Have you ever made a New Year’s resolution and then failed to do those things? Most people have. We say, “I’m going to lose 10 kilos.” Or we might say, “I’m going to start exercising.” We make resolutions, we set goals- then we go back to our old ways. Sometimes this makes us not even want to set goals! The problem isn’t with goal setting. If a goal is to become a reality though, you have to change your behavior. There is one regular practice that will make a bigger difference than any other. It is the development of a daily intercessory prayer habit.
“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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
Human beings are complex. We like to complicate things. Jesus knew how to keep it simple. This is easier said than done. Simple doesn’t mean easy or light. When we keep things straight-forward, they are easily reproduced by others. The baton we try to pass to others can quickly become heavy. If you want to see a multiplication of disciples and leaders, work hard to keep things simple.
Experiencing the Kingdom
I sat on the floor in their tiny home. A group of women and a few kids had joined me. We chatted about their children. It was then time for the Bible story. The day before I had come to this same home. I’d shared the story with the beautiful lady whose house we now occupied. We’d practiced it until she could repeat it easily. She was not highly literate, but she was a fantastic storyteller.
In recent weeks I’ve had numerous conversations with people. The topic of tracking has surfaced more than once. Is it biblical?
Tracking numbers and setting goals can feel like it isn’t relational. While the feeling is real, it doesn’t need to be true. We can be both relational and also track fruitfulness. Led by the Holy Spirit and deeply dependent on Him, we can set goals and evaluate progress while still valuing each individual involved.
Admittedly, some people swing one way or the other. Many leaders don’t hold this tension well. We tend to err on one side or the other. Sometimes we say we don’t care about results at all- “God knows my heart and how much I want to see people saved! That is enough.” It sounds spiritual, but is it?
The mountain was high, the trail steep. I’d started out enthusiastic. Now each step felt hard. Up, up, up, I went. What would keep me going until I reached the top? Starting a Disciple Making Movement can be a bit like that hike. We start well, our passion high. A few months (or years) later, it’s an uphill climb. We need solid motivations clear in our hearts. They will carry us upward toward the release of a DMM.
As mentioned in previous blogs, some motivations will sustain you on the DMM journey. Others will not. In my last article, we talked about the number one reason for wanting to start DMMs all over the world. A passion for God’s glory will keep you through the messy, dry or painful seasons of launching DMMs.
“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.