How To Motivate the Passive (And Yourself) to Multiply Disciples


Our world is saturated with easy life marketing. “Use this product, ___________ (fill in the blank) and your life will be easier.” This is part of why shifting from a church member/attendee approach can be challenging. We like things to be easy. The easier, the better. But this is not the way of Jesus. He said it’s the easy path that leads to destruction, and the hard road to life eternal (Matt. 7:13).

As Disciple Making Movement practitioners we ask the question. How do we motivate those we are sharing Jesus with, to choose a difficult path? What about those we are trying to inspire to join us in working to see a movement of disciples released?

The attraction of the easy path is real. To motivate people toward something difficult, they need to feel either pain or great hope.

Without that, there is no doubt. They will revert to the easier, less demanding (but less fruitful) system of doing church. Simply being a church member who shows up a few hours a week and is entertained. This is far easier than living the life of an obedient disciple. Why not put that reality out on the table? Then, we can look at this issue clearly.

Coaching Toward Change

I believe in the power of coaching. My coaches have made a great difference in my life and contributed to the progress of the ministries I’m privileged to lead. Coaches ask good questions and make you think. They then assist you in setting practical goals.

In a coaching session, some years ago, my coach asked, “What motivated you to make the necessary changes to see movements released?” It was a worthy question. If I wanted to inspire others, I needed to remember what it was that inspired me. In considering that question, I discovered some keys to training disciple makers more effectively.

Hmm,” I said as I pondered his query. “I guess I got really fed up with not seeing more fruit from the effort I was making to reach the unreached. When I heard stories of what God was doing in other places, about movements, I wanted to see that too.

So stories of DMMs inspired you, and you were frustrated with a lack of fruit…” my coach repeated back to me. We went on to talk about this. There was hope that something different was possible. There was also the pain of frustration with small results. Together, these made me willing to make serious changes.

Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

Matt 7:14 New King James Version

As we think about how to motivate others for disciple making and multiplication, let’s consider two things. These will help initially, but also over the long haul. Return to them often.

1) Identify People’s Pain Points (Especially Regarding Life Purpose and Impact)

What are they frustrated with? Maybe it’s being stuck in a job they find mundane or unfulfilling. It could be family issues and kids who aren’t very serious about their walks with God. Find out what bothers them and then connect it with a choice to take the harder road of being an obedient disciple.

Most people deeply long to live a life of purpose and impact. The majority of Christians are not content with the level of impact their lives currently have. They want to know God more and make Him known to others, they just don’t know how to do so. Connect with that longing and inner frustration and you motivate them toward change.

Another thing that is key in identifying these is to empathize and relate to them through your own story. Share about your frustration in the past and the present as well.

How did you feel before you started this DMM journey? How do you feel now? What motivates you to make the necessary changes to live as a disciple maker? Share these things with those around you often.

2) Infuse Your Oikos (Relational Circle) With the Hope of a Different Reality

The best way to do this is to tell stories. Share both current and historical stories of those who have seen movements. Talk about the Biblical stories of the movements of Jesus and Paul. Why aren’t we seeing this today? Could we see this here? Ask and discuss these questions. As you do this, the Holy Spirit will begin to stir up hope within the hearts of those He is calling to join you in DMM pursuit.

Hope is a powerful motivator. Become a person who instills faith in others for what God has said He can do and wants to do. “Yes, it’s hard, but multiplication and movements are more than possible”- must be your repeated mantra.

For those who like to read, point them to books about DMMs and CPMs. There are some great recommended resources available on our website. If they are more visual, share YouTube videos with them. Download this list of our favorite videos.

Take the Hard Road

God has called us to be overcomers, those willing to choose hard paths over easy. The reward is great and the view from the top is amazing! Not to mention that we get to journey with Jesus, our wonderful friend, and guide.

Has the draw of an easier, less demanding path been pulling at you?

Have you struggled to motivate those around you toward disciple making? Reach out to our community for help. Be honest about it and ask for prayer. We’d love to stand with you! Simply join the DMMs Frontier Missions Facebook group and post your request. Or put it in the comments below.

In a few days, our online course Getting Started in Disciple Making Movements will also open for new trainees. This is an incredible community of people to journey with. Walking on the road with others is also a huge help to motivate yourself to go the distance in launching DMMs. Find out more here.


  1. Madukauwa

    Thank you for sharing.
    I request prayer for help to hear God with clarity and to always obey promptly.
    Thank you

  2. Elish Arun Majumder

    In this pandemic situation and our ministry for the major religion in Bangladesh is facing big challenges. Lot of family are without jobs or any earning sources due to the government rules on lockdown. Please pray for our believers and workers who are trying to help them. Dipti Foundation is on NGO and it is wing of our ministry. At present we are looking support from our friends and supporter on our development initiatives which helps our ministry.

  3. Robert Curfman

    Currently discipling a small group of young men, two of which have left the traditional church and meet in my home once a week. They are students of the Word, but struggle to move them to witness and making other disciples. I could not locate the free resources mentioned, but interested in learning more about DMM. I no longer have a FB or other social media account(s).

    1. Post
      C. Anderson

      Hi Robert. Here is the link to the free resources we offer.

      Have you studied the great commission with them? Doing DBS on it? And asking the question what do we need to do to obey this passage? Sounds basic, but I’d start there. Be sure you have a friendly accountability loop in your study with them. Just search that on our website for more info on what that is. Blessings.

  4. Lynn

    I really appreciate your article. As a pastor’s wife, I often want to ask questions about life purpose and how folks would like to make an impact in our community or region or beyond. However, it does not always seem like a fitting conversation to have before or after a church service. The progression of your article increased hope that those kinds of conversations can, indeed, instill hope and encourage change! I can see how such conversations are easier to have in smaller, more intimate home groups as well. Looking forward to this DMM class with my husband 🙂

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