We Have Moved!

moving-312082_1280In order to better serve you, we have moved this website to a new location!  Dmmsfrontiermissions has moved to http://dmmsfrontiermissions.com/

We are excited about this change to the site as it will enable us to create many more resources to serve you.  In the future we hope to include free e-books, podcasts, webinars and other resources together with the weekly blog.

So head on over and check it out now.

Have suggestions for us?  We’d love to get your input so contact us!

See you at our new home!

C. Anderson

Before Your First Discipleship Group – DMM Basics 101

“I love the idea of making disciples of new believers and seeing those disciples multiply! I’m in!” you might be saying.  “But where do I start?  What do I need to do first?”

discipleship group

How do I get my first discipleship group started?

There are 3 “basics” that are needed as every DMM begins.

  1. A Prayer Strategy
  2. Abundant Seed Sowing
  3. Finding the Person of Peace

I played basketball in college.  I wasn’t amazing, but I enjoyed it.  It was fun to be a part of a team.  I loved the games.  I hated the practices.  Our coach would push us hard on the court in early morning practice.  We had to dribble, shoot layups and free throws until we were sick of it.  We ran back and forth, up and down the court dribbling and passing the ball until we could do it in our sleep.  It was these basics that won the games.

It is easy to try to rush through these 3 important steps in seeing discipleship begin.  Don’t do it.

Develop a Prayer Strategy

John Wesley said “God does nothing except in response to believing prayer.”  Every church planting or disciple making movement that happens starts with  prayer.


It starts with prayer!

Many disciple makers start with regular visits to the area they want to reach. They then do prayer walks through the neighborhood.  They ask God to speak to them and show them what the spiritual strongholds are in that area.  They pray and raise up others to pray for those “strongholds to be broken” and for God’s blessing to come.

Others organize intercessory teams to pray on site.  Some people make maps of the area making note of important locations there like the temples or mosques or key places of commerce or government. Some organize all night prayer or 24-7 prayer chains within the team.  They saturate the place with prayer.  In the midst of this, they begin to sense from the Holy Spirit what God wants to do there.

Even after the first discipleship groups begin, prayer must be a central part of the disciple makers life.

Do you have a short and long term prayer strategy? Are you consistently prioritizing prayer in your efforts to reach this new place or people group?

Abundant Seed Sowing

As you begin to know your community, boldly share the gospel with many.  When I train rural church planters in Asia, I often do a drama about a wise and foolish farmer.  The foolish farmer sows only a few seeds and then is surprised that he doesn’t get a harvest.  The wise farmer knows that in order to get a great harvest you must sow thousands of seeds.

Abundant seed sowing works! There is a common “mistake” for those trying to start their first discipleship group.  They share the gospel with a few people.  Those people don’t seem interested or even are resistant.  They then decide that they don’t want to “turn people off” so they will just make friends first with everyone then slowly share the gospel.  Friendship evangelism is a nice idea.  The problem with it is that it takes a very long time before you see fruit.  Often, before we are even sure the person is open to the good news, we invest a lot in getting to know them.  Then, when we finally share Jesus with them, we find out they are not interested.  This is deeply disappointing.

Instead, find ways to share the gospel with hundreds (if not thousands) of people.  There will be some who are open.  God has already prepared people to believe.  You find them through sharing the gospel abundantly with as many people as possible.

Finding the Person of Peace

Luke 10 refers to the person of peace.

If the man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you.- Luke 10:6 NASB

Jesus sent his disciples out to heal the sick, cast out demons and to proclaim the good news of the kingdom.  As they did that, they were to find the “Person of Peace” who would offer them hospitality, a place to stay and would also gather others to hear their message.   They were not to move around but to stay with that person.

Finding people from within the community who are open to you and your message and who call others to listen is very key in starting a new movement of disciples.  Until you find this person, prayer and abundant seed sowing will be your main activities.

Have you found a person of peace?  Remember, it’s not just someone who likes you and gives you hospitality, but someone who welcomes both you and the message of Jesus through you.  If you’ve found them, invest in that person and train them as a disciple.  They will then train others and the message will spread.

Which of these 3 things are you doing the most?  Which do you need to be more active in?



Getting from a DMM dream to a DMM reality

Nine years ago, we had 100 teams and about 9000 believers in the churches those teams had started.

We had taught and talked for years and years about multiplication and church planting movements.  We had never really experienced one.  Only a few teams had second generation growth and none of them had gone beyond 3rd generation.


Disciple making movement: Dream or Disappointment?

Believe me when I say, I’ve experienced deep disillusionment in this whole process of pursuing a rapidly growing movement of disciples among the unreached!  There were many times where I thought it was impossible and that DMMs were something others would see but not us.

Today, we have about 140 teams. In 114 places those teams have seen at least one 4th generation fellowship!  Total believers is now around 33,000 and rising rapidly.

What changed?  How did we move from disillusionment with DMM as an idea (often a much taught but failed idea) to DMMs as a growing reality in our work?

First, we had to get desperate.  Then, we made significant changes.

I was reading my Bible one day.  I read the passage in Matthew 23 where Jesus talks about hypocrisy.  One verse shot off the page as I read.

So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. (Matt. 23:3)

Jesus is defining hypocrisy here.

Am I a hypocrite? I asked myself.  Do I teach and train about rapidly multiplying movements of Jesus followers but not practice it, not experience it?  Am I all talk and no reality?

Oh God!  I cried out.  What has to change inside of me?  What has to change in my organization?  We simply can’t keep going this way…talking and talking and talking about multiplication but not experiencing it!

4 Change Factors that Made the Difference

  • Change started with me

Bottom line, as the leader, I had to be willing to model growth.  I had to “I’m not a good evangelist.” I had to model a lifestyle that showed I believed the harvest was ripe around me. I had to stop being an “expert” who didn’t personally make disciples myself.  I had to change my priorities to make room in my schedule to personally start a Discovery Bible Study/T4T group.

  • Let go of old systems that weren’t working anymore

We were willing to re-evaluate everything, and I mean EVERYTHING.  If it wasn’t bearing fruit, we asked God if we should drop it or how to change it.  This made a lot of people angry with us.  We had to be willing to give up systems and things we had emphasized before.  This made space for the new things God was releasing.

  • Examine our Beliefs (not the ones on paper, but those our practical behavior revealed)

We went through a process (with a group of other leaders) of looking carefully at our beliefs and assumptions.  We then intentionally embraced “New Beliefs” based on God’s Word.  We shared these with our teams, and grassroots workers, helping them to understand and own these new beliefs. This is a lengthy but critical process, and is still ongoing.

  • Start tracking different things

Another change we made, was what we tracked and reported.  We wanted to see multiplying generations of disciples.  We wanted to see at least 4 new generations of discipleship groups within several years.  We started asking those questions on our annual team reports.  Together with this we added making generation charts in our training.  It made a major difference.

If you have read this far, you must be a little bit like I was…wanting to see a DMM, but not yet seeing what you are longing for.  This is really hard.  It can be so disappointing and so frustrating!

It doesn’t have to stay that way.  God wants to see DMMs released through your organization, in your city, village, and among the people you work with.

Look back through the 4 points above.  Choose one or two that stood out to you. 

How will you apply that change factor to your current situation?

Spend a moment and talk to God about it.  Commit to Him what He is putting in your heart.  Then tell one other person about your commitment to change before today is over.

Change starts today.  Change starts with you.  Movements of disciples wait to be released through you and your team or organization. 

Tracking Generational Growth in your Disciple Making Movement

“We never had any idea what was really happening until we started using Gen Charts in our training” the church planting leader said with a big smile.  “Now we can actually see our progress and where the problems are!”

It is not uncommon for Disciple Making Movement trainers to be in a similar position.  You keep training.  You keep mentoring.  You hear testimonies.  It seems like things are going well, but you really don’t know how well.  You feel somewhat confused and can’t visualize progress.

confused disciple maker

What is really happening in my disciple making work?

That is where Generational Maps or Charts can really help!

What do we mean when we talk about 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generations of DMM growth?

When we talk about generational growth, we are describing the process by which one house church or discipleship group reproduces another one (or more).  As this process continues and one church starts another and that one another, we can see that new generations are growing.

Sometimes it is referred to as mother churches (1st generation), daughter churches (2nd generation) and grand-daughter churches (3rd generation.  More often we just call it 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G growth.


This “generational growth” happens on both an individual and group level.  When we make a Gen Chart though, we are tracking the multiplication of groups.

Her name was Dalia*.  She was sixteen years old and came from a strongly Buddhist family.  One of our local team members had led her to faith but was unable to disciple her because he was a guy and she was a young woman.  He asked if we would help.

Dalia moved in with us and became a temporary family member.  When we first began to pray with her, she had no idea what to do!  From the very simple basics of what it meant to follow Jesus, we began to train her.  We prayed together, studied God’s Word together, ate food together and visited others in the community together.  We prayed for the sick, shared the gospel together and washed dishes together.  Dalia grew rapidly in her faith and relationship with Jesus.

After a month or so, Dalia began sharing the good news with her friends at school.  One of her classmates expressed a desire to follow Christ.  Dalia led her in making a decision to become a disciple.  She then came to me and said, “My friend Sunita has decided to follow Jesus…can you train her to be a disciple?”

“No” I replied. “That is your job! Just teach her what I’ve been teaching you.”


I discipled Dalia.  Dalia discipled Sunita. Sunita led others to the Lord who she then discipled.  The movement spread.

First generation (Dalia), second generation (Sunita), third generation (other classmates).

2 Timothy 2:2 says “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.

Paul discipled Timothy (1G), Timothy discipled “reliable people” 2G) and they were able to teach “others” (3G).  We see this multiplication again and again in the book of Acts.

Churches that Paul started, sent missionaries out to new areas where new churches were formed.  Those groups started other groups in new areas and on it went until all of Asia had heard the gospel (Acts 19:10).

It is helpful to track this generational growth on a chart and to update it each time you do Just In Time Training.  We recommend a simple chart rather than a complex one.

As you do this, referring each training to the previous charts (it’s easy these days to take a picture and have it on your phone to look back at) you can see whether or not new growth is happening.  You can also identify where the strongest growth is happening and then try to understand why.  This diagnosis of the movement is a major key in seeing ongoing and sustained growth.

At the end of the training, while looking again at their Generation Charts, trainees can set new goals for the coming months.  How many new groups do they hope to start?

Further training can happen through marking certain important things on the charts.  For example, are they taking offerings in each group?  Are they baptizing?  You can use additional simple symbols to indicate these things along with other important characteristics of a healthy church.

Using generational charts to track movement growth and the growth of each stream has been a major key to multiplication for many teams.

Have you ever made a Generational Chart?  Why not start now for your own team or with a disciple maker you are training?  Watch this helpful video on how to do that.

Need a bit more help?  Contact us for further resources and information.

*Names and details changed to protect the individuals mentioned.


Tracking and Reporting in DMMs

Many people struggle with the idea of reporting progress on church or ministry growth. 

Recently, I had a meeting with some people to bring better understanding on this issue.  There was a lot of confusion related to this topic. Emotions ran high.

Why  report and track? There are lots of reasons people choose not to report.

For some, it can feel controlling.  Others think it isn’t loving.  Some feel it isn’t necessary.  It can feel too business like and not very spiritual.  Some think we are obsessed with results and don’t care about people.

As I was considering this the other day I asked myself “Is the “value” reporting and accountability? Is that really the core value?”  As I thought more about this I concluded that it was not.  The core value is not reporting or accountability.  The core value is a deeply held commitment to be obedient to the vision God has given and to the calling He has placed upon our lives.  Because we are so committed to that calling we need to measure and evaluate how we are doing in making progress in fulfilling our vision for the release of movements among the unreached.

As I’ve gotten a bit older, its been a lot harder to stay healthy and especially not to gain too much weight.  I’ve had to work hard at the goal of staying healthy.  Sometimes I do better than other times.  Sometimes I exercise and am careful about what I eat.  Other times its more difficult.


Stepping on the scales can be scary!

Recently our daughter got married and we had a full month with a lot of celebration.  That meant lots of good food!  I ate more than I should have and gained some pounds.  When I came home, I really didn’t want to step on the scale and see what I weighed.  It would have been easier to not measure, to not know where I was at or to ignore my goal of being healthy.  But, even though I knew I wouldn’t be pleased with the result, I was willing to get on the scale.  Doing that forced me to re-order my priorities, to examine my behavior, set some new short term goals and get back on track.

This is what reporting does for us as disciple makers.  If we are not willing to regularly check our results, measure and look at where we are at in the goal of movements, we may never see them happen.  We may never reach that goal.  Reporting helps us examine the facts.  I might think I’m doing okay with my weight (as long as I’m only wearing Indian style draw string pants I may not feel my clothes tightening much! :)) but once I step on the scale reality hits.  This can be discouraging in the short term but is critical in the long term.

Lets not be afraid of reporting.  Lets be willing to step on the scales, so to speak, in our church planting work and to look at the key indicators.  We have a God given vision to pursue.  Our deep commitment to seeing that vision come about makes us willing to report, first to ourselves and then to others who can help us get back on track or overcome obstacles we are facing.

Who are you reporting to about your DMM progress? Do you fill out your reports on time?

Decide now to report progress for the good of your own growth and the growth of the movement.

This is adapted from a previous article published on ywamfrontiermissions.com https://www.ywamfrontiermissions.com/2016/07/08/why-do-we-value-reporting-and-tracking/

Why Disciple Making Movements?

What is all the “fuss” about?  Why do people get so passionate about Disciple Making Movements or Church Planting Movements?  Is it just another missions “fad”?

Reading this and you’ve been pursuing starting a DMM (Disciple Making Movement) for some time? Read on.  Be encouraged and inspired once again.  I’d love to hear in the comments why you got “on board” with the vision for DMMs.  Tell us your story!

The God-sized dream of seeing movements of disciples started among the last, least and lost began for me more than 20 years ago.  Its morphed and changed through the years.  I’ve had highs and lows.  It still burns inside of me.  It still gets me out of bed in the morning.  Why?

I am missionary kid.  I grew up in West Africa.  I caught a heart for lost people, for those who had never heard about Jesus from my father.  I often went with him to remote African villages on a motorcycle, crossing rivers on rafts, trekking into the “bush” (the West African word for jungle) in order to share the good news with those who would have no other opportunity to hear it.

I won’t tell the full story here, but years later, God called my husband and I into church planting ministry among those who were “yet to hear.”  We were young, pregnant with our first daughter, and in that early stage of language learning when we heard George Patterson speak and were introduced to what he called Train and Multiply.  Our vision went immediately from the idea of starting one church, to starting churches that started others.

Nepal scene

How would they hear unless someone told them?

As we looked at the challenge of the millions of lost people around us, we knew that something had to be different from past approaches.  We had to work in such a way that more people could meet Jesus and have their lives transformed.  We wanted to disciple a nation, not just one or two people- or even a few hundred!  The only possibility of that was if we saw huge numbers of people come sweeping into God’s Kingdom.

We were deeply impacted by the lost condition of the people we lived among.  I’ll never forget the first time I saw a dead body carried on shoulders down the street to the cremation site.  I wonder if they got a chance to hear the gospel?  It wreaked me.

Somehow we had to find ways for more people to hear!  Somehow, we had to find ways for more to believe, and when they did, to be discipled.  Somehow, we had to find a way where true exponential multiplication would happen.  It was the only answer I could find to the lost condition of people apart from Jesus I encountered every day around me.

In Luke 19: 40 and 41, we read two seemingly disconnected verses.

40“I tell you,” He answered, “if they remain silent, the very stones will cry out.” 41 As Jesus approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it.

What are my two main answers to the question Why DMMs?

  1. He deserves their worship, and  2) His heart is broken for the Lost.

If we don’t make disciples of a lot of people, who make disciples of a lot more people until the world is filled with the glory of God and all the nations worship Him…the rocks will cry out.  He MUST be worshiped. He is worthy of it.

Jesus  saw Jerusalem and wept. His heart was broken.

Has he broken your heart with the things that break His?

The millions around me who have never heard compel me to do something.  I want them all to hear! I want them all to have the chance to experience His love, transformation and miracles as I have.

DMMs are the most logical way I can see massive numbers of lost people come to know Jesus in the nations where I live. DMMs are the fastest possible way to see these nations transformed and discipled.

I could give you lots of statistics as to Why DMMs?  Maybe one day I’ll write another blog about that.  For me, it just makes sense.  Do the math.  It’s not hard. Even for someone not great at math like me.

Multiplication is going to lead to more than addition.  🙂 Its as simple as that.

We have to pursue discipleship methods and approaches that multiply rather than simply add new people to the family…to the kingdom.

Ready to go after DMMs yet?  Hungry to learn how to multiply disciples?  Step by step resources and encouragement are available to help you.

  • Get started by following this blog.
  • Then, send me an email (dmmsfrontiermissions@gmail.com) and introduce yourself.  That will sign you up for future email interaction that will help you get some great resources.

Been doing this for a long time?  What is your WHY DMMs answer?

Let me know in the comments!

What NOT to Depend on in Disciple Making

Have you ever found yourself trying to go somewhere fast and then decided to take a short cut? You see this little lane and you are pretty sure it will cut through to the main road? You go for it.  It seems like a good idea that will save you time and get you there faster.

You drive along on your motorbike or in your car and suddenly, the road narrows and there is a huge truck parked there in the road and you can’t get by because the road is too narrow.  That happened to me more than once. Another time, I came up the road and suddenly found a big pile of rocks dumped in the road for the construction of a nearby building. Then there were the times I took a shorter road but hit an avalanche. When this happens, you back up, turn around, and by the time you get back to where you started from, you are frustrated, annoyed and it is 15 minutes later but you are still at the same place.

blocked road

Ever hit an unexpected avalanche on your path? Its no longer a short cut!

This reminds me of when we try to make disciples using only a weekly meeting with them.  It looks like a short cut, but it’s not.

Discipleship doesn’t happen only in a weekly meeting.  Discipleship is an intense investment of our lives into others. It is a whole lot more than what happens in a weekly gathering where you “preach” to them, or even do a Discovery Bible study or tell a Bible Story.

Discipleship happens when we do life together. It’s when we become a community of Jesus followers who challenge, encourage, support, and commit to helping one another grow in following Jesus. Our lives “rub off” on others and they “catch” from us a passion for the lost, a faith in the God of the Impossible, a love for God’s Word, etc.

I’m always interested in strategies and structures.  I’m fascinated to learn about what different people are using for their short and long-term discipleship. Having a good system can facilitate a lot of things being released.  Sometimes, though, we look for the “perfect” system and think that is what will turn things around for us in our efforts to multiply disciples.

The last few years I have been doing a lot of training in T4T (Training for Trainers).  The T4T meeting structure includes all the important elements that are so vital to multiplying disciples; celebration/accountability, member care, worship, the Word, goal setting, fellowship.  It’s a proven structure that has produced great fruit around the world.

The same could be said for DBS (Discovery Bible Study) groups- another great system to use.

As much as I like these systems, I must say that both T4T and DBS are just structures and systems. They will not produce fruit unless coupled with a deep commitment to relational discipleship. We must “go deep” with those in that T4T or DBS circle.

We must get into their lives and let them into ours.

That is what Jesus did with his disciples.  They lived together, spent hours around the fire cooking fish and eating together. They did ministry together, and Jesus spoke into their lives not only as a group, but one on one.

We can’t do that with everyone.  We need to choose a few key people, those who are faithful, fruitful and focused.

I know you are busy.  You might be thinking, I just don’t have time to give more than I already am.

Here’s is what you need to do. It doesn’t take a ton of time, but it will get you started in going beyond trying to just disciple people in a meeting.

  • Choose 2 key people you are training who you will invest in more.
  • Think of one simple way to let them into your life in a deeper way. (For example- have coffee and share a time of failure you had and how you overcame it)
  • Think of one simple way you can get more involved in theirs. (For example- show interest in one of their hobbies or children)
  • Do those two things this week.

And don’t stop having those T4T or DBS meetings.  They are important too.

They just aren’t the full picture of what it means to make disciples who will make disciples.

Revision of blog originally posted on October 24, 2016 at ywamfrontiermissions.com

I would really appreciate your feedback and input on this blog and website!  Would you take a minute and do a 5 question survey to help me serve you better? https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/9JYZKCS

If you are willing, please answer these 5 short questions for me on the survey monkey link below. 
I really want this website to serve especially all of you well.
Thanks so much!

Key #3 DMM Breakthrough Growth: Train Don’t Teach

Do you long to see more multiplication happen?  Are you tired of only seeing a few new disciples each year?

An important change needs to happen. You need to shift from being a Teacher to becoming a Trainer.  What is the difference?

I was speaking in a training program the other day and began to realize how big of a shift God has been bringing in me over the past few years. There has been a pretty dramatic change in what I do when I am invited into a classroom full of people wanting to learn and grow.  I’m still speaking about the same topics, but my mindset has changed a great deal!

WhatsApp Image 2017-08-17 at 5.30.32 PM (2)

Teaching is easier but yields less fruit. In many ways teaching is easier and more satisfying to my ego.  When I teach, I mostly give information and pass on knowledge.  Its quite easy to feel good about myself when I teach.  If I make a good presentation and everyone likes it, responds well, gets excited, well…then it was a success.  I like teaching and there is certainly a place for it.  It is a wonderful spiritual gift that God uses me in.

But, when I began to really look at fruitfulness and the results I was seeing related to my goal of making disciples who make disciples…I saw I needed to change.

Trainers are different from teachers.

  • Trainers are practitioners. They do what they are training people to do.
  • Trainers demonstrate and model both in the classroom and in the field.
  • Trainers are learners themselves, not experts, though they are probably some steps ahead of the trainees.
  • Trainers follow up and check on how things get applied after the classroom period is over.
  • A Trainer’s goal is not only to pass on knowledge, but primarily is to develop skills.
  • Trainers are careful to keep their training style simple enough that everyone they train can pass on the same material to others immediately.
  • Success for a Trainer is when the student/trainee is able to actual do what they taught and train others to do the same.

When I look at Jesus, I see him mostly training his disciples.  There are those times when he also taught them and passed on knowledge.  But most of the time he was modelling in the field with them, then giving them assignments, then getting a report and training again.

I believe we will see many more disciples who make disciples result from our “training programs” and seminars if we stop teaching so much and train more.

Do you tend to be more of a trainer or a teacher?

Here is something you can do:

Take 5 minutes to identify one change you will make next time you teach to become more of a trainer.  Then, make yourself accountable to one person for the change you are going to make and ask them to hold you accountable for it.

The multiplication of disciples who make disciples will be the result!

This blog was originally posted in Feb 2017.  https://www.ywamfrontiermissions.com/2017/02/10/a-key-to-multiplication-train-dont-teach-2/

Key #2 DMM Breakthrough Growth: Perseverance

When I was a kid we had a dog named Snoozy.  She loved to play.  We would take an old sock, tie a knot in it, and let her grab a hold of the end.  We would then play a game of “tug of war.”  As soon as we got the sock away, (and it was hard work to finally do that) Snoozy would lunge after it again.  The game could go on for hours!


This isn’t our dog but another dog who enjoyed the same kind of game!

What I loved about that dog was no matter how long you played with her, she wouldn’t give in.  She was always ready to give it another try.  Once she got a grip on the sock, she wasn’t letting go.  You could literally pick her up high off the floor. She’d be hanging from the sock she had gripped in her teeth like she was permanently attached.

That is perseverance.  It is a refusal to give up.  It is a refusal to give in. 

As we pursue discipleship among the unreached, we need that kind of attitude.  Hold on tight to the promises God has given you for a DMM. Refuse to let go of them.  When your God-given dream seems to be slipping through our fingers, you need (like my dog did) to lunge after it and take hold once again. Fight to keep a grip on the dream of seeing a radical multiplication of disciples among the people He has called you to. Press through the obstacles you are facing.

Paul wrote in his letter to the Philippian disciples about perseverance.  He said,

“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:14-NIV).

My husband and I run half marathons together.

A few months ago we were training for an upcoming race.  We had just come back from a ministry trip and we were tired.  We woke up that morning and knew we had a long run ahead that day. We had to go 18 kilometers.

It was hard to get out the door, but even harder to keep running that day.  My legs felt like rubber.  Breathing was difficult.  My knees hurt. I really didn’t feel like training that day!

15 kilometers into the run, I was ready to quit.  “I think I’m going to be sick,” I told my husband.  I really thought I might pass out right there on the roadside.

With empathy, he asked me, “Do we need to stop and walk?”

“No. Let me keep going.  I can go another little bit” I said.

I just focused on the next kilometer, and then the next, and then the next.  Pretty soon, I’d made it through that difficult training run and it was behind me.

Sometimes our journey toward a DMM (Disciple Making Movement), with thousands of Jesus followers and multiple generations, feels a bit like that training run.  We feel weary.  We are worn out.  Progress feels difficult or impossible, and doing some other kind of ministry looks extremely attractive.

Do two things when you feel like this.

  1. Remember Your WHY.

Why did you embrace the goal of a DMM in the first place?

I embraced intentional discipleship and DMMs because I genuinely believe it is the fastest way to impact lostness in the communities of unreached people I love.  I embraced this vision because I knew God was calling me to it.  I embraced this goal because I desperately want to see the nations worship Jesus and for Him to receive the glory and worship He deserves. Remembering the WHY helps us keep moving when we feel like quitting.

2. Focus on the NEXT STEP.

Just do the next action that will take you forward.  Share the gospel with one person.  Learn 10 new words of that difficult language.  Coach one person this week.  Set up one new discipleship training group. You get the idea.

Your next step in the journey may be different than mine or someone else.  That is fine. We all need perseverance, though, to finish the race God called us to.

I am so glad Paul didn’t give in to his weariness and the hardship, but persevered to the end.  He refused to give up on His calling.  Key churches began that later multiplied across Asia Minor and the rest of the world.

I wonder what is at stake if you were to stop pursuing the dream of a DMM in your area? Of reaching your city?  Maybe thousands of people would remain lost.  Maybe whole cities would fail to be transformed.

Don’t give up and don’t give in.  This is the year of breakthrough for you.  Press on! Persevere!

Key #1 DMM Breakthrough Growth: Praying With Faith

I can’t remember a time I’ve ever included a joke in my blog!  Here goes…this is pretty funny!  Let me know in the comments, if you like it or not.

A journalist was assigned to the Jerusalem bureau of his newspaper. He gets an apartment overlooking the Wailing Wall. After several weeks he realizes that whenever he looks at the wall he sees an old Jewish man praying vigorously. The journalist wondered whether there was a publishable story here. He goes down to the wall, introduces himself and says: “You come every day to the wall. What are you praying for?”

The old man replies: “What am I praying for? In the morning I pray for world peace, then I pray for the brotherhood of man. I go home, have a glass of tea, and I come back to the wall to pray for the eradication of illness and disease from the earth.”

The journalist is taken by the old man’s sincerity and persistence. “You mean you have been coming to the wall to pray every day for these things?”

The old man nods.

“How long have you been coming to the wall to pray for these things?”

The old man becomes reflective and then replies: “How long? Maybe twenty, twenty-five years.”

The amazed journalist finally asks: “How does it feel to come and pray every day for over 20 years for these things?”

“How does it feel?” the old man replies. “It feels like I’m talking to a wall.”*

Do you ever feel that way about prayer?  Ever feel frustrated and like it isn’t making much difference, so why do it? Ever feel like it is something we do first before we get to the “real work” of church planting?

There have been times in my life when I felt like prayer was a duty and a chore more than a joy.

That has changed a lot for me in the past few years.  Prayer is now a great blessing to me. Prayer is my first priority.  It is now some of the most meaningful kingdom work in my life.  I have repeatedly seen God use prayer to dramatically impact the amount of fruit He releases.  I’m sure that all those who have seen disciple making movements truly multiply would say the same.

Not all prayer feels that way or produces those results however.  What makes the difference?

In Matthew 21, there is an unusual little story of Jesus and a fig tree.  Jesus is hungry.  He sees a tree without fruit.  A bit frustrated (it seems), he curses it and it withers.  His disciples are amazed at His power and comment about it.  He then tells them, this is nothing…

If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” (Matt 21:22)

What makes the difference in our prayers according to Jesus?  Faith.  When we pray with faith, amazing answers start to be released.  Prayer becomes much more exciting, and much more effective. 

Jesus wants us to have child-like faith when we pray for the Lost, for those we train, and for the release of movements among the unreached.

I had a pretty amazing childhood.  I grew up in West Africa.  One of the perks of living there was that my dad decided to buy me a new pet every birthday.  It was pretty fun!

One year he bought me a parrot- An African gray.  The problem was, this parrot wouldn’t talk.  We previously had another parrot that talked a lot, so we kept trying to teach our new parrot (his name was Mark). Sadly, he just didn’t seem to have it in him.


One day, my dad said, “If that parrot doesn’t talk by the end of this month, I’m going to get rid of it!”

I was so upset!  My little ten year old heart was shaken.  I started praying daily for the parrot to talk….together with all manner of other tactics I tried to make Mark spit out his first parrot words.  Nothing.  Nada.  I kept praying.  I knew God could help him talk!

On the very last day of the month, (this is the absolute truth) my dad walked into the empty house.  No one else was there.  Do you know what happened?

The parrot said “Hello Jerry” (my dad’s name)!  Prayer answered!  Parrot saved.

Child-like faith goes a long way.  Jesus said “If you believe…”

God wants us to pray from a place a faith, not out of duty.  He wants us to pray from a place of authority. We pray knowing that He has promised us an inheritance among the unreached and that He will be faithful to release it. We must pray specifically and consistently.  We must pray believing that, as Jesus said in Luke 10:2, “the harvest is plentiful.”

When I pray in this way I get excited.  I know the answer is coming.  I know it is impossible for me to pray and for God to do nothing.**  As soon as I pray, He is taking action.  Angels have been sent on assignments as a result of my prayers.  God is working.  I get to be part of that!

Take a moment…I know you are busy, but just a short one.  Stop and think about your prayer life.  Is it what you want it to be?  What needs to change this year? How could you pray differently so you enjoy it more and see your prayers produce better results too?

Prayer is a major key to seeing the release of movements of disciples.  It’s not hard to do. Just get started.

Why not take 5 minutes right now to pray for the Lost around you and for those you are discipling?

Then, plan a time this week to set aside for prayer.

You will be taking an important step forward in releasing a disciple making movement.

*Joke was taken from: http://jokes.christiansunite.com
**I believe I first heard and took hold of this idea after listening to something from Bethel Church’s LDP program.