Inspiration

Suffering and Disciple Making Movements

Suffering and Disciple Making Movements

Kidnapping and even martyrdom are possibilities. Unusual illnesses are common. Intense spiritual warfare and stressed out marriages- sign me up! I want to start a DMM. Or not. It is no joke to pursue the launching of a Disciple Making Movement (DMM) among the Unreached. Suffering and Disciple Making Movements seem to go hand in hand.

The costs are real and the challenges great. How do we keep from being destroyed by the incredible cost of this effort?

What Makes It Worth It?

Suffering is inevitable in everyone’s life. It is particularly noticeable though, in the lives of those who pursue DMMs. It is not just likely, it is highly probable that you will face intense suffering as you work to start a movement. Some would say that experiencing suffering is characteristic of those who launch movements. 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. read 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. read more

A Vital Key to Breakthrough: Perseverance

My previous blog was about Praying with Faith. That is the first key to seeing breakthroughs in Disciple-Making Movements. The second key for breakthrough and growth is perseverance.

Perseverance – Lessons from Snoozy

When I was a kid we had a dog named Snoozy.  She loved to play.  We would take an old sock, tie a knot in it, and let her grab hold of the end.  A game of “tug of war” soon started.  If I got the sock away, (and it was hard work to finally do that) Snoozy would lunge after it again.  The game could go on for hours! read more

3 Important Things to Do as You Start the New Year

The New Year approaches! One of my favorite moments this Christmas came the day after. I sat for a few hours beside our Christmas tree. It was early morning. I found myself reflecting on the goodness of God in my life over this past year. I allowed those moments to surface in my memory- the times when He had protected me, given guidance to me, surprised me with His kindness or favor. How very, very good He has been!

New Year

Remembering His goodness in the past year

  1. REFLECT.

-How has God shown you His goodness this past year?

-When did you experience unusual kindness or grace?

-When did you sense His support, protection or presence in a unique way?

I’m not a huge fan of Facebook, but I do appreciate the way it helps me keep in touch with people. That morning as I scrolled through my news feed, I was struck by how many smiling faces I saw…people wishing me a Merry Christmas…people who didn’t know about Jesus before our paths crossed. Now they were posting pictures and videos of Christmas gatherings, people dancing, preaching, celebrating the amazing story of the King of Kings born into this world. I saw pictures of spiritual grandchildren and great-grandchildren. My heart was warmed. Disciples were making disciples. His kingdom and His government had and were increasing. I had somehow played a part in that. What a blessing! What a gift!

-Who is celebrating Christmas this year who wouldn’t be, if it wasn’t for your witness?

-Who is passing on the gospel message to others because you were willing to live out the message before them?

2. RELEASE.

As we reflect, painful feelings also surface. There are things we wished for but didn’t see accomplished. People we prayed for, who still seem so hard and closed. Times we hoped and fought for a miracle, but it didn’t happen like we expected. There might be memories of offense and disappointment you experienced. Heading into the New Year,

RELEASE read more

God-Sized Goals

God sized goals

When sharing the vision for Disciple Making Movements (DMMs) most people are excited to hear what God is doing. As a Christian worker, who wouldn’t want to see a movement of genuine Jesus followers? We all do! It’s not hard to get people on board with the vision. It is more difficult motivating people to make necessary changes in what they believe and how they do ministry. Many also struggle with believing it is possible to see these kinds of movements in their area, or through them.

Faith Is Necessary

Faith is a necessity as we talk about starting Disciple Making Movements. I regularly return to Hebrews 11 to stir up my own faith. Hebrews 11:1 tells us that faith is believing for things we can not see yet and verse 6 says without this kind of faith it is impossible to please God.

How does that play out in our daily lives? What does it look like to be people of faith as we attempt to start a DMM?

Our faith takes shape in our actions and goals. What we believe, actually believe, shows up in these two things.

I recently trained a group of church planters. We talked about multiplication and movements, about disciples making disciples and groups starting groups. Everyone seemed on board with what I was sharing. Then it came time to set goals for the coming months. Suddenly, faith was tested. What do I really believe is possible? What will I attempt to do?

It is not easy to set God-sized goals that reflect multiplication. We are afraid of failure. We may not reach those goals. If God doesn’t intervene, those things may not happen and I might be disappointed in myself. Others may also see me as a failure.

Take Risks In Goal Setting

There are risks involved in setting faith filled goals. Speaking out a goal and going after it feels dangerous. There is indeed a chance that you won’t reach that goal. There is also a chance that you will! If you never attempt something great, you are unlikely to achieve it. If you never ask God boldly for something, He probably won’t give it to you.

Why set small goals that are humanly achievable?! There is no place for God to be glorified when we do that.

We all know that nothing is possible without God. Not even small things can be done apart from Him. So when we ask, why shouldn’t we ask Him for more? It is going to require Him working anyhow.

The only thing that limits God is our own inability to believe in His greatness.

Does He love lost people around you? Yes. Does He desire that they be saved? Yes. Is He able to convict the world of sin? To change hearts? Again, yes. Did He choose you to bear much fruit? Indeed. So why aim for something less than a God-sized goal to see rapid multiplication?

I’m not encouraging foolish goals that have no basis in reason, or that we randomly pull numbers out of the air. What I am advocating for is that we ask Him boldly for the things that He is both able and wants to do through us! I’ve always liked the Schuller quote “I would rather attempt to do something great and fail, then attempt to do nothing and succeed.”

God is able. He is ready to work. Are we?

Set bigger goals, pray bigger prayers, and expect God to work in bigger ways through you this week!

You Are a Royal Priest

royal priest

Our beliefs about who we are, dramatically impact how we behave. In the last blog I talked about who we are as people God has chosen to bear much fruit. We are the chosen ones. Today I want to focus on another aspect of identity – who you are as a royal priest of God.

1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”- NIV

It’s important to understand the major shift Jesus brought about when he went to the cross and rose again. He destroyed the old system of Levitical priesthood and established a new system where all who followed Him would be royal priests. In the new covenant you are not physically born into the priesthood. Instead, when you receive Jesus, you are spiritually born into this status.

A Spiritual Caste Through Spiritual Birth

For years I lived in India. There, people of high caste birth have certain privileges. In Hindu society there are specific things only Brahmins are allowed to do. You can not become a Brahmin through study or effort – you must be born a Brahmin. It is not that different from the Levitical tribe. You could not become a Levite either. You had to be born a Levite.

When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we are born again. Our spiritual birth is into a new family – a family of priests. We are priests of God because of our spiritual birth.

Being A Royal Priest And What That Means

Not only are we priests, we are royal priests! I’ve had the privilege of visiting Thailand often, a land that honors and loves their king. In the Thai language, they even have a whole different way of speaking used to address a member of the royal family. The royals receive great respect and carry influence and authority. It’s been a good picture of what this verse might mean when it calls us a “royal priesthood.” We now have a place of favor, privilege and authority as children of the King of Kings. I am a member of the royal family. I’m not a nobody, I’m a royal priest. And so are you!

What does this practically mean for us as we think about pursuing disciple making movements? Its a very big deal! It means that there is no type of spiritual work we can not do. We have been given authority by God to establish His kingdom, to make disciples and to do His work as His representatives here on earth. The same is true for all those we train as disciples. We (and they) can share the gospel, heal the sick, baptize, serve the Lord’s supper- we are royal priests.

Influence Of Our Former Religious Worldview

While we know this in our heads, often our behavior sadly reflects an old covenantsupreme-patriarch-463291_640 type of belief system. Our worldview is deeply influenced by Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam or whatever system we have come out of…even traditional Christianity. In those religious systems, only special people are qualified to do spiritual tasks. Only levites, brahmins, monks, imams, pastors or priests are to do the spiritual work of the ministry. Jesus came to abolish that old covenant and bring in something new.

Why are we so quick to go back to the old?

Our new belief has not gone from our head, to our heart, to our behavior.

If we want to see rapidly multiplying disciple making movements, we must apply the understanding that every disciple is a royal priest. Every follower of Jesus must be encouraged to make disciples, baptize them, and to teach them to obey all that Jesus commanded.

Who gave us this authority?

Jesus himself gave it in the Great Commission.

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” read more