Missions

Being Contextual Without Being a Zealot

contextual

One of the important aspects of a growing movement is that it becomes indigenous.  Disciples are free to live out the gospel message in a contextual way. What does the word indigenous mean and how can we contextualize without going too far?

Miriam Webster defines indigenous as: produced, growing, living, or occurring naturally in a particular region or environment.  We speak of indigenous plants, indigenous people, indigenous culture.  What we mean by indigenous Disciple Making Movements (DMMs) is that within these movements disciples grow naturally in their own context and culture. read more

Women Cry Out- Give Us Our Inheritance!

spiritual inheritance

An interesting and profound story is found in Joshua chapter seventeen.   It speaks of a man named Zelophehad who had no sons but only daughters. This is an amazing tale with many lessons about spiritual inheritance.

Inheritance For the Daughters

There must have been others in Israel who only had girls.  These daughters of Zelophehad were different though.  What was different about them? What does this have to do with seeing disciple making movements released??

Joshua 17:3 “However, Zelophehad, the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, had no sons, only daughters; and these are the names of his daughters: Mahlah and Noah, Hoglah, Milcah and Tirzah. They came near before Eleazar the priest and before Joshua the son of Nun and before the leaders, saying, “The Lord commanded Moses to give us an inheritance among our brothers.” So according to the [c]command of the Lord he gave them an inheritance among their father’s brothers. Thus there fell ten portions to Manasseh, besides the land of Gilead and Bashan, which is beyond the Jordan, because the daughters of Manasseh received an inheritance among his sons. And the land of Gilead belonged to the rest of the sons of Manasseh.” (NASB)
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Staying Focused as Disciple Makers

What is the number one enemy you will face as you pursue the release of a Disciple Making Movement among the unreached? One would imagine that it would be intense spiritual warfare, keeping a visa platform, persecution, or some other kind of external challenge. Those are real and they are there to be sure. In my opinion, however, the greatest obstacle for those pursuing the release of a movement, is the inability to stay focused on what is most important. The tendency to become distracted doing many good things without doing what iblack-and-white-1845826_1280s most important is typical of those who hope to see movements but don’t. read more

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. read more

God Chose You to Bear Fruit

I’ve always wanted to be fruitful in God’s kingdom. I longed to make a true difference. Doubt often filled my heart. Would God really use me to start Disciple-Making Movements? Was I the right kind of person? Did I have it in me? I needed to know my disciple making identity.

I looked back on my years in missions and saw lots of evidence that maybe the answer was no. False starts. Failed attempts. Lost people I’d made friendships with but never managed to truly share the good news with, or not very effectively anyhow.

disciple making identityWas it unwise to even hope that God would want to start a movement of disciples through me? Maybe I was setting myself up for failure and further disappointment by embracing this goal.

If you can identify with this, you are not alone. Many of us who God calls to his kingdom work of seeing multiplication among the unreached feel that way at one time or another. (Or sometimes fairly regularly.) So what is our baseline? What do we go back to when deciding whether or not Disciple Making Movements- DMMs are for us? (Sometimes we have to decide and re-decide this fairly often).

In this post and the next few that follow, I’d like to give you my scriptural baseline. This is where the foundation for faith that God can use me to start DMMs comes from.

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.– John 15:16 NIV

That is my bottom line. God chose and ordained me to bear lasting fruit. This is my disciple making identity.

Out of all the millions on this planet, He looked around and He saw me and said, “I want her on my team.” Remember those days back in elementary school, when they picked teams for kickball? It felt so good to be chosen by the captain to play for their team!

That is exactly what God has done for you. He chose you to play for His team. He chose you to bear fruit that would last. That is what this verse proclaims!

It takes away the ifs and buts of DMMs for me. Its not about if I am smart enough, capable enough, outgoing enough, persevering enough, or anything else (fill in the blank) enough! All we need to know is that we are His chosen ones. Since He chose us; He will coach us, train us, guide us, empower us, anoint us, and use us to bear much fruit in His Kingdom.

What Does Worship Look Like in Disciple Making Movements?

worship in Disciple Making Movements

“How does worship work in a DMM?” she asked in the chat. My trainee is a gifted worship leader. Would a Disciple Making Movement approach make room for her gifts? The answer is yes, but it looks different than in a traditional (legacy) church.

Worship is vital to our spiritual life. Through worship, we grow close to Jesus, experience His presence, and gaze on His beauty. There, we are transformed. Every disciple must grow as an active worshipper.

Our understanding of worship, needs to grow beyond something that happens in a church building. It doesn’t need a sound system or gifted musicians leading a congregation. We need a more Biblical understanding of worship, and a more reproducible model. read more

Prayer- A Leader’s First Ministry

prayer and leadership

A Disciple-Making Movement (DMM) leader’s most important job is to intercede for those they lead. Leader’s who accomplish much, do so on their knees. It is in the place of prayer that we hear His voice, gain direction, strength, perspective, encouragement and where ultimately our real breakthroughs happen. Prayer in leadership is essential.

Prayer Can Not Be Delegated

The work on our knees can not be delegated to others. It is the responsibility of every Christian leader to pray themselves. We need to lead the way in prayer. That is not to say that we don’t also mobilize and raise up many others to intercede. We do. We must. There are others who may spend more actual hours in prayer than we do, or who may carry the work of intercession in very significant ways. As leaders, delegation is an important skill. This is one that you cannot delegate away though. read more

Do I Start With Believers? It’s Hard For Them To Change!

new believers

The harvesters are in the harvest,” the trainer said. “Hmm…I thought. What could that mean?” I was curious to know more. Would it be possible to start a Disciple Making Movement with brand new believers instead of older Christians?

A few days ago, one of my readers wrote this to me. “It’s hard for people to change,” they said. It is a common complaint of DMM practitioners. We, humans, are slow to change our paradigms.

It is not the new believers they were talking about. The older, more mature Christians they were training were not quick to shift their ideas about the nature of the church. My suggestion? Cast vision to all, but focus effort on new disciples. Give the most time to those who readily accept the Word of God as truth and aren’t steeped in church culture already. read more

4 Principles of Integral Mission and DMMs

integral mission

Can community development and Disciple Making Movements flow together? This guest blog on integral mission was written by my friend Martine. Her story and input provide a clear answer to this question.

My first experiences in mission were in a time of famine. We worked among a nomadic tribe. They were one hundred percent of another faith and lived in Sub-Saharan Africa. As a medical doctor, I treated them during the day, and as a missionary evangelized in the evening.

During an epidemic, many children were dying of cholera. Often, too often, mothers brought me back the medicine I gave them, with their dead baby in their arms. They would tell me: “Thank you, Dr. M., for what you did to help us. But it was God’s will to take my child away “. As a young doctor, I felt more and more inadequate and desperate. read more

A Holy Dissatisfaction- My Prayer for 2020

holy dissatisfaction

This is an inside look at my heart, an invitation to pray with me today. I invite you to join me in holy dissatisfaction.

As I do each year, I’ve been pondering my goals for the coming year. What is God wanting to do? What is He laying on my heart to believe Him for? I want to be focused on the right things…the God things not just the good things or the many things.

You likely do too. It’s the start not only of a new year but a new decade.

As I pray, I find myself filled with what is best described as a holy dissatisfaction. I’m longing for more. read more