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Andrew Estes - The Clarity Project


  • Writer's pictureAndrew Estes

Disciple-Making Movements Require 3 Things

In 2020, I met a remarkable Kingdom leader, Josh Howard. Josh is a Midwest boy who moved to India and, through a long journey, has assisted in an incredible movement of God among the lost in that country. Through several training sessions, Josh shared with me and other leaders the principles of Disciple-Making Movements that are taking place worldwide. These principles are like the heartbeat of God's mission for us as believers, and they require three key ingredients: a big vision, a clear pathway, and simple tools. Let's break it down, starting with the first and most critical ingredient.

A Big Vision: God's Heart for the Nations

When it comes to making disciples and planting churches, we have to start with God's heart. And guess what? His heart is for the nations! Beginning in Genesis 12 and the blessing of Abraham to be set apart as a blessing to "all peoples," to Matthew 28:19-20, where Jesus tells us, "Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." That's not a suggestion; it's a divine command. God desires all men everywhere to come to a saving faith in Him (1 Timothy 2:4) and he set us apart as His ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20) to a fallen and broken world.

God's love isn't confined to a single nation, culture, or people group. His love is boundless and all-encompassing. He wants every corner of this world to know His grace and salvation. So, our vision should be equally expansive. We're talking about reaching the unreached, making disciples where there are none, and planting churches where God's name has never been proclaimed. This news compels us beyond the four walls of our church!

A Clear Pathway: The Four Fields

Now, you might be thinking, "That's an incredible vision, but how do we even begin?" Well, that's where the clear pathway comes in. One incredibly effective understanding and training method is called "The Four Fields."

The Four Fields - Disciple-Making Movement
The Four Fields

When a farmer goes out to sew the seed. He enters into an empty field where people have never heard about Jesus. The first step is to enter that field. Get in there, start building relationships, and earn the right to share the good news.

Once you've entered the field, it's time to share the Gospel. This isn't about preaching from a pulpit; it's about having meaningful, one-on-one conversations where you explain who Jesus is and what He's done.

The third field is all about discipling those who receive the Gospel. You're not just making converts; you're making disciples. Teach them to obey everything Jesus has commanded.

Finally, gather those believers and equip them to go back into their spheres of influence to repeat the process in other fields. That's how you multiply disciples and churches exponentially.

Simple Tools: Sharing God's Story & Your Story

Now, let's talk about the third essential ingredient: simple tools. Sharing the Gospel and your own story can be intimidating, but it doesn't have to be.

One of my favorite tools is the "3 Circles." It's a simple way to share the Gospel of Jesus using just three circles and a few lines. You draw three circles – brokenness, cross, and life – and explain how sin breaks our relationship with God, how Jesus' sacrifice on the cross restores that relationship, and how faith in Him leads to a transformed life. It's clear, concise, and powerful.

The "15-Second Testimony" is your story in a nutshell. It's about sharing Jesus's impact on your life in 15 seconds or less. It has three simple parts, "This was my life before Jesus, this is what Jesus did, and this is my life after Jesus." It's quick, easy to remember, and perfect for those moments when you share your story.

Three things required for movement: a big vision, a clear pathway, and simple tools. These are the ingredients that can ignite a disciple-making movement or a church-planting movement in your community and beyond.

Vision to See a Disciple-Making Movement

Your church's vision should align with God's heart for the nations. It's not just about growing a big congregation; it's about multiplying disciples and planting churches where the gospel has yet to be heard. It's about fulfilling the Great Commission.

Your mission needs to be crystal clear. How are you going to make disciples and advance the Kingdom? Do you have a strategy in place? Are you equipping your congregation for this vital task? It's not enough to have good intentions; you need a plan.

And your values? They should reflect the very essence of disciple-making. Are you fostering a culture of love, grace, obedience, and accountability within your church? Are you encouraging your members to step out of their comfort zones and into the fields ripe for harvest?

As leaders, it's our responsibility to cast a vision that aligns with God's heart, define a mission that's actionable, and uphold values that reflect the very character of Christ. Together, let's rise to the challenge, train anything that moves, and step into the incredible adventure of movement. The world is waiting, and God's mission is calling. Let's answer that call with boldness, purpose, and unwavering faith.

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