The Struggle to Believe for Disciple Making Movements

Do you ever struggle with faith that Disciple Making Movements are possible? Or possible in your area? Or possible through you?  I certainly have.  I’m not proud of it, but it is true.

Sometimes in what Michael Hyatt calls the “messy middle,” we stop believing.  The “messy middle” is a place between the vision’s beginning and its realization. It’s the place where we wonder if our dream is ever going to become a reality.

My Struggle For Faith

There was a long “messy middle” for me.  It was twenty years from when I first heard about DMMs (back then we spoke of multiplying daughter and grand-daughter churches) and the time I first saw 4th generation groups.  On that journey, I often wanted to quit. I regularly doubted if it could happen.

struggle for faith

I remember saying, “This isn’t a fair thing to ask people to do.  For the vast majority of people, movements are just a dream.  It’s like asking a little league baseball team to attempt to win the World Series.” (See the first chapter of my new book, The Multiplier’s Mindset: Thinking Differently About Discipleship for the full story!)

Stuck In Unbelief

Let’s call it what it was.  I was stuck in the sin of unbelief.  I didn’t believe God was able to do this through me or through the people I was training.  Thank God, He took me through a repentance process and convicted me of my unbelief. He renewed my faith.  Faith not in myself, but in Him.

Jesus was never soft with his disciples regarding the sin of unbelief.  He regularly rebuked them for their lack of faith.

Stubborn Refusal

When reading the account of His resurrection.  The words “stubborn refusal to believe” jump out at me.

9 “When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. 11 When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it.”

12 “Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. 13 These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either.”

14 “Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.”

Mark 16:9-14- NIV

They were presented with eyewitness accounts that He was alive.  Still, they refused to put their faith in that truth.

We may have heard of Disciple Making Movements in other places.  Perhaps we have even heard first-hand accounts of them taking place.  Still, we doubt.  Still, we are skeptical.

“They must be lying or exaggerating the facts,” we say.  “That works in China, but it doesn’t work in my country.” or  “That happens with tribal people, but not with Buddhists.” On it goes.

We don’t recognize it, but what we are doing is giving in to unbelief.  We are refusing to believe in God’s power to bring about His will.

Does this sound harsh?  I don’t mean it to be.

Recognizing this sin in my life was key to unlocking what God wanted to do through me. My heart is for you to experience the same kind of breakthrough.  Victory over the struggle for faith starts first in our hearts.

Repent Of Doubt (Skepticism)

Are you convinced that God wants to save the lost? Do you know He desires that none would perish but that all would come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9)? In spite of this, do you still find yourself cynical or skeptical? Does it seem highly unlikely that thousands of your people could be swept into the Kingdom in a short period of time?  Dear one, you are in a struggle for faith. God wants to give you a Faith Mindset (listen in to me talking about this on the Dare to Multiply Podcast).

Name the sin of unbelief and repent.  There is no shame in this, but we can’t be stuck there!

Even now, stop and ask God to forgive you for your lack of faith in Him.  Ask Him to replace your skepticism with hope.  Ask Him to fill you with faith in His ability to do what is impossible through you.

Make Faith Declarations

Then, begin to make declarations of faith.  Pray the promises God gave when you first started to work among these people or in this place. Praying scripture will build your faith.  Pray those verses as declarations over your people group…over your life.

Below are some of my favorite verses. I go back to these when I face a struggle for faith.

  • Phil. 4:13- “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”…even start a DMM Lord!
  • Mark 9:23 “All things are possible for those who believe”…even seeing my Buddhist neighbors come to faith in you!
  • John 4:35 “I tell you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are ripe for harvest.” That is my people group, Lord.  They are ripe for harvest today.

Do this every day for a month.  You will see a difference in your faith “muscles”.  It’s likely that you will see a difference in your work too.  Believing prayer leads to victories.

Need more help to build up your faith?  Faith to Move Mountains is a 30-day devotional for church planters that has helped many people grow in faith. Haven’t read it yet? Get a copy from today!

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.

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  1. Celistine

    Regards thanks for this opportunity i am serving God in weman from tow year but iwant to learn more my husband was pastor he passed away in 2007 after my husband i am eagerly want to serve God i want to learn more about about word of God lwant your training please thankyou

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