Faith

How to Cooperate With God and Release Miracles

miracles

A Disciple Making Movement trainer I know uses this question with potential seekers. “If God were to do a miracle for you today, what would it be?” Let them answer, then pray for whatever they said. Watch and see what God will do. This simple evangelism strategy makes room for God to show off His power and tremendous love.

It’s a somewhat scary strategy for some.

When we pray for a miracle, we can feel like we will be evaluated based on what happens. If God does something unusual, great. If not, then we wonder if we will be discredited somehow. People might think we are dishonest, fraudulent promoters of kooky religious ideas. Or they may reject us as just plain weird. Others might feel we are trying to be someone great, but aren’t able to deliver the goods.read more

Do Your Actions Demonstrate a Faith in the God of the Impossible?

demonstrate faith

It is easy to say we believe God can do anything. “He is a God of the impossible,” we declare. In reality, our actions speak louder than words. Does your daily lifestyle reflect this? What steps of faith are you taking that lean hard on God to do what you can not?

As we pursue movements, we must continually grow as people of faith. Those who catalyze, or lead movements, have a robust faith in the God of the impossible. They demonstrate this faith through both their words and actions.

How Faith Grows in Us

Faith and trust are similar. In our relationship with God, trust grows as we know Him better and experience His work in our lives. We learn to depend on Him and believe Him for greater things.read more

Should Movement Catalysts Help People in Financial Distress?

financial distress

It is tricky. How do you love people well, without giving to their financial needs? Our words must not be empty. We don’t want to say “I’ll pray for you,” and do nothing practical to help those in true financial distress. At the same time, if we give in the wrong way, we create unhealthy dependency. This is a death factor in movements and can destroy the chances you will multiply rapidly.

As you reach out to the least, last, and lost, inevitably you will encounter those with desperate needs. These needs are emotional, physical, and spiritual. A disciple maker needs to avoid burn-out by setting boundaries on what they will do for those they minister to. How much do you give? When do you give? How do you give? These are vital questions to answer as you attempt to start Disciple Making Movements among the unreached.read more

How to Set God-sized Effective Goals for 2020

2020 goals

Do you have a love-hate relationship with New Year’s resolutions? You’re not alone. We love the opportunity to have a fresh start, a new beginning. We resolve to do better this year in those difficult areas of our lives like health, exercise, and other things. At the same time, it can be disillusioning. Year after year you make the same resolutions only to abandon and forget about them. I’m not a big believer in New Year’s resolutions. In contrast, setting God-inspired goals for the New Year is a powerful practice in our lives.read more

Motivation #1: A Passion for God’s Glory

passion for God's glory

Motivations matter. Your why comes before your what. Simon Sinek’s book Start With Why is a best-selling business book. His premise is true in more than business. It’s true in life. Motivations affect us as we pursue Disciple Making Movements. If your reason for wanting to launch a movement is not clear, you may not experience what you are hoping for. Our first important motivation must be a passion for God’s glory.

How deeply do you long for His glory? What does that mean?

In my last article, I described the many different motivations we have for wanting to multiply disciples. Some of those motivations are inappropriate. Some are healthy and good. Not all motivations will sustain you in the long road of launching a movement.read more

Do you Assume They Are Closed to the Gospel?

closed to the gospel

It sounds so easy on the mission field to share the gospel! It is harder here,” said a young woman attending one of our talks. She went on to explain. The people around her didn’t want to hear the gospel. She was afraid of offending them. So, she kept quiet. Inside, she longed to share the good news of Jesus. Outwardly, she found it difficult. The key issue was her belief that the people around her really didn’t want to hear the message she had to share. This false belief can paralyze us in evangelism.read more

What Do You Have In Common With Winston Churchill?

tenacity in disciple making movements

Never, never, never, give in!” These were the words of Winston Churchill during one of England’s bleakest moments. It was 1941 and Hitler’s troops were advancing. The American forces had not yet entered the war and things looked bad for Europe. He went on to say, *“Never yield to force; tenacity in disciple making movementsnever yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” We need great tenacity in Disciple-Making Movements (DMMs). We must never, never, never give in until God’s Kingdom is established and growing among the unreached.

What Exactly Is The Meaning Of Tenacity?

Tenacity is defined as “the quality of being very determined.” I love those words- very determined. How tenacious are you about seeing your people group reached? Or the one God called you to work among? Victory is ours in Jesus. We already know that. But there is still an enemy who so often looks hard to defeat. Like in Churchill’s quote, sometimes we are tempted to “yield to the overwhelming might” that is displayed around us. We must not.

We must be extremely determined to overcome the obstacles.read more

Overwhelmed By The Task?

overwhelmed by the task

Every single second someone in India dies not having heard the gospel. That’s 60 people in a minute. Each one is precious to God. The number of hairs on their head are known by Him. He watched them cry and laugh. He saw their joys and pain. Yet they die, having never heard of His love. India is one of many places where the needs of the unreached are massive. We could talk about the Middle East, China, Africa, or Bangladesh. Sometimes, when we see this great need, we feel completely overwhelmed by the task.

We Have To Be All In

When we look at our gifts, talents, and abilities- they seem so small compared to the need. Have you tried for more than a few months to launch a movement? Then you know it is way beyond possible unless miracles take place. At the same time, God wants us to give Him our all as we work on the vision He has given us. He wants us to be all in. Don’t hold back when you feel overwhelmed by the task.

Saving A Bit Of Cake

The other day in our village community, we celebrated a festival. There was a dance and a special meal. Everyone brought food. My husband was out-of-town, so I went alone. I decided to make a cake. I knew everyone would enjoy that.
overwhelmed by the taskKnowing my spouse was returning the next day, after baking the cake, I took out a piece. I wanted to save one for him. I didn’t want him to miss out. After removing a slice, the cake didn’t look very nice anymore. Hmm. What should I do? I decided to cut the whole cake into squares and serve it on a plate. That would hide the fact that I had taken out a piece beforehand. Smart right?

Overwhelmed By The Fear Of Not Having Enough

Sometimes I do that with God and His Kingdom work. I am afraid that I won’t have enough left for myself or my family if I give Him my all. My fear causes me to hold back. I will give God a lot, but I need to make sure my own needs are taken care of too. Sound familiar?

In the gospels, we read the story of the feeding of the five thousand. It is repeated several times.

I’ve been thinking about that story. There were thousands of hungry people that day. The need was incredible compared to their extremely limited resources. Still, Jesus wanted to know what they had to give. Andrew managed to come up with something. He found a boy with a packed lunch.

“Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” John 6:9- NIV

Think about that child for a minute. Doesn’t it seem a little mean to take away a kids lunch? I wonder how the boy felt?

Whatever took place, I know that the boy offered what he had to Andrew and Jesus. He didn’t hold back. He didn’t say, “Well, you can have four of these loaves and one fish, but I need to keep one of these for myself first.” I might have done that if I was him. After all, mom did pack this for me to eat…not for this crowd!

The point I’m trying to make is this.

As we look at the needs of the unreached around us, it can feel so huge. It can seem so impossible to make a difference. We look at what it will take to start a movement with thousands of Jesus followers. We think about hundreds of new churches starting within a few years. That task is daunting.

The massive need demands we embrace the goal of a movement. There are so many millions dying apart from knowing Christ! We have to do something that makes a greater impact than what historical efforts have made. But when we look at our own resources, who we are, or at our own capacity, we feel overwhelmed and sometimes a bit scared. It is not enough, we think.

True. It’s not. That is a fact we must face.

But just as true, is that God will take what we have and multiply it. He will do miracles through our greatly insufficient capacity and resources! And He loves us. He will take care of our personal needs as well.

There is one thing that is necessary. Giving what we have – and giving it all. We can’t hold back in our hearts. Though overwhelmed by the task, we can’t keep our options open. We have to be all in.

Offer Him Your Loaves & Fish Once Again

Are you tempted to hold back when it comes to Disciple Making Movements (DMMs)? To take a wait and see approach? To “order the trial version”? I often do that with apps or software I want to experiment with. Let me try this first, then maybe I will buy it.

This doesn’t work with God and His Kingdom! Even when we feel overwhelmed by the task, we must fully commit to the things He calls us to.

Are you all in? Take a minute to examine your own heart.

Is there anything you are holding back about? If this is the path and dream God has given you to pursue, then give Him everything. Offer Him your “loaves and fishes” once again.

Would you pray this prayer with me?

Lord Jesus, if you want my bread and fish, I give it to you. Looking at the needs, what I have to offer seems so small. I am often afraid. But here I am Lord. I don’t want to give myself to you half way. I don’t want to hold back. All I am, all I have, it’s yours. Do your miracles. Feed the thousands through my life and efforts. Amen.

Want to start a DMM? Heal the Sick!

Healing the sick is an important part of a disciple maker’s life.

What? Heal the sick? How can I do that? Only God can heal the sick! True. Not true. Wait! It can’t be both. Or can it?

There are several foundational things needed in disciple making movements. Obedience to God’s Word is one of them. In DMM training, we often focus on obedience to Christ’s command to share the gospel or be baptized. These are vitally important! If movements are built only on miracles, they tend to be shallow and often don’t see generational growth. At the same time, Jesus gave us an important model. He healed the sick and trained His disciples to do the same.

Jesus said, “Heal the sick.”

It is interesting that Jesus told His disciples not just to pray for the sick, but to heal the sick.

8 “Whatever city you enter and they receive you, eat what is set before you;9 and heal those in it who are sick, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’”– Luke 10:8 & 9- NASBread more

The Struggle to Believe for Disciple Making Movements

Do you ever struggle for faith that disciple making movements are possible? Or possible in your place? Or possible through you? I certainly have. I’m not proud of it, but it is true.

Sometimes in what Michael Hyatt calls the “messy middle” we stop believing. The “messy middle” is a place between the vision’s beginning and it’s realization. It’s the place where we wonder if our dream is possible.

My Struggle For Faith

There was a long “messy middle” for me. It was 20 years from when I heard about DMMs (back then we spoke of multiplying daughter and grand-daughter churches) and the time I first saw 4th generation groups. On that journey, I often wanted to quit. I regularly doubted it could happen.

struggle for faith

I remember saying, “This isn’t a fair thing to ask people to do. For the vast majority of people, movements are just a dream. It’s like asking a junior league baseball team to attempt to win the World Series.”

Stuck In Unbelief

Let’s just call it what it was. I was stuck in the sin of unbelief. I didn’t believe God was able to do this through me or through the people I was training. Thank God, He took me through a process and convicted me of my unbelief. He renewed my faith. Faith not in myself, but in Him.

Jesus was never soft with his disciples regarding the sin of unbelief. He regularly rebuked them for their lack of faith.

Stubborn Refusal

I recently re-read the account of His resurrection. The words “stubborn refusal to believe” jumped out at me.

9 “When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene,out of whom he had driven seven demons.10 She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping.11 When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it.”

12 “Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country.read more