More than a movement…

Disciples are never lone rangers – they are part of a discipling community. After an
operation last week I experienced how the risen Lord activated this community over at least three continents (thanks to electronic communication) to pray for me, encourage me and to minister the Father’s love to me. Actually it was Christ doing all of this through his body on earth.

A friend reminded me of the school experiment where a layer of iron filings on a smagfield3heet of cardboard suddenly comes alive when a magnet comes close enough, orientating themselves towards the invisible magnetic field.

This is exactly how a discipling community functions when Christ as head of the body ministers through the members, equipping and nurturing the community and reaching out to the world through them in transforming a broken world to the image of the Kingdom of heaven. Nobody needed to hold a meeting, do a planning session or devise a strategy, nobody needed to even send out a call of action when I needed ministry – Christ did it all and his body responded!

If all of this is true for the widest set of relationships stretching over almost the whole earth, how much more could we not experience Christ actively ministering through a group of say six, eight or twelve?

The implication for disciple makers then is that I am not making disciples on my own, but that Christ is doing it through us, intentionally, actively and with deliberate focus.

The implication for a disciple making movement is that even though our strategies and campaigns will have some benefit, being open to Christ to direct the body through his Spirit is the greatest advantage of all.

If Christ can mobilise more than a hundred members of his body to encourage just one person, how much more would be possible if He mobilises his whole body to make the Kingdom a practical reality.

And that is exactly what He is doing and you have been called for nothing less!



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Preconditions for disciple-making?

Are there any preconditions to disciple-making, certain events or conditions that should be in place before a disciple-making movement will start?

Historically speaking there were of course some preconditions for the movement that Jesus started –

  • Revelation since before the time of Moses as foundation
  • The development of a culture that understood disciple-making and its relationship to the acts of God within human lives
  • The mobilising ministry of John the baptiser in preparing the way for Lord to come.
  • A time of intense socio-political upheaval that opened peoples eyes to eschatology being realised in front of their very eyes,

From a spiritual viewpoint a few points could be listed as well –

  • A broken people reaching out to God, their only hope and salvation
  • A willingness to heed the call of repentance that went out wide and far
  • The life shattering experience of a messiah being publicly killed on a cross, followed by the resurrection and the explosion of hope that changed all perspective
  • God the Father drawing people towards Jesus
  • The risen Christ actively reaching out to the world through his very visible body within the community wherever his followers are

Paul writes about planting, watering and then waiting on the harvest that will come in its own good time as God works. He even describes how the interlocking roles of apostle, evangelist, prophet, teacher and shepherd as expression of the presence of Jesus within his body on earth, creates the dynamics for movement.


  • What would be the preconditions for a disciple-making movement in your culture and context right now?
  • Which preconditions for a disciple-making movement are in place already?
  • Which role from Ephesians 4 do you think would the Spirit use to put into place the next step towards a disciple-making Kingdom movement?
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Understanding the 5-fold ministry

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