Generational growth

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

What to Measure in an Emerging Movement

measure

I felt overwhelmed. How in the world would I gather all this information? I had to answer twenty-five different questions about our disciple making work. While I understood it might be valuable to have that data, it was too much. I put off the request and didn’t complete my report. How do you know what is most important to ask for data on, as you measure the growth of the movement?

It’s an important question to ask. Keep things simple. Only measure what is most important to evaluate. Track what is most valuable in relation to DMM indicators you must see happening if you want to multiply. If you make the process of tracking too complex, it will fail. Your reporting process will not be sustainable. read more

What Do We Mean by 2nd Generation Growth in a DMM?

generation

If you’ve been around DMMs much, you’ve likely heard the term “generational growth.” There is nothing related to DMM terminology that I’ve seen more people get confused about that this! In the picture above you see three generations. Mom and Dad, daughters, and a granddaughter. What does it mean when we refer to second or third or fourth generations in a Disciple Making Movement?

We have a definition of Disciple Making Movements on our website. It says, “Within a short space of time (three to five years) we see at least four generations of groups.” read more

Money- It Both Helps and Hurts

money

One of the greatest indicators that a true move of God is taking place is when new believers are generous in their giving.  This was true in the New Testament (see the Book of Acts). It is true today. In contrast, one of the greatest warning signs that a movement is headed toward a major slow-down or death is when the money a movement uses is coming from outside the movement.

It’s a serious dual reality:  Money helps.  Money hurts.

Boots in Bangladesh – Little Things Matter

boots-52414_1280
Even rain boots given can stop a movements growth!

A friend and co-worker from Bangladesh told me a true story. It shows how fragile a new movement is in relationship to external finances and help read more

How Did the Apostles Turn the World Upside Down?

New Testament Movements

A few months ago, we looked at the characteristics of Jesus’ Movement. The most important foundation of all we do in DMMs should be what Jesus taught and did, not Peter or Paul. After reflecting on Jesus’ ways of working, we can learn much from His disciples as well,

Let’s discover some basic characteristics of the Jerusalem movement, led by Peter and the earliest apostles. This movement began after Jesus rose again.

What did the Jerusalem Movement look like?

We’ll look at seven characteristics that affected the apostle’s fruitfulness.These reflect the idea that Peter and the apostles were disciples of Jesus, and followed what He taught and did. We should remember that teaching and practice were integrated. They should not be separated. 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

Are You a Trainer of Trainers?

trainer of trainers

A DMM practitioner is always thinking about multiplication. Can those you trained, immediately train others in the same way?

If not, your training style may need to be adjusted. Everything you do in disciple-making must pass the test of reproducibility. When we make things too complicated, we don’t get “rabbit” churches that multiply quickly.

Did you know that according to the House Rabbit Society, one pair of rabbits can end up with 4 million offspring in only 4 years time? That is rapid growth! read more

“Inspire All” An Interview with An Indian Movement Leader

movement leader interview

Recently, I had the privilege of sitting down for a conversation with the leader of a growing movement in India. Knowing my readers would not have that same opportunity, I decided to record our conversation and share it with my readers.

C. Anderson: How did you begin your disciple-making work?

Movement Leader: We began by doing prayer walks, visiting the many unreached villages nearby. For three months all we did was pray. We then began to distribute tracts and share the good news with those who expressed interest. read more

Want Groups to Multiply? Stay Simple & Consistent

groups multiply

Imagine someone running in a baton race carrying a large, heavy piece of wood. It would be hard to pass on to the next runner, right? One person may be large and strong and able to run with it. But the next runner may not. Discipleship groups are very similar to this.

 

The baton used in a race is lightweight. It is designed to be easily transferred from the hands of one runner to another.

 

It is the same in a Disciple Making Movement. Discipleship methods must be simple and light. In DMMs, we are intentional about making everything we do easy for others to also do.

Reproducible Discipleship

Keeping your discipleship structure and meeting format consistent lends toward multiplication. While it is fun and interesting to do things with a lot of variety, it often doesn’t reproduce well.

 

Random discipleship doesn’t reproduce. Follow a simple plan. This is much more effective in rapidly equipping new disciple-makers.

 
A Coaching Conversation

 

What did you talk about in your Discovery Bible Study (DBS) today?” I asked.

We chose one of my favorite passages,” he said.

That is a good one! I like it too,” was my reply after hearing the Bible reference.

I’m curious. How do you decide which scripture to study each week?” was my next question.

We pray and find something that we think will be good,” he said.

Hmm,” I pondered, considering his situation.

 

This DMM effort had been struggling to see multiplication. They were doing regular Discovery Bible Studies. But the group members seemed hesitant to start their own groups. They lacked confidence and self-initiative.

 

Have you ever considered using an established set of stories? Or a list of verses everyone leading DBS groups follows? Instead of choosing verses randomly?” I asked.

 

This was a new idea to him.

We talked about how to go about deciding on a short and read more

Why and How to Track Progress in a Disciple Making Movement

track progress

Why track DMM progress?  Let me illustrate.

I come from a city in America called Minneapolis. It has many beautiful lakes. We like to rent canoes and go boating on them. I learned something about canoeing. Keeping my eyes fixed on the other side of the lake matters. Otherwise, it is easy to paddle around on the lake for hours without actually crossing it.

Some people engage in disciple-making efforts without tracking their progress. They are a bit like me on the lake.  They take their eyes off their goal.

That is fine if you just want a fun way to spend a day off. But if you are serious about making progress in starting a DMM, you have to measure forward movement.

You need to know where you are at. You must be able to determine whether or not the movement is multiplying.

Multiplication is your destination.  Stay focused on it. The only way to know if you are getting there (or not) is to keep careful records and regularly measure progress. Are you seeing multiplication growth or only addition? Tracking allows you to celebrate, assess, and make needed changes.

“How do I do this well?” you may ask. Few people like to fill out monthly reports! Especially volunteers and unpaid workers like we have in house church movements.

Indicators, Charts, and Evaluation

  • First, identify which DMM indicators you want to track.
  • Then, create a simple way of monitoring those things. Many people use generation charts or maps to help them do this. Particularly with oral culture people, a visual picture is very helpful. Compare previous charts with current ones. This makes it easy for trainees to see their progress (or lack of it).
  • Lastly, evaluate. Diagnose problems and make plans in response to what you have learned through the reporting process.

Big Reports- Pride and Exaggeration

In an email from a mentor, I read the following words.

“Big reports are driven by one of two reasons; Ego/pride, or the desire to influence funders and donors.  The first is always sin and the second can become sin when it leads to exaggeration, claiming other’s fruit and dishonesty.”

Wise words of caution when we talk about reporting.  If your goal in tracking movement progress is either of these things, take note. Carefully guard your heart.

Building Trust

There is often resistance to gathering data. I used to get frustrated with this. Wanting to understand their reasons, I asked further questions.

The reasons eventually surfaced. They didn’t want to give me their numbers if I was going to use them to raise funds for myself.  I could understand that! They didn’t want to be used for my gain. Others feared being viewed as a failure if they didn’t have big “numbers” to report.

Building trust took time. We needed to go through a process of helping our trainees understand. The reason we were gathering reports was to help the movements grow. It was not to build our own egos or to raise funds. We certainly didn’t want to make them feel like a failure!  The reports were to help them.

A few others had concerns about whether it was Biblical to track numbers. They were concerned about God’s judgment on David when he wanted to count his army. If that is a concern for you, please see this blog I wrote on that years ago.

“Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air.” 1 Cor. 9:26 NIV.

How To Track Progress in a DMM

1. Identify which DMM indicators you want to measure.

There are many different things you can track as it relates to a movement’s growth. Keep it simple. Make a list of things you want to know, then cut it down to the absolute essentials. The shorter the report, the more likely they will complete it.

At the bottom of this post a free pdf download  with a list of indicators you could consider choosing from.  It’s not complete but will get you started.

2. Devise a simple way of monitoring that works for your group.

Many people use generation charts to track progress. When we began doing that with our teams, we saw a huge difference. Each training we had, the trainees made updated charts.

A circle represented a house church or disciple-making group. Looking at the chart you could easily see which generation it was (1st, 2nd or 3rd). You could also quickly see which groups were multiplying and which were not.

Then, as a coach/trainer you ask questions like this. “This group seems to be starting other groups. What is happening here that isn’t happening in your other groups?”

See my video that explains how to make a generational growth chart.

 

3. Determine how often and where you will collect reports and track progress. read more