What Do You Expect?

The curse of modern Christianity is that we expect little from the Lord, too much from the church, and nothing from ourselves. Joe McKeever

This title and quote was all that appeared in a “draft” post from years ago. The idea of “expectations” caught my attention and prompted me to record the quote as a starter for an article. I actually did not know who said those words, so I came up with the writers name via a Google search. It is likely I saw it as a meme on Facebook. It was in an article about overcoming obstacles to praying.

Why do you expect people from your church to easily “flip the switch” and take up Disciple Making Movement strategies and tactics?

I want that question to hang there. I am violating my grammar training from decades ago (the rule has probably changed like so many others) which required at least two sentences to constitute a new paragraph.

How long did it take you from first hearing about disciple making until you actually tried to engage a stranger in a spiritual conversation? Why did it take you so long? How long did it take you to host your first Discovery Bible Study from when you first started hearing about them? Why did it take so long?

Impatience with others is often borne out of our internal frustrations over being unable to magically give other people a shortcut. We want them to join us on the journey, now. We want their drive, their passion, their skills and expertise, now. What if we begin to intercede for them, rather than trying to pressure them into accepting a new way forward? What if we begin to “plead God’s promises” attached to disciple making for them?

“Father, give _____________ the incredible joy of bearing fruit. Overwhelm her with the excitement of bearing much fruit. Bring the celebration of experiencing fruit that lasts.” What if you started praying that every time you begin to feel frustration rising in your heart?

God is the absolute best at producing heart changes–in you and in that person you desperately want to see open up to what prompts your zeal for the Lord. But don’t just pray it for one person, pray it for her family and friends. Pray God will transform them into a household of peace. Pray he will fill them all with Kingdom peace which will allow them to carry greetings of peace to other households.

Expect much from God; extend grace to the people in your church and hold yourself to a high standard!

Reflecting on: Mobilizing Extraordinary Prayer

From: “I pray.”
To: “We pray extraordinarily and mobilize others to pray.”

We aim to reproduce everything. Obviously personal prayer is crucial, but when faced with the overwhelming task of reaching entire communities, cities and people groups — we need to mobilize the prayer of many others. (Copied from: https://2414now.net/2020/09/22/mindshifts-in-movements-part-1/)

During 2015 I worked closely with a teammate to produce a set of five video segments which were designed to introduce African church leaders to the amazing fruitfulness God was blessing through Disciple Making Movements. In those videos we interviewed six global catalysts of some remarkable multi-generational movements located in six different nations of Africa.

To prepare for the interviews we developed a set of questions each catalyst would be asked and those questions centered around five themes. Eventually we phrased those themes in the way presented in the following graphic:

Five Critical Elements for Starting Multiplying Groups

When we produced the video segments the names of these five topics were slightly different. But the starting point is always a call to pray & fast. Only God can cause Movements and our best way to tap into his desire to do that is via prayer, but it is a qualitatively different type of praying and that is why we connect it to fasting.

Extraordinary prayer is foundational to multiplication!

One of the differences is this type of prayer wrestles against our rank individualism. Movement praying involves mobilizing abundant intercession. It is always looking for those who already have a passion for intercession who are open to learning some of the foundational characteristics of DMM. Finding Persons of Peace and connecting with their family, friends and acquaintances is at the heart of Kingdom Multiplication. Jesus’ strategy was to hand-pick a group that he would pour most of his ministry effort into. Then, he sent the Holy Spirit in to empower them to do likewise. Multipliers discipling multipliers was his strategy.

But how do you find the right people? Pray & Fast. Abundant (extra-ordinary) intercession is essential. Who are you calling to join you in praying?