Missions

Do We Need To Live Among Them? Incarnational Ministry Questions

incarnational ministry

My kid’s school is far away from my ministry field.  How important is it that I live among the people I’m trying to reach?  If I can’t live “on site” how much will that affect my fruitfulness? It is important to consider the significance of what is called incarnational ministry.

Jesus was incarnational.  What that means is though He was God, he took on human flesh and became a man. He left heaven, came to earth, lived among us and through that, that helped us to see what God the Father was like.  He is our model. How important is it that we do this?  This article addresses, not the issue of adapting to culture, but the question of living among the people we serve. read more

6 Factors That Get Discipleship Movements Moving

movement

What makes a disciple making movement move?  How can you get multiplication growth to happen (and be sustained) as you make disciples? There are certain movement growth factors to keep in mind in your ministry.

The following are the most important keys to pushing your disciple making into multiplicative growth.  Some are obvious.  Some are more easy to ignore.

VISION CASTING movement growth factors

Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no vision, the people perish…” (KJV)

How deeply ingrained in the heart of each disciple is the vision to see lost people around them come to know the Lord?  When we talk about vision as it relates to Disciple Making Movements, we are specifically talking about the vision for lost people to meet Jesus and be saved.  This passion, this vision for lost souls must be spoken out repeatedly in every meeting and in multiple ways.  It has to become a part of the “talk” of the movement.  It has to move beyond something only leaders think about and become ingrained in the hearts of all.  This happens by creative and consistently motivating people to reach the lost around them.  Cast vision to see your movement move! read more

Prayer- A Leader’s First Ministry

prayer and leadership

A Disciple Making Movement (DMM) leader’s most important role 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 the 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

A Bulldozer Anointing for Discipleship Breakthroughs

annointing

“You are like a bulldozer” he said.  Wow.  That was interesting to hear.  I wasn’t sure I liked him saying that.  What did it mean?  I understand better now what this prophetically gifted man was referring to.  To release Disciple Making Movements (DMMs) ,we need to move in a “Bulldozer Anointing”, pressing through obstacles until we get to the breakthrough God wants to give.

Obstacles Come – Big & Small

In life we all face obstacles.  This has got to be even more true for those who are boldly pursuing the release of a movement of disciples among the unreached.  We face financial obstacles, visa related obstacles, persecution related problems, family issues, discipleship and marriage problems and many other things.  Big or small, the obstacles come with regular frequency. 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. read more

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.