Motivations matter. Your why comes before your what. Simon Sinek’s book Start With Why is a best-selling business book. His premise is true in more than business. It’s true in life. Motivations affect us as we pursue Disciple Making Movements. If your reason for wanting to launch a movement is not clear, you may not experience what you are hoping for. Our first important motivation must be a passion for God’s glory.
How deeply do you long for His glory? What does that mean?
In my last article, I described the many different motivations we have for wanting to multiply disciples. Some of those motivations are inappropriate. Some are healthy and good. Not all motivations will sustain you in the long road of launching a movement.
A passion for God’s glory will.
This article is not an attempt to develop a theological treatise on the glory of God. Space is way too limited. So is your time to read this. I do want to describe a time God helped me understand more about this important topic.
The Mountains Were Veiled
I’d been traveling back and forth from Nepal to India to meet church planters and friends. On one trip, I took along a young woman who had been helping us with homeschooling. She had never visited Nepal before.
We’d told her of the incredible beauty of the Himalayas, of how glorious the mountains were. Nepal is home to seven of the world’s ten highest peaks. We weren’t going to Nepal as tourists, but we did hope to get a few nice views and take some pictures.
Unfortunately, the clouds weren’t cooperating. I’d lived in Kathmandu for many years. I knew that the mountains were there.
My friend had to take my word for it because they certainly weren’t visible.
You needed faith to believe. Behind those clouds were the incredibly beautiful, snow-covered, Himalayan peaks.
The Rains Reveal Glory
One day, there were heavy rains. The downpour drove the clouds away. That morning I awoke and went up to the roof. As the sun peaked out, it was crystal clear. There they were, in all their glory and splendor. We could see them for what they truly were…beautiful, majestic mountains…the highest in the world.
I began to think about how God’s glory was like that. He was there, but veiled. He was unseen by the Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists around us…and often by Christians too. His glory, who He is, was hard for them to see.
We would speak about God and tell His stories, but it took faith to believe these things were true. As they stepped out in faith, the veil was lifted. They encountered Jesus for themselves. Who He is, became known. They saw His glory and were forever changed.
“And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”2 Cor 4:3-4 NIV
Hearts On Fire
The driving passion for me in missions is my deep, burning desire to see Him glorified. I want the world to see who Jesus is. I know that if they can catch a glimpse of Him, if His glory is manifested, they will never be the same again. They will fall at His feet, worship and acknowledge that there is no one like Him in Heaven or on Earth. Oh that the nations would see His glory!
Does your heart burn with a passion for Jesus to be glorified…manifested…known? By every single person on this planet?
So, so many have never heard of Him, have never encountered Him! How will the millions that still are veiled get that opportunity? This is my why for starting DMMs.
3 Ways God Shows His Glory
1. By Doing Extraordinary Things Through Ordinary People
God’s glory shines when He uses the weak, the broken, the ordinary, to do His incredible work. This is part of why I am so passionately committed to the priesthood of all believers.
When I see a big name pastor lay hands on a sick person and they are healed, I rejoice. But when I see a brand new believer, in the hills of North India, it’s different. A villager who is not very rich, educated, or talented, pray in the name of Jesus…and a demon is cast out…wow! God is glorified. Who would have expected that from them?
God delights in using us. It reveals Him. He gets the glory. We point to Him because it’s so obviously not us. We are not changing and transforming lives. His power is setting people free, ministering hope, and salvation. We have issues. This must be God!
I love this aspect of Disciple-making Movements (DMMs). They are led by ordinary people. Normal, everyday folks meet together. God reveals His truth as they discuss and ponder His word together. As they obey, He manifests Himself through them.
2. By Signs and Wonders
Every movement, from the time of the New Testament, has been characterized by God showing up and doing the miraculous. It brings Him glory. It reveals His character, power, and goodness when we see healing and deliverance take place.
Expect the miraculous as you pursue movements. Anticipate God revealing His glory through you as you lay hands on the sick. Train new disciples to also pray this way.
3. Through His Body, the Church
God intends His body to reflect His glory to the world. As we train disciples who love God and love one another deeply, the world sees who He is.
When I think of the church in this way, I consider the pollution that sometimes sat in the Kathmandu valley. Not only did clouds veil the mountain’s glory. The trucks and auto-rickshaws with their black smoke kept us from seeing their glory too.
When the Body of Christ is polluted (not operating as it was designed to) it’s hard to see Jesus through the black smoke.
In Disciple Making Movements, as house churches, or discovery groups form, He is seen. God is glorified in the way we listen to one another, honor one another’s ideas and thoughts. We make space for each person to share. In DMMs, every disciple needs to recognize and develop their gifts. We value their ability to hear from God…even if they are still a new believer or a seeker. This loving atmosphere nurtures growth. It also reflects God’s glory.
Cry Out With a Passion for God’s Glory
Would you join me in this prayer?
God, we want to see Your glory fill the earth. We want to see the nations and peoples worship You. Reveal Yourself to us in new ways today. Show us who You are. Use us to make Yourself known to others.
Manifest Your glory through your disciples Lord. As we speak of Your character, Your ways…as we tell Your story, confirm our words by doing signs and wonders. Through us, and through those we train and lead.
Only You can start a movement that sweeps through an area bringing transformation and new life. When You do this through us ordinary, broken, weak people, may You get all the glory.
‘Cause You are worthy Lord. You are so very worthy to be praised, so deserving of worship.
Need greater faith?
Sample the first two days of C. Anderson and K. Sutter's faith building 30 day devotional book for disciple-makers. You'll be encouraged and inspired to press on.