What are Disciple Making Movements?

Jon Luesink
January 12 2023

Evangelicalism in Canada is in steep decline, estimated to be shrinking below 3% of the population. The last time North Americans were adding new believers faster than we were sending them to heaven was 1927. Could it be that our prevailing models of ministry require a soft reformation? How can we turn the corner from decline to multiplicative expansion?

Disciple Making Movements (DMM) and Church Planting Movements (CPM) have been answering these questions for the last thirty years. Earnest missionaries like David Watson and Curtis Sergeant were inspired by George Patterson, Roland Allen, the Moravians, and Patrick of Ireland who all looked past the Constantinian models of doing church to the patterns and principles found in the book of Acts. From all around the globe, these principles are beginning to bear fruit on the last and most difficult frontier: affluent, Christianized North America.

  • The focus is to make every follower of Christ a reproducing disciple rather than mere converts. 
  • Simple transferable patterns create frequent and regular accountability for disciples to hear accurately from the Lord, obey Him, and pass it on to others. 
  • This requires a participative, small-group approach. Each disciple is equipped in comprehensive ways in order that they might function not merely as consumers, but as active agents of Kingdom advance. 
  • Each disciple is given a vision for reaching their relational network and for extending the Kingdom to the ends of the earth (= “no place left”). 
  • Reproducing churches are intentionally formed as part of the disciple-multiplying process.
  • The intent in CPM/DMM approaches is that disciples, churches, leaders, and movements can multiply endlessly by the power of the Spirit.

Canadian pioneers have already embraced the paradigm shift. They have received training and coaching from the many streams of DMM, like Discovery Bible Study (DBS); T4T; Zume; 4-Fields, just to name a few. They are connecting through “24:14”, an informal relational network of like-minded labourers who span the globe. With them, we are working to catalyze and collaborate with those who have a holy longing to see the discipleship crisis in Canada reversed. Two gateways are Zúme Training and DBS. Outreach Canada is committed to engaging the challenge of making disciples. We invite you to join with us.

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