Most disciple-makers, pastors, and Christian leaders want to see greater fruit in their ministries. Our hearts long for the rapid expansion of God’s Kingdom on earth. Yet often, what we long for and what we experience are quite different. There is a better way, a more effective way to see your community reached. Avoiding a few common disciple-making mistakes can have a tremendous impact.
Let’s unpack these.
- Making Things Complicated.
- Releasing New Believers Too Slowly.
- Focusing on Individuals, Not Groups.
Making Things Complicated
Our human tendency is to over-complicate things. Spiritual practices are no different. Jesus kept things simple.
I sometimes think that simple means simplistic. This is not true. The simple stories Jesus told and the illustrations He used had deep and profound meaning. If you want things to reproduce and multiply, intentionally simplify your systems. Ask yourself, “Could a new believer do this? Lead this?” If the answer is no, you need to re-examine what you do.
Releasing New Believers Too Slowly
Many people think that new believers need to first mature before they enter the ministry. Fears of them not knowing the “right” answers to questions they are asked, hinder us. Jesus immediately sent people to go and share about Him with others. He trusted them to share what they knew, even if they didn’t know everything. We need to do the same if we want to see the Kingdom grow and spread organically in our region.
Focusing on Individuals, Not Groups
Western Christianity has a rich history and many wonderful characteristics. It doesn’t always translate to other cultures and contexts well. Many cultures have a group orientation, rather than an individualistic one. They make major decisions with others in their community or family. A failure to recognize this will slow multiplication.
Whenever you can, always do things in groups. Invite individuals to invite others so you can disciple a group together. Challenge those in that group to start new groups. An over-focus on individual decision-making and individualized discipleship slows multiplication and the launching of movements.
Which of these three common mistakes have you made? There is no shame in that. I’ve made them all!
What matters is that we are willing to recognize that these are not Biblical patterns and we adjust our methods. Let’s make disciples as Jesus did. His ways are fruitful and effective.
Think of one simple change you could work on this month to correct these areas. We’d love to hear what you plan to change in the comments below or on the DMMs Frontier Missions Facebook group.
Looking for a mentor or community to learn with? Join the upcoming online training called Getting Started in Disciple Making Movements which opens soon. Click the link below for notification when it opens and more info.