“for your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” – Psalm 44:22
What is Disciple Making Ministry?
Disciple-making ministry (DMM) is GCM’s core strategy for evangelism and discipleship in the Middle East. It is built on Jesus’ example in the Gospels — approaching in genuine love, sharing God’s Word, inviting people to more deeply understand and live out Biblical truth, and equipping them to reach others with the Good News.
Following Christ’s instructions in Matthew 10, we go where He has already made a way, pursuing only those conversations where the person is truly interested in the Gospel. We rely on the Holy Spirit to bring us to the “person of peace” in each area – one who is open to Christ, who is welcoming, who can influence others.
If such a person cannot be found in a given community, we move on — the implication is that the Holy Spirit has not yet prepared those hearts: “If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet.” (Matthew 10:14). This strategy avoids a needless waste of time and resources, and follows a clearly laid out biblical model.
We read God’s Word, obey, and share it with others. Then we invite, encourage, and train them to do the same. That is the discipleship process.
This short video illustrates the process.
Core Disciple Maker Responsibilities
GCM core disciple makers are responsible for advancing and sustaining a present-day movement of God among Muslims. The strategic objective of core disciple makers is to establish self-replicating communities of believers who are being transformed into disciples of Jesus Christ, who obey Him out of love and in response to His command to make disciples who obey and bear much fruit (John 15:8).
Core disciple makers train, coach, and mentor volunteer disciple makers and church workers to launch and sustain ever-expanding chain reactions of disciple-making disciples who transform their communities and go out into other communities to repeat the process without dependence on outside elements.
As a security measure against aggressive persecution of Christians, each core disciple maker directs the ministry of a group of volunteer disciple makers in his/her network. Members of each network are unknown to the others, and each core disciple maker relates to only one pastor in the founding CEO’s inner circle. This “silo” structure helps protect all GCM disciple makers should anyone in the network be arrested
- Community Outreach: Identify target communities by discovering an unmet need that can be addressed, as a way to gain legitimate access to share God’s Word among Muslims.
- Prayer Mobilization: Enlist a number of intercessors to undergird every aspect of the evangelism/disciple-making/church-planting process.
- Training and Coaching: Conduct ongoing disciple-making training and coaching within local communities, to recruit and equip a continual and ever-expanding stream of self- replicating disciples.
- Mentoring: Mentor national volunteer disciple makers throughout their own network to encourage, prevent, or correct doctrinal drift, upgrade the skills of network disciple makers, enable and sustain the momentum of reproduction, and ensure that those on the outer reaches of the far-flung movement feel they are part of a greater team.
- Compassion Ministry: Carry out acts of service to meet significant human needs as a tangible expression of God’s care and concern for hurting people, and as a means of identifying “Persons of Peace” within communities.
- Leadership Development: Grow and nurture a never-ending stream of nonprofessional volunteer disciple makers by training, coaching, and mentoring them “on-the-job” and in their natural setting.
- Reporting and Documentation: Collect, compile, and regularly report comprehensive and accurate field data (successes and failures) in order to verify results, inform and coach on course corrections, shape future strategies, and celebrate what God has done.
- Resource Provision: Equip volunteer disciple makers with Scriptures in heart languages, cell phones, and materials needed for discipling and compassion ministries to support them in effective disciple making and fruitful church planting.
- Partnership Formation: Develops partnerships with like-minded international ministries and organizations to multiply the overall DMM impact by leveraging existing people, resources, relationships, and networks.
Execution of the DMM Process in a Community
1. Enter a Community
GCM core disciple makers enter a community through an avenue that gives them a legitimate reason to be “natural” within that community. This often takes place through acts of compassion or service in meeting a fundamental need of some of the community’s residents (e.g., runaway/homeless girls, drug addicts, prostitutes). Compassion ministry provides a base of relationships from which to initiate conversations to share God’s Word and lead to Christ people who will love and obey Him as self-replicating disciples.
The purpose of compassionate service is twofold. The first part is to demonstrate that loving God means loving your neighbor, and the second is to develop a base of relationships as a precursor to finding Persons of Peace.
2. Find a Person of Peace
The concept of the Person of Peace comes from Luke 10:6 where Jesus instructs His followers to go into surrounding villages and look for “someone of peace.” The key characteristics of this person (man or woman) are that he/she is spiritually open and has influence in the community to become the natural bridge into various networks within the community.
3. Form and Coach the First DBS Group
The first Discovery Bible Study (DBS) group ideally is formed among the friends and family members of the Person of Peace. The purpose of this group is for spiritually open people to discover together God’s will revealed in the Bible, and to help each other to immediately obey what God commands us to do.
The process is simple. The key is not to teach from the Bible but to allow the group to discover and respond together so they will learn to listen to the Holy Spirit and grow together. The objective is to form obedient disciples of Jesus Christ and not merely converts.
The group examines a story or passage from God’s Word and responds to four fundamental questions:
- What does it say about God?
- What does it say about man?
- If this is true, what will I change in my life?
- With whom will I share this? (This step lays the foundation for the replication steps outlined below.)
As soon as possible, the DBS process is facilitated by an “inside leader” who naturally emerges from within the group. This volunteer DBS leader may or may not be the Person of Peace. Since the goal is to catalyze a chain reaction of simple, reproducible, and locally-led DBS groups that flow through natural social networks, it is imperative that the leadership comes from within at the outset. The training of the volunteer DBS leader is not an end in itself; it is a precursor to an ongoing coaching and mentoring relationship between the core disciple maker and those who apply the training they have received.
4. Coach the Process of Forming a First Church
A church is a body of believers who worship, care for one another, serve others, alleviate suffering with compassion, integrate sacrificial giving in their lifestyle, etc.
The embryonic elements of what will eventually grow into a church are planted in a DBS group from the very beginning. As a DBS group matures, the volunteer DBS leader begins to guide its members in the process of discovering together what a self-replicating and disciple-making church is, and how they can become one.
5. Coach the Process of Forming More Generations of Self-Replicating Churches
Once an underground church has been formed and the replication process begins to take off, the core disciple maker coaches the volunteer DBS leader in repeating the process he/she experienced: prayer, compassionate service, finding Persons of Peace, forming new DBS groups, and convening to share best practices as well as shape the ongoing development of the DMM process.
When the level of commitment and spiritual fruit of a volunteer DBS leader requires full-time investment in DMM, he/she potentially may be invited to join the GCM staff as a core disciple maker to help form succeeding generations of self-replicating and self-sustaining underground house-churches.
The DMM Process as a Movement
A “movement” is something that can ripple from generation to generation; to succeed, it cannot be complicated. DBS is the engine that drives DMM, which can turn into a movement.
The DMM process leads ordinary people in discovering God through the Scriptures and in obeying His Word. Through DMM, each person is encouraged to obey His will, and enabled to encourage friends and family to do the same. Evangelism takes place in the context of DBS where nonbelievers are coached to discover God’s will in His Word, and then called to immediate obedience.
This approach is part of an evangelism/disciple-making/church-planting system that flows from initial contact with nonbelievers all the way through to the launching of succeeding generations of self-replicating churches. This is the foundation upon which DMM movements are built.
The synergy of the interdependent elements of DMM’s evangelism/disciple-making/church-planting system catalyzes these elements to work together and support each other. Each element is essential but none are expressed in isolation or in a traditional way. Taken individually, a given element may have a positive influence, but it is the synergy of all these elements working together that creates the desired long-term impact.
GCM International Expansion
As the Holy Spirit leads, GCM’s ultimate objective is to catalyze indigenous DMM movements of seven generations of self-replicating and self-sustaining churches inside Muslim nations of the Middle East.
Within the next 50 years, GCM envisions one million self-replicating biblical churches in the 10/40 window, transforming their countries and sending native missionaries to other muslim groups.