“We practiced Discovery Bible Study groups in our training. Everyone understood the concepts and liked them. But when the school was over, only a few people started groups.” The trainer I was talking with seemed frustrated. “What am I doing wrong?” He wondered. As we train people in Disciple Making Movement (DMM) principles, we must communicate more than the method. Our mindset and lifestyle matters. In many ways, disciple-making is much more caught than taught. Are you living as a disciple-maker or just training people about it?
“If I become a Christian, do I have to wear white when I get married?” That was question number one. It was followed by another pointed question. “Do you eat beef?” My Hindu friends were interested in Jesus. When I shared my testimony with them, they were touched by His love and kindness. But cultural issues like these were at the forefront of their minds. They could not consider Jesus’ invitation to follow Him until they answered these questions. I needed to understand the bridges and the barriers in their culture if I was going to effectively share Christ with them.
Have you ever heard an advertisement jingle on the radio, then found yourself singing it later? Catchy tunes get stuck in our heads. Advertisers know the power of repetition and simplicity. As we work to motivate disciples to become disciple-makers, we must use the power of repetition to influence them toward action.
Jesus knew the power of repetition. He repeated important concepts again and again. Take Luke 15 for example. He tells not one, not two, but three parables about the importance of reaching the lost. He was casting vision to His disciples, wanting them to engage in the things that mattered most to Him. As disciple-makers and trainers, we must do the same.
Yesterday morning, I stepped out the door for my early morning run. A heavy fog hung on the streets. It reminded me of times in Nepal when fog would hang low in the valley where we were church planting. The sun didn’t come out to clear away the fog until mid-morning. Until then, it was hard to go anywhere and the roads were dangerous. It was difficult to see a clear pathway. Finding your way to a clear Disciple Making Movements strategy can feel a bit like that heavy fog.
Sorting Through The Many Approaches
The Disciple Making Movement (DMM) and Church Planting Movement (CPM) world can be confusing. There are many different resources, approaches, and training. These are constantly changing and evolving. Trainers like myself adapt, evaluate, and learn. While approaches do overlap, it can be confusing to determine which strategy to use.
Suppose you had to choose one consistent characteristic. One thing found in every movement, that you absolutely must do regularly. What would that one thing be? The answer is clear. It would be extraordinary prayer.
Ever since church multiplication and movements began to be spoken of, prayer has been identified as a major cause. Wherever you find a DMM or CPM, you will also always find a foundation of extraordinary prayer.
This was evident in the early church – the first Jesus movement that spread rapidly around the world.
Working in a united team with a high level of commitment and diverse gifts is an amazing experience! As the Bible says, “One man can chase a thousand, or two put ten thousand to flight…” (Deut. 32:30-NIV.) This is only true when your team is united around the same vision and moving in the same direction. How do you get your team, or church, on board with the idea of launching a Disciple Making Movement (DMM)?
Much vision casting is necessary during the beginning phase. It carries on throughout the movement launching process. Learn how to do this well from the start. A deep commitment to multiplication will become an integral part of the movements’ DNA.
Asking “What will you do to obey?” can seem an awkward question. The following week, when we ask them to tell us if they actually did what they said they would, well, it can feel down-right invasive. This is especially true for those of us from a Western culture where privacy and individualism are highly valued.
What business is it of mine if they are obeying or not? Shouldn’t that be their worry, not mine?
Could this approach border on legalism? We definitely don’t want to promote a rule-oriented gospel. Yet accountability is a vital essential in growing a DMM. It is strongly tied to one of the main characteristics we find in growing movements- obedience-based discipleship.
Does it make sense to have time-bound goals for the release of Disciple Making Movements? Having a time-bound goal for a supernatural vision can be disheartening. Movements are a God thing…far beyond our control.
Are time-bound goals even Biblical? These are questions worth asking as we consider vision, mission, and goals when it comes to DMMs.
Some argue – there is a difference between business goals, what they call BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) and setting goals in the realm of the Kingdom. True. They are different. But could it be that this works in the business world, because it is actually a Kingdom principle? One related to the power of faith, and how that impacts action?