From my last post, I wrote about our duty to Jesus to be makers of disciples. Perhaps you’ve heard of or are participating in the Disciple Making Movement. Outside of the United States, DMM has experienced astounding results. In this post, I’m just going to provide an abbreviated synopsis. To do a deep dive, I recommend that you visit Discipleship.org.
As Christians, we need to be making disciples since that’s the last command Jesus gave us during His earthly ministry (Matthew 28:19).
Perhaps the most significant difference between DMM and most other Church initiatives is that DMM calls people to become active makers of disciples immediately. No, it’s not some pyramid scheme. You need not pay anything to become a maker of disciples.
The Disciple-Making Movements teaches Christians to spread the gospel of Jesus by making disciples who learn to obey God’s Word. The impetus upon new Christians is to make other disciples, disciples who repeat the process rapidly.
Behaving as the Bible teaches
This disciple-making approach places the highest emphasis upon behaving as the Bible teaches us how a Christian should behave. That behavior is breaking away from the things they did before God saved them. In fact, disciple-making is what Jesus expects to find us doing when He returns.
Too many Christians are vaccinated against acting in faith. We love to learn, we like to study, but we rarely allow these to change our behavior. Jesus drew thousands of people without an AD campaign, website, or even a phone number. People came because they heard from their friends and neighbors that God was active where Jesus was – we know that Jesus is the Son of God. DMM follows the pattern that Jesus established.
Right about here, I can feel you getting ready to bail on me. You think this isn’t the orderly process of God; it’s chaos. There is structure, and there are safeguards. I beg that you hang with me through the rest of this post.
Following the Holy Spirit
Here’s the fantastic thing about this movement: it is not a kit that you buy. It is entirely based on the Bible. Also, disciples are not constrained by the plan of a top-down hierarchy – well, we all are constrained to follow Jesus’ agenda 😀 .
Instead of an emphasis upon going through seminary before ministering, disciples quickly become leaders that are laser-focused on obedience to God’s Word. Their tools are:
- The Bible.
- Fasting (for people with an eating disorder, fasting should not be food).
- The divine intervention by the Holy Spirit.
Each disciple makes a group of disciples
Every disciple deeply, continually prays, fasts, and follows the leading of the Holy Spirit. Some clerical mentors keep what is taught Biblically accurate.
God does the work! He builds a group of disciples, with the 1st generation disciple as the leader. Together, they have a weekly Bible study. Each time they meet, they work through the same set of questions. The questions are relevant regardless of what topic in the Bible the group is studying.
First, each person, including the leader, tells the group what he or she is thankful for. Next, each person tells what problem or challenge they are facing – this helps build a community within the group. Then each person tells the group with whom they shared the Gospel of Jesus – this is about accountability. And each person tells the group how effective he or she was in keeping commitments that they made to God and the group – this is another accountability question.
Every disciple must wait upon God moving, changing times and circumstances. The nature of a disciple of Jesus is to pray, pray, pray. The DMM approach is a mustard-seed approach (Matthew 13:31–32).
As I previously wrote, each group, each time they meet, does a Bible study. Then the leader asks these five questions taken from Discipleship.org.
1. It says. (What does the passage say?) Write the Bible passage word-for-word in the first column.
2. My words. (How would I say it?) Write out the message or story in the passage in your own words.
3. I will. (How will I obey it?) Write down a few “I will” statements to put the truths into action in your life.
4. What does this passage say about God?
5. What does the passage say about humanity?
There’s no question whether every Christian should be making disciples; that answer is “yes.” The more pertinent question is this: how’s your approach working? Doing discipleship “addition” will never change the world. Doing exponential discipleship can impact the entire world.
Shodankeh Johnson, a DMM leader in the West Africa country of Sierra Leone, has seen more than one million Muslims converted and baptized into salvation in Jesus Christ over the last ten years. I pray we catch Mr. Johnson’s vision! This primarily Muslim country is being transformed through Christians making disciples.
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