Identifying CPM/DMM principles and practices used by effective practitioners sheds light on what leads to fruitful ministry. Part 1 described paradigm shifts in the realms of Pre-engagement and Preparation, and Initiating a DMM-focused ministry. Here are additional paradigm shifts for greater ministry impact.
24. From “personal study” to “engaging others in study and growth” (Timothy principle).
Q: How do we engage others in our ministry and personal walk with God?
25. From “being the gatekeeper” (by starting a group and welcoming others in / attractional) to “finding the gatekeeper” (finding someone who welcomes us into their sphere of influence).
Q: Who are potential People of Peace (gatekeepers) who will welcome a disciple-making initiative and how will we introduce them to an exploration of the Bible?
26. From “decisions” (knowledge / sporadic follow-up) to “obedience” (looking for growth in commitment to Jesus). That is, from “head knowledge” to “behavior” (Jesus’ invitation to follow and obey).
Q: How do we model and encourage active obedience to Jesus?
27. From proclaiming the “gospel of salvation resulting in believers” to proclaiming the “gospel of the Kingdom resulting in disciples.” That is, from “personal salvation” to “commitment to Jesus and his mission.”
Q: How do we communicate the gospel so that new believers become committed and active participants in Jesus’ kingdom mission (“What we win them with is what we win them to”)?
28. From “attendees” to “participators” (people with a disciple-making purpose). That is, from “head knowledge” to “heart desire” (Jesus’ invitation to commitment).
Q: How do we develop vision and commitment in believers so that they become active disciple makers?
29. From “focusing on many disciples” to “helping the few go deep in their commitment to Christ.”
Q: How do we develop vision and commitment in believers so that they pursue a close relationship with God and commitment to the missio Dei?
30. From “training towards ministry” to “multiplication at every step,” OR from “stability, consistency and maturity” to “multiplication and reproduction,” OR from “Believe-Mature-Serve” to “Believe-Serve-Mature” (The point is NOT that stability, consistency and maturity are no longer the aim, but that a key part of stability, consistency and maturity comes through developing a commitment to participate with Jesus in his mission from the beginning of a person’s spiritual journey. Rather than a 2-step process of first becoming stable, consistent and mature and only then participating in the spread of God’s mission, Jesus’ initial call to “follow me” is a call to participate in what he is doing).
Q: How can we communicate from the beginning of the disciple-making process that dedication to multiplication and reproduction is a key aspect of following Jesus?
Disciple Making in Groups
31. From “one-on-one” (extraction) to “group” (body of Christ principle – integrated into life).
Q: How do we prioritize group disciple making and begin Discovery Bible studies (DBS) as group initiatives?
32. From “creating groups” to “bringing Jesus into natural / pre-existing social groups.
Q: How can we identify existing social groups and invite them to explore what it means to follow Jesus?
33. From “conversion / baptism is an individual’s faith step” to “conversion / baptism is experienced as a step of faith in a group context” (a more communal focus with group identity).
Q: How do we practice and encourage conversion / baptism as communal participation?
Q: How can all believers be encouraged to baptize others as an expression of their responsibility to disciple others?
34. From assumption of/focus on “private faith” to “valuing transparency and accountability over privacy.”
Q: How do we encourage communal expressions of faith?
35. From “helping believers strengthen their personal faith” to “helping believers share their personal faith” (Faith is strengthened through interactions with those who do not believe).
Q: How can communal expressions of faith be cultivated that include interaction with those who do not believe?
36. From “helping others grow” to “coaching disciples who reproduce.”
Q: How can a communal commitment to being a reproducing disciple be cultivated?
37. From “Bible studies for believers” to “Bible studies where believers and seekers discover together” (This is not a denial of the need for deeper teaching; it is a multiplication mindset. The assumption is that there is value in learning how to connect with non-believers around the Bible).
Q: What communal connections and understandings are necessary to include seekers within a disciple-making group?
38. From “group conformity” (legalism) to “Jesus conformity” (relational theology)
Q: How do we avoid mere conformity to group expectations and maintain a focus on following Jesus as our unity?
39. From using a Scripture passage to “understand a biblical message” to “seeing Scripture as a revelation of God’s will and character.”
Q: What questions help participants identify descriptions of God’s will and character from any passage of Scripture?
40. From “teacher” to “facilitator” (asking questions rather than giving information).
Q: How can we use open questions that will ensure people discover God’s message from a passage of Scripture?
41. From “controlling the message” to “releasing the message.”
Q: How can we maintain a humble orientation before God’s word together with other believers / seekers so that we learn from others and let God lead?
42. From “a learning style based on the thoughts and opinions of teachers” to “a learning style of discovering what the Bible says” (people learn that they can understand the biblical message).
Q: How can we ensure that a group of believers builds confidence that they can read and understand the Bible as they engage God’s word together?
43. From “human teacher” to “the Holy Spirit” as teacher (The discovery method as foundational: this does not mean that human teachers are rejected or ignored but that the focus is a commitment first and foremost to trusting Jesus and learning to listen to the voice of the Spirit).
Q: How does our posture and our actions communicate trust in God’s Spirit to guide his people as they study God’s word?
44. From “lecturing” to “modelling.”
Q: How can we appropriately model what it means to be an obedient disciple of Jesus?
45. From “knowledge about Jesus’ mission” to “commitment to Jesus’ mission” (discipleship is not about head knowledge but obedience).
Q: How can we ensure that people apply Jesus’ call on their life, rather than just learning about that call?
46. From “being comprehensive” to “being simple and reproducible”
Q: How can we ensure that establishing a new group is simple and doable?
47. From “adding new people” to “creating new groups.”
Q: What can we say and do to ensure that believers maintain a multiplying disciple-making orientation by initiating their own groups?
48. From “establishing small groups” to “establishing multiplying groups.”
Q: How can we be relentless in maintaining a multiplication of groups, and not be satisfied with mere distribution of believers into small groups?
In part 2, we will consider Paradigm Shifts for Greater Ministry Impact in the realms of Disciple Making and Disciple Making in Groups.