WHOLLY SHIFT! What's Going On In Disciple Making?

539881_10150838855610087_2115470366_nA couple of missionaries working with Muslims in West Africa decided that they had been focusing on the “wrong” disciple making  principles. They needed to “Wholly Shift” their approach.  here are a few of those shifts… 

1. Go slow at first in order to go faster
2. Focus on a few to win many
3. Engage an entire family or group, not just the individual
4. Share only when people are ready to hear
5. Start with creation, not with Christ
6. It’s about discovering and obeying, not teaching and knowledge
7. Disciple people to conversion, not vice versa
8. Coach people from the beginning to discover and obey biblical truth
9. Prepare to spend a long time making strong disciples, but anticipate miraculous accelerations
10. Expect the hardest places to yield the greatest results.

11.  Don’t tell people what to believe and do.

12.  Understand that Jesus does impossible things through the most ordinary people.

13.   Focus on engaging families and networks, not individuals

For more information about these shifts, look here. 

On another continent, two other missionaries working with a variety of subcultures in the Ecuadorean Cloud Forest, independently came to nearly the same conclusions expressed in this way;

1.  Move From follow-up to follow-in.

2.  Move From Outreach to Inreach

3.  Move from cages & traps to equipping & releasing stations.

4.  Move from dependency to development.

5.  Move from verbal to tactile.

6.  Move from regimental to relational.

7.  Move from because “they” said so to because HE says so.

8.  Move from being drivers to being passengers.

9.  Move from occupying to obeying.

10.  Move from “what works” to “Who works.”

11.  Move from apologetics to to answering.

12.  Move from systemization to story.

13.  Move from fabrications to frameworks.

14.  Move from creepy orphanages to organic nurseries.

You can take a closer at these shifts in greater detail in this Ebook.

On yet another continent, another missionary latches onto the move of God in India and expresses his shifts in this way;

1.  Rewrite the job description of the professional clergy from that of a pulpit orator, sacrament dispenser and tithe gatherer, to that of a shepherd who feeds his flock.

2.  Move from meeting in temples to gathering in ‘houses of peace’.

3.  Phase out programmed Sunday ‘services’ while implementing informal, small gatherings.
Replace Mosaic tithing with Christian sharing.

4.  Dispense with wafer-and-sip Holy Communion and promote breaking of bread with simple Agape meals.

5.  Replace professional music with believers speaking to each other in psalms and spiritual songs, making melody in their hearts to the Lord.

6.  Shift from being a spectator-oriented church to a ‘metastasizing’, interactive, participatory, prophetic church.

7.  Instead of gathering under one roof, gather under a thousand roofs.

8.  Empower every Sunday school, bible school, prayer cell, women’s fellowship, and cottage meeting, by calling them full-fledged, authentic churches

You can learn more about these shifts in greater detail here

In the United States, and again over a period of time and adjustment, three men expressed their shifting in this way;

1. From Reaching to Making: Instead of focusing all our efforts on reaching the lost, we should be focusing our primary efforts on making disciples.

2.  From Informing to Equipping: Instead of concentrating on giving people information about Jesus, we need to concentrate on equipping them with the character and skills of a disciple.

3.  From Program to Purpose: We need to replace our emphasis on having good programs with an emphasis on the purpose of making disciples.

4.  From Activity to Relationship: Instead of seeing ministry as being primarily about activities, we should see ministry as being mainly about relationships.

5.  From Accumulating to Deploying: The way we measure our success needs to change from the number of attenders, converts and size of budget to the number of mature disciples actively deployed in disciple-making ministry.

Again, you can take a closer and more detailed look at these shifts here.

There are striking similarities represented in these 4 “home-grown” moves of God.  Are there noticeable shifts where you are working?  What would you add to the ones listed above?







0 thoughts on “WHOLLY SHIFT! What's Going On In Disciple Making?

  1. Marshall says:

    seeing some of these “shifts lists”, usually in “movement” form (ref: we’ll do this for awhile, then try something else).
    traditional models are (have been) quite upside down. The real mystery becomes in how it has taken centuries for ineffective “disciple making” to be so widely challenged.

    some to amend (that I’ve seen before generally):

    1. as from the Acts record, anticipate the Spirit to be directing disciples differently with various people/disciples.
    2. equipping by along-side training and in reminding the disciple in the things God has done, and is doing, and will be doing.
    3. trust to allow boldness in all God has given/revealed (disallow human constraint).

    some (transitional) error examples:

    * “mainly about relationships” need be “all about Christ”, with the relationships flowing from Him (He is the secure & ideal foundation).
    * “Share only when people are ready to hear” need be “speak & do only as the Holy Spirit directs you”.
    * “Start with creation, not with Christ” need be “begin where their next step of faith will become”.
    * “Don’t tell people what to believe and do” AND don’t tell them what they believe or that they have been “saved”. (Let the Holy Spirit handle such within them.)
    * “calling them full-fledged, authentic churches” to be replaced by our humble reluctance to assign a categoric definition to what God is divinely completing here or there.
    * “ministry as being mainly about relationships” need be “ministry flowing from obeying in the Spirit of Christ”.
    * “The way we measure our success…” need become “we no longer measure our success, but rather entrusting ourselves fully to God”.

  2. Sondra says:

    This is REALLY good!!!

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