group

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Red People – come to the group faithfully but don’t obey.

Yellow People- come to the group, share the gospel, but don’t disciple others.

Green People- come, share the gospel and disciple others.  They don’t train them to start new groups though. read more

Is There a Short Cut If I Can’t Find a Person of Peace (POP)?

POP

Short cuts seem good in the beginning but often take longer in the end. We can be tempted to take alternate routes as we work in a new area. The Person of Peace concept comes from Luke Chapter 10. In verses five and six, Jesus tells them to look for someone who promotes peace. The disciples He sent out were to stay with that person and receive their hospitality. Through them they would reach the community. This is one DMM principle you can’t afford to take a short cut on.

“When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you. Luke 10:5,6 read more

How to Know Someone is Not a Person of Peace – Disciple Making Movements

not a person of peace

Salaam Alaikum,” said the Muslim man who greeted me. I replied with the traditional response, “Wa-Alaikum-Salaam.” The phrase means “Peace be upon you.” My response meant “And upon you as well.” The Jews use a similar phrase of salutation. It is the word “shalom.” Blessing those you greet with peace is a well-known tradition in Middle Eastern cultures. Is this what Jesus referred to when He spoke to His disciples about the Person of Peace in Luke 10?

“When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you. Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.” read more

Why Abundant Gospel Sowing Makes Perfect Sense

abundant gospel sowing

One of my favorite things to do on a day off is to play in my garden. I’m not a “green thumb” but something about being out in the yard with my hands in the soil is very relaxing. God often speaks to me about spiritual things while I am gardening. As I fertilize, weed, and water, my mind drifts to my passion to see disciples multiply among unreached peoples. One key principle stands out. If we want to reap a great harvest, we must sow many seeds of the gospel. We need to practice what is called “abundant gospel sowing.” read more

Need a Great List of the Most Vital DMM Startup Tools?

DMM Tools

Rice, meat, spices, herbs, onion, garlic…you make your list and go to the market. Before making a special meal, you first prepare the ingredients you need. You wouldn’t want to start cooking and then have to stop and run to the store. In the same way, as you begin your journey with Disciple Making Movements (DMMs), it is good to get your tools, training, and material in place. This will give you a better chance of moving forward in your DMM journey.

Invest in Your DMM Toolbox

There are many different tools you can add to your “toolbox” as you make disciples. But there are several things that are most essential. Get those basics in place. Then, as a builder or carpenter does, when you come across various new materials and skills, you can also add them to your DMM tool belt. read more

10 Important Things To Do In Pursuing A DMM

start a DMM

“Is there a clear pathway to follow in starting to pursue DMMs?” one of my readers asked. It is a hard question to answer. There are no magic formulas! I would hate to give the impression that if you follow these steps, Voila! You will end up with a multiplying movement and thousands of disciples of Jesus. That is simply not true.

DMMs are a move of God among a population segment or people group. They don’t happen by just following a few steps, or by applying a particular strategy or formula. read more

What Does the Great Commission Have to Do With Christmas?

Great Commission and Christmas

It’s Christmas Eve. We gather around the tree. Dad opens his Bible to read the Christmas story. Squirming and anxious to open our gifts, we listen, wanting him to finish so we can open presents. These are my childhood Christmas memories. They always include the reading of the story of Jesus’ birth. It was a vital part of our tradition. Does the Great Commission fit with the Christmas story?

Maybe we can set it aside for awhile as we focus on the birth of Jesus, the wise men, angels, Mary and Joseph. Or maybe not. Could it be that the Great Commission is actually a vital part of the Christmas story? read more

What Are Your Greatest Christmas Priorities?

Christmas priorities

This is a busy time of year! What Christmas priorities will you set during this festive season?

I love December. It’s festive and full of parties, food, traditions, and fun. I enjoy making special cookies, buying gifts for those I love and all that the holidays bring. Over the last few years though, I’ve been examining my priorities during December. What is really most important?

The season is all about Jesus. It’s His birthday after all! So I decided to ask myself, “What would Jesus most like to get as a birthday gift from me?”

The answer was immediate. He would love to see lost people come home, for His lost sheep to be found.

Create A Party In Heaven!

Without question, I know unreached people meeting Jesus is what would create an incredible Christmas party in Heaven. After all, that is what the parables in Luke 15 tell us right?

“I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” Luke 15:7 NIV read more

DMM Obstacle: Cultural Misunderstanding Gets In the Way

cultural misunderstandings about Christianity

“Nobody likes you. It would be better if you and your Jesus had never been born. We hear that you are all cannibals–you eat the flesh of your children in your sacred meetings.” This was said by Caecilius to his friend Octavius in the 2nd century. Pretty significant cultural misunderstanding about Christianity, don’t you think? Cultural barriers are not new to us today.

 

As we work with people from other faith backgrounds, these misunderstandings feel huge. Could they even prevent the starting of a Disciple Making Movement? How can they be overcome?

Good News: It’s A Short-Term Problem

Many cultural misunderstandings about Christianity exist. These do create difficulty in the early stages of the movement. Over time, the problem lessens. More and more indigenous people come to Christ and express the gospel in simple ways. Barriers fall.

 

One of the characteristics of DMMs is that they are locally led. As outsiders recede into the background, cultural expressions of the gospel emerge naturally. The image of Christianity (and of Jesus followers) in the region begins to shift.

Aren’t You A Christian?

I was riding first class on an Indian train. I almost never did that, but no other seat was available. A well-educated Muslim businessman sat in the opposite seat in my compartment. I was tired, so I relaxed and read a book.

 

He was busy on his cell phone, talking to clients. I noticed that he was articulate. He spoke excellent English and was clearly well-traveled.

 

After a few hours, he too relaxed a bit and pulled a book out of his briefcase. He began to read a publication put out by a group called Osho. Having had some experience with this group, I was surprised to see him reading this.

 

We began a conversation. I asked what he thought of the book and the Osho philosophy of life. “What do you think about their attitudes toward freedom and sexuality?” I inquired.

 

Slowly, the door opened to share that I believed God (using the Muslim word- Allah). “He has given us guidelines about how to function well in this aspect of life,” I shared.

 

I believe the all-powerful Creator loves us and gave these rules to us for our good and blessing,” I said. Surprise showed on his face.

 

He then asked a revealing question. “Aren’t you a Christian?”

 

He automatically assumed I was. After all, I was from a Western country.

 

“I am a follower of Jesus,” I replied. “I worship the Creator of the world.”

 

His face twisted into a confused look. “I thought all Christians believed in free sex,” he said.

 

Though educated and well-traveled, he had never met a genuine follower of Christ. His only perception of Christianity came from Hollywood movies. I was so happy to share with him more about who Jesus is and how He taught us to live.

 

4 Tips For Overcoming Initial Cultural Barriers

1) Don’t promote Christianity, share Jesus.

“It is He whom we proclaim as we admonish and wisely teach everyone, so that we may present everyone mature in the Messiah.” Col 1:28 ISV (Italics added).

 

Many times, cultural misunderstandings about Christianity relate to organized religion. I often say, “I don’t care if people become Christians or not, I want them to become disciples of Jesus.”

 

Our goal should not be to promote our religion or to convince anyone to change religions. We must change our mindset.

We are there to share about Jesus. Introduce people to Him. Focus on who He is, what He taught and that He is alive today.

 

Barriers fall away when we stop trying to get people to become Christians and simply introduce them to the One who changed our lives. If it helps, call yourself a Jesus follower, and don’t use the term Christian at the beginning (or at all).

2) Learn about the cultural barriers and how to bridge them without watering down the power of the gospel. read more