Facing Obstacles

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

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

When You Press Through and Persevere

perseverance

What is the most important quality in a disciple maker or church planter’s life?” she asked. I was thoughtful for a moment. Many things rose to my mind. Diligence, prayer, passion for the lost, ability to call others into the vision, my list was long. One thing rose to the top. Perseverance. Without an ability to stick to the task, in spite of obstacles, to resist distractions and press on, Disciple Making Movements don’t get launched.

God gave you passion and vision or you wouldn’t be reading this blog. Somewhere along the line, He breathed His heart into yours. It caught. A dream of multiplication began. read more

Will You Miss What God Is Doing In This Crisis?

crisis

Crisis brings out the best and worst within us. Some personalities love a challenge. Adversity inspires them. Climbing Mount Everest, participating in a Triathalon, winning an Olympic medal…these people amaze me! Not everyone has an extreme adventure personality. Some of us freeze when there is a crisis. We have no idea what to do. Others are pessimistic by nature. When a major problem hits, they see all the possibilities of what could go wrong.

In the midst of the COVID-19 global crisis, what kind of person will you be? read more

The Real Issue: Are You Seeing Rapid, Organic Multiplication?

rapid organic multiplication

Our team in South Asia started using the terms 1G, 2G, 3G, about ten years ago. We were trying to track the growth of emerging movements. It was kind of funny. At the very same time, Indian telephone companies were using those terms for their data plans! For us, 1G stood for a first-generation church. 2G for a second-generation church, etc. In the early days as we pursued movements, getting to the mark of fourth-generation growth was a huge milestone! As thrilling as it is to reach this point, 4G is not a magic number. There is not much in the Bible to support the emphasis we in the DMM world put on this particular milestone. read more

How Controlling Leaders Can Block Movement Growth

controlling leaders

I see a problem. It’s disturbing my sleep. I wake up praying about it. Know what it is? It’s when Christian leaders don’t release their people to do the work of the ministry.

This issue bothers me because it can block the growth of Disciple Making Movements (DMMs). That must not happen! Leaders, we can not behave this way if we want to see God’s Kingdom spread rapidly through our regions.

It’s not easy to release people. I know. Huge issues arise in our hearts and heads.

Are they ready? Mature enough? What if they fail? What if they succeed (maybe even surpassing me)? 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

Do We Need to Focus on Just One Group?

people groups

Urban slum communities are ethnically mixed. The desperately poor tend to live together, regardless of their ethnicity. How does this impact disciple making efforts among them? Can we focus on more than one group at a time in DMM efforts?

It is easy to become stretched too thin. Our time, energy, and effort to identify with those we’re reaching become complex when engaging with more than one group at the same time.

Disciple Making Movements (DMMs) grow through natural relationship networks. Most of the evangelism and disciple making happens with people in that circle of friends, relatives, and neighbors. Because of this, the streams of the movement naturally develop according to ethnic lines. read more

Are You Willing to Fail Forward?

fail

I must be doing something wrong,” she thought. They had been working for almost ten years in a restricted access nation. They’d pressed through to learn the language, worked hard to build relationships and led a few people to the Lord. Talking with a key church planting movement mentor she asked, “What are we doing wrong? I thought by now we would have seen hundreds of groups/churches begin!

The mentor carefully listened to them describe their disciple making activity. Then he said, “You aren’t doing anything wrong. Movements take time. This mentor had coached well-known movement leaders. They had started thousands and thousands of churches, pioneering the largest movements in history to date. He knew what he was talking about. read more

Is Your Motivation Going to Get You to DMM?

motivation for DMM

Thousands of new churches rapidly starting…a Jesus movement sweeping through…bringing transformation! Our hearts are stirred. We want to be a part. “It would be so amazing if that could happen in my area,” we think.

After a few months (or years) of effort, things may not be happening quite as you expected. You’ve prayed, fasted, shared the gospel often, but not yet seen breakthrough.

Maybe a few have believed, some groups started (and maybe not lasted). Where is that rapid, incredible experience you thought was coming? In these times, we must examine our motivation for pursuing a DMM in the first place. read more