You suddenly notice ceiling lamps swinging wildly for a few seconds, or something more severe. What you are experiencing is an earthquake. An earthquake happens when tectonic plates under the earth’s surface shift. In DMMs we need mindsets to shift below the surface of our lives. These shifts loosen and unlock the release of multiplication.
If we are to launch a Disciple-Making Movement, we need to make at least five key shifts in our thinking.
1st Mindshift: Structural
The first mind shift is a Structural Shift – it’s a move from a traditional church or connect group, to a simple church. A church is not a building. It is a gathering of people – a spiritual family who love God, love people and who love to make disciples.
Did not Jesus say that when two or three gather in His name, He is present with them (Matthew 18:20)? So, the gathering can be in a home, in a park, in a café (we had gathered twice in a café before), or under a tree. I am making the point that we don’t have to have a building to “do church.”
2nd Mindshift: Authority
The second mind shift is an Authority Shift – it’s a move from a few people having spiritual authority to everyone having it. This is easier said than done.
Every believer in Christ has both a kingly and priestly authority (1 Peter 2:9) by virtue of their identity. We are not just disciples, not just sons and daughters, not just servants, but kings and priests. We – everyone of us – have a kingly and priestly duty to share the gospel, baptize, and disciple people. We can break bread, heal the sick, and cast out demons in the name of Christ.
I have been teaching and coaching people on how to share the gospel and disciple people. Impartation of skill is very important. Even more important is the shift in their thinking. They must understand that they have the authority to do spiritual work themselves because they are royal priests!
There is an unfortunate division between clergy and laity. This has inadvertently brought about the notion that spiritual work is done only by the clergy. In the simple church, everyone can baptize and break bread. That is a clear shift in authority.
3rd Mindshift: Process
The third, is a Process Shift – it’s the move from having one person teach the group to interactive participatory learning. The Discovery Bible Study (DBS) format, or the Training for Trainers (T4T) format, facilitates the participation of everyone. After two or three sessions, participants feel confident to do it themselves. They go away saying, “This one, I can do!”
That is key to multiplication. Anyone examining the meeting format, will quickly see why it works. It is predicated on the obedience of the group members. There is the important element of friendly accountability – asking the questions – “How did you obey the last lesson?” “Who did you share the story with?” and “Who did you share the gospel with?”
Friendly Accountability Leads to Fruit
Let me illustrate. During the pandemic, my two daughters, had shared the gospel with several people and saw more than 160 people come to faith. They did that through their cell groups. I asked my daughters, “What made you do that?” They answered, “Dad, you always asked us – ‘Who did you share the gospel with today?’
What I asked casually, they took it seriously. That is friendly accountability! It works! There is the emphasis on obedience and also the accountability to see that it happens.
4th Mindshift: Leadership
The fourth, is a Leadership Shift – moving from a core leader to a crop of movement leaders. Having a single leader, generally results in producing several simple churches. The problem is that they all remain as first generation. It does not produce leaders.
When we think of small groups (as simple churches) we can model and multiply leaders who can in turn train others to disciple and multiply (2 Timothy 2:2). Movement leaders are necessary. They keep the groups functional in their mission and vision of a multiplicative movement.
The multiplication of leaders has to be an intentional task, otherwise, it hardly ever occurs.
I started a simple church at our home every Sunday from 9-10.30pm. I told my family, that I am the “driver,” meaning I make sure that the simple church does take place every Sunday at our home. Months later, my wife quipped, that had I not been the driver, it would have fizzled off. The point I wish to make is that while everyone is responsible, you need leaders!
5th Mindshift: Size
That brings us to the fifth mind shift, the Size Shift – moving from addition to the group to the multiplication of groups (simple churches). The groups are designed to be small. The size of the group should not be more than five.
The number can vary, of course, but once it gets to 7-10, it can get somewhat unwieldy. It is better to have two groups at that point. A big group prolongs the meeting time and also hinders participation of every member.
In small groups everyone participates. We are so accustomed to “big” group meetings that we frown over small groups. For example, if, 30 people show up for a meeting, we are excited. But when only five show up, we are disappointed. The point, I want to make is, the small group is key to multiplication, not the big group.
Critical Importance of Environment
While we need to make these shifts in the DMM, I want to emphasize the environment that helps to stir and sustain the movement. The environment is to be filled with constant prayer, dependence on the Holy Spirit and a heartfelt devotion to Jesus Christ, our Lord.
It is only in His hands, multiplication can occur (John 6:5-14). It is only by His word of guidance, a great catch can be made (Lk 5:5,6). Jesus Christ has to be the center of the movement. How do we ensure all these? Being in a team (DMM team) is certainly the way to go!
Which of these five mindshifts have you begun to make? Which do you still need to work on further?
Share your thoughts in the comments below or on the DMMs Frontier Missions Facebook group.
*This guest post was written by Dorai, one of the Getting Started in Disciple Making Movement course alumni peer group facilitators.