Ding, dong. They are at your door. Or maybe they are walking through the train. They’re selling something you don’t need or want. It is a children’s encyclopedia set, some kind of kitchen gadget, or cheaply made toys. How do you feel? The primary thought in my mind is always, “How do I get rid of these people as fast as possible?” I want to stay polite and kind, but not have to listen to them! Many people feel that way toward us when we share the gospel. Are we just salespeople, pushing our goods? No. Absolutely not. But, our evangelism is no more than a slick sales tactic, if it doesn’t flow from genuine love for the unreached.
Were you ever lost in the woods and couldn’t find your way out? Maybe you’ve played a video game and were stuck in a room (in the game). You couldn’t find the door to get to the next passageway or level. That is a difficult place to be! You wander around not making progress, getting more frustrated each moment; searching, searching, searching. Disciple making among the unreached can feel similar! “Where is that key person?” we wonder. Finding the Person of Peace is important to starting a Disciple Making Movement. It takes you to the next level.
When we work hard but don’t quickly see results, it’s just plain difficult. We need to know how to stay motivated in disciple making and evangelism while we wait for the fruit to come.
Lessons From Our Superheros
“With great power comes great responsibility,”
says Uncle Ben in the Spider-Man movie.
I love that quote. I can see the scene in my head and hear his voice. It’s an “Aha” moment for young Spider-Man. I guess that I just like superheroes.
These champions inspire us. They help us to dream of what might be possible, with a little superhuman strength.
There is a simple way to almost immediately double or triple the number of people you are reaching with the gospel. Do you want to hear how? Most people would! Here it is. When you properly understand the key role of women in disciple making movements, your disciple making efforts will take a leap forward.
The tremendous potential of mobilizing and releasing women is a blind spot for many people. There are various reasons for hesitation to release women in ministry. This article will not address them all. Instead, I hope to shine some light on this topic, share my story, and take a look at scripture. The goal is not to convince you of a particular position on this topic. I hope, instead, to give you a key to growing your movement rapidly. By considering changes in how you release women, many more lost people come into the Kingdom of God.
“Just in Time Training” was an unfamiliar concept for me. Why are they not applying what I taught them? We taught how to create a set of stories for discipleship in the Orientation Program, but they are just preaching. They seem to have completely forgotten everything they learned in the training! Argghh!!
Have you ever felt frustrated that you invest a lot in training people only to see little field application happen?
I sure was! Then I put into practice what is called Just in Time Training. Just in Time Training (sometimes called Micro-Learning) is when you give people only what they need to use immediately. You train in small learning segments.
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.
“I love the idea of making disciples of new believers and seeing those discipleship groups multiply! I’m in!” you might be saying. “But where do I start? What do I need to do first to see a disciple-making movement begin?”
There Are 3 “Basics” That Are Needed As Every DMM Gets Started.
- A Prayer Strategy
- Abundant Seed Sowing
- Finding the Person of Peace
I played basketball in college. I wasn’t amazing, but I enjoyed it. It was fun to be a part of a team. I loved the games. I hated the practices. Our coach would push us hard on the court in the early morning practice. We had to dribble, shoot lay-ups and free throws until we were sick of it. We ran back and forth, up and down the court dribbling and passing the ball until we could do it in our sleep. It was these basics that won the games.
Reading this and you’ve been pursuing starting a DMM (Disciple Making Movement) for some time? Read on. Be encouraged and inspired once again. I’d love to hear in the comments why you got “on board” with the vision for DMMs. Tell us your story!
The God-sized dream of seeing movements of disciples started among the last, least and lost began for me more than 20 years ago. It’s morphed and changed through the years. I’ve had highs and lows. It still burns inside of me. It still gets me out of bed in the morning. Why?
I am a missionary kid. I grew up in West Africa. I caught a heart for lost people, for those who had never heard about Jesus from my father. I often went with him to remote African villages on a motorcycle, crossing rivers on rafts, trekking into the “bush” (the West African word for jungle) in order to share the good news with those who would have no other opportunity to hear it.
I won’t tell the full story here, but years later, God called my husband and I into church planting ministry among those who were “yet to hear.” We were young, pregnant with our first daughter, and in that early stage of language learning when we heard George Patterson speak and were introduced to what he called “Train and Multiply”. Our vision went immediately from the idea of starting one church to starting churches that started others.
As we looked at the challenge of the millions of lost people around us, we knew that something had to be different from past approaches.
We had to work in such a way that more people could meet Jesus and have their lives transformed.
It is not uncommon for Disciple Making Movement trainers to be in a similar position. You keep training. You keep mentoring. Testimonies are heard. It seems like things are going well, but you really don’t know how well. You feel somewhat confused and can’t visualize progress.
That is where Generational Maps or Charts can really help!
What do we mean when we talk about 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generations of DMM growth?
When we speak of generational growth, we are describing the process by which one house church or discipleship group reproduces another one (or more). As this process continues and one church starts another and that one another, we can see that new generations of groups are growing.
Sometimes it is referred to as mother churches (1st generation), daughter churches (2nd generation) and grand-daughter churches (3rd generation). More often we just call it 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G growth.
This “generational growth” happens on both an individual and group level. When we make a Gen Chart though, we are tracking the multiplication of groups.
Her name was Dalia*. She was sixteen years old and came from a strongly Buddhist family. One of our local team members had led her to faith but was unable to disciple her because she was a young woman. There were cultural barriers to his spending time with her. He asked if we would help.
Dalia moved in with us and became a temporary family member. When we first began to pray with her, she had no idea what to do! From the very simple basics of what it meant to follow Jesus, we began to train her. We prayed together, studied God’s Word together, ate food together and visited others in the community together. We prayed for the sick, shared the gospel and washed dishes together. Dalia grew rapidly in her faith and relationship with Jesus.
After a month or so, Dalia began sharing the good news with her friends at school. One of her classmates expressed a desire to follow Christ. Dalia led her in making a decision to become a disciple. She then came to me and said, “My friend Sunita has decided to follow Jesus…can you train her to be a disciple?”
“No,” I replied. “That is your job! Just teach her what I’ve been teaching you.”
I discipled Dalia. Dalia discipled Sunita. Sunita led others to the Lord who she then discipled. The movement spread.
First generation (Dalia), second generation (Sunita), third generation (other classmates).
2 Timothy 2:2 says, “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.“
Paul discipled Timothy (1G), Timothy discipled “reliable people” 2G) and they were able to teach “others” (3G). We see this multiplication again and again in the book of Acts.
Churches that Paul started, sent missionaries out to new areas where new churches were formed. Those groups started other groups in new areas and on it went until all of Asia had heard the gospel (Acts 19:10).
It is helpful to track this generational growth on a chart and to update it each time you do Just In Time Training. We recommend a simple chart rather than a complex one.
As you do this, referring each training to the previous charts (it’s easy these days to take a picture and have it on your phone to look back at) you can see whether or not new growth is happening. You can also identify where the strongest growth is happening and then try to understand why.
This diagnosis of the movement is a major key to seeing ongoing and sustained growth.
Do you long to see more multiplication through your discipleship training? Are you tired of only seeing a few new disciples each year?
There is another crucial key to releasing a movement. If you want to multiply disciples, an important change needs to happen in how you do discipleship training. You need to shift from being a teacher to becoming a trainer.