'Johnny' is an Asian-American. His parents fled SE Asia during the Vietnam War. He grew up in a Buddhist home. After coming to Christ he's back in the region making disciples and starting churches.
Related: Pioneering Movements in SE Asia with Steve Parlato (Ep: 095) on the Movements Podcast.
Chuck Huckaby mades some good points on the relationship between two streams of theory and practices in disciple-making/church planting movements.
One issue that wasn’t mentioned in the article itself or it’s follow up as to why some might prefer DMM over T4T is a theological/methodological one for many, myself included.
Originally T4T struck me as the same old “hard sell”, “low content”, “easy believism” approaches to evangelism I had witnessed before. I know I have experienced someone seemingly saying “yes to Jesus” really to be rid of me! Going immediately into a lesson on “assurance” in that situation seems presumptuous and spiritually dangerous for the person. The reason Jeff Sundell (rightly) switched from using “saved/lost” language in North Carolina was because of precisely the same kind of false assurance his participants had about folks living far from God who had, nonetheless, “walked the aisle” and been “assured” they were no longer “lost” at an earlier age.
In contrast a DMM approach that starts with Bible Study and continually tests for obedience from the start is much less likely, one hopes, to produce “false positives” when it comes to counting conversions for that very reason. That format more likely allows for a worldview change than the other format… it is the changed worldview that helps avoid the factor of syncretism – a “Jesus whitewash” over a “pagan core belief system”.
Well done if you saw the title of this post and decided to keep reading!
Let me translate:
CPM = Church Planting Movements
T4T = Training for Trainers
DMM = Disciple Making Movements
DBS = Discovery Bible Study
If you’re still confused, don’t worry. You’re not alone. For many DMM is just another way of talking about CPM. And T4T and DBS is just different methods of making disciples. You can even combine them.
But there are some important differences which Steve Smith unpacks in this helpful article.
I like Steve’s conclusion:
By the power of the SpIrIt, both [DBS and T4T] have born the fruIt of healthy CPMs [broadly defined]. The realIty Is that many CPM practItIoners blend elements from both.
*The bracketed comments are mine.
The best book to read on T4T:
The best book to read on DMM:
UPDATE: Don’t miss Chuck Huckaby’s contribution in the comments.
Dependency occurs when a local church [ed. or church planting movement] requires funding or leadership from outside of its own members in order carry out the core biblical responsibilities of a local church under normal conditions.
Consequences of financial dependency include a lack of ownership, stunted growth, mixed motives in leadership, confused accountability, suspicion of foreign influence, and compromised witness.
For a church to be sustainable it must be able to carry out its core biblical functions without relying on foreign funding or leadership.
The benefits of sustainability are the opposites of the consequences of dependency listed above.
In this masters thesis, Ken Stout does a great job of wrestling with the relationship between financial dependency and the health of a movement.
Ray Vaughn is moving to Houston so he sent this email around to the usual suspects:
Guys. I have a question. Did any of you formulate a step by step plan for when you hit the ground running in a new city, or to engage a new people group?
Here’s what Jared thought …
- First six months—train everyone you can find, take them with you in the field always.
Practically—L1 trainings (several per month) and then personally out in the harvest 4-6 days per week, calling others to join you as often as possible.
- At the end of 6 months, retreat and reflect on who is faithful, teachable, and fruitful.
Practically—Midlevel training with a couple of the t4tusa guys in attendance. Have them connect with your potentials and give feedback as to how to best move forward with each of them.
- Spend the next 6 months helping them as they train and take people to the field.
Practically—Assist your guys as they train and watch them from the background as they do it on their own. Ensure they are in the field several times per week.
I would suggest a goal of finding faithful people (5-10) as a good one for the end of the first year. This would also set you up for success in year two.
L1 trainings are about how to get from “zero to one” — from no disciples to a group of new believers gathered as church. Midlevel training helps those doing zero to one take the next step.