Contrasting 'Church as we know it' and 'Disciple-multiplying movements' - 4
From a talk by Simon Holley and a book In the Way by Damian Gerke
The previous article in this series is here.
Possible ways forward
Following on from interest in the articles, Repositioning church as a mission agency and The Underground, I listened to a talk by Simon Holley, who leads the eldership and strategic leadership teams at King’s Arms Church in Bedford. He also leads the team that serves the Catalyst family of churches. He recently gave a brief talk on some of the principles and practices of Disciple Making Movements to start the conversation.
Damian Gerke suggests the following steps:
Stop and Reflect - Don't roll out some half-baked programme. Devote some time to reflection. Select 5-8 contrasts that stand out most to you and consider some questions such as what are the implications on individuals, congregation, leaders, roles?
Fast and Pray - Hear God's leading.
Damian then discusses possible strategies and leading through change.
Simon Holley in his brief talk, reflected on the way forward, outlining 4 of the 8 practices that he's observed in disciples who multiply in the settings he's seen:
Multiply Extraordinary Prayer. They’ve learned how to mobilise everyone to pray. I love how one movement puts it - extraordinary prayer is just taking your ordinary prayer and adding something extra to it. Then when that becomes ordinary add something else! One put it this way, "I’ve never seen a disciple making movement without first seeing a prayer movement." Read in Acts 2 the first disciple making movement - they devoted themselves to prayer.
Focus on God’s Word. They’ve learned to raise disciples who have made Jesus not just Saviour but LORD. Who love his word, seek to obey it and teach others to do the same. Too many believers don’t have a radical obedience to God’s word and also have no passion to share it with others. Compare that with the many Muslim taxi drivers that I have used and within minutes they share what the prophet thinks about this and that - what the Koran says. In the earliest disciple making movement in Acts, again and again it says, "..and the word of God multiplied.".
Cast Vision. They are constantly casting vision for becoming multiplying disciple. Disciple making is not an added extra for a few - it’s something that everyone is engaged with. One of the best pieces of advice I received was from a lady who has been part of launching 15 disciple making movements. She said the thing I always get people to do is take a piece of paper. Line down the middle. On left side write 15 names of non Christians that you know. On the other 15 Christian’s. Your job is to pray for both lists every day. People on the left - seek to do whatever you can lead them closer to Jesus. People on the right - your job is to envision them and train them to become a disciple maker.
Train Believers to go out among the lost. They actively train people not just with the knowledge but with the skills to actively become a multiplying disciple in their own community.
Let's get the R number above 1!
See also some advice in the article; Repositioning church as a mission agency.
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