I have been studying both the American church and international disciple making movements lately.
What a contrast!
We recently completed a national study of disciple-making churches in the USA with Exponential (more on that in the next couple of months). One of the biggest insights from this national study is that we did not find any churches that represent true disciple making movements (DMM) in North America. The Relational Discipleship Network and Life on Life Missional Discipleship are close. But we have not yet found a true movement. Other experts previously told me the same thing: there are hopeful signs but no clear movements.
I am very excited by what I am learning about disciple making movement churches around the world.
I am grateful for the time I have been spending with Shodankeh Johnson (he lives in West Africa and will be a keynote speaker at our upcoming Disciple Making Forum). We do not want to over-emphasize any one leader at discipleship.org; we want to fan into flames Jesus-style disciple making through many leaders. Yet, we are asking people to listen to a voice like Shodankeh’s this year, again, because what God is doing through him is so noteworthy.
For the ten character traits of a Disciple Making Movement continue reading…
Here are the ten character traits of a Disciple Making Movement…
- Disciple making is motivated by a loving, deep concern for people lost who need salvation in Jesus.
- Jesus-style disciple making (relational discipleship) is the core mission and foundation of the church and everything the church does.
- Every decision made and every dollar spent passes through the filter, “How does this help us to make disciples in relational environments like Jesus?”
- Praying and fasting is significantly entrenched: it happens a couple of times a week in these churches and it is intensified in special seasons, when people ask for God to uniquely empower disciple making.
- Practically everyone in the church has been mobilized to make disciples.
- Everyone in the church uses the same simple, effective, and reproducible disciple-making model.
- Church leaders focus on continual coaching and sustaining of disciple makers and the leaders of the disciple-making system.
- There is joyful expectation that everyone: 1st – obeys all of Jesus’ commands and 2nd- is a disciple maker and church planter.
- Practically everyone is focused on reproducing disciples and they regularly reproduce disciples to the 4th generation.
- Disciple making expansion regularly results in new groups, ministries, new leaders and especially in new church plants.
Again, Shodankeh will be one of our keynotes at the Disciple Making Forum he will share what God is doing in his movement. To learn more about his movement watch this free 32 minute interview.
Join me in praying that God will lead us to make our Churches like these churches and that this kin of movement may come to North America . . . join me in looking for these kinds of churches. If you spot churches that match these ten character traits, send the information to us at [email protected].
For King Jesus,
Point Leader, Discipleship.org
“Marks of a Disciple Making Culture: A Core Team”
by Justin Gravitt
“Recommended Resources for Disciple Makers”
by Jim Putman
“The Perfect Lie of Discipleship”
by Joanne Kraft