Advancing Jesus’ Life-Transforming Movement of Disciples Making Disciples (DMD)
According to Matthew 28:18-20, the mission of the church is to make disciples: Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
The primary command is to “make disciples.” A disciple is someone who is fully committed to following Jesus and becoming like Jesus. (Click here for a more detailed definition of what a disciple of Jesus looks like). How do we “make disciples“? The Great Commission spells this out for us with three action words: Go, Baptize, Teach.
As we go about life, we intentionally and relationally share the good news of Jesus Christ with others. By the grace of God, some will decide to follow Jesus and make a public profession of faith called baptism. Then we teach these new disciples to joyfully obey all Jesus commanded. And if these new disciples truly grasp the command of Jesus to make disciples, they will teach others to make disciples who make disciples. The mission of the church is to be disciplemakers who make disciplemakers.
At first glance, multiplying disciples by going, baptizing, and teaching others to obey Jesus is an overwhelming task if left to ourselves. But we should take heart because Jesus closes His Commission to us with a promise that’s also a command: And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age. As we commit to multiplying disciples, Jesus promises to be with us to help us and to show us how to accomplish His mission to the world. We need to be sure of this!
Our Strategy for Making Disciples: the 4E’s
If we are going to be intentional about making disciples, then we need a strategy. Our strategy is a process to make, mature, and multiply disciples, which is summarized in our 4E process:
- Engage: Like Jesus, we want to be intentional and relational, engaging people with the good news of the Gospel.
- Establish: Once people begin to turn from sin and trust Jesus, we want to establish them in the basics of a deeper relationship with God.
- Equip: To help people grow toward maturity, we want to equip them with a solid foundation to love God, love others, and make disciples.
- Expand: As we follow Jesus and become more like Him, we are sent out to expand His kingdom by training and investing in others who can continue this process to multiple generations.
To put legs to our 4E strategy, we invite those who are committed to multiplying disciples to become part of one of our 4E groups where Jesus’ followers are inspired and trained to live out the 4E lifestyle.
We believe God has set before us a picture of His future for us, a picture of not only what can be, but a picture of what must be if we are to be faithful to Jesus. This vision ignites our passion to strive fervently toward this future. Therefore:
WE DREAM OF a community of Jesus followers passionately Advancing Jesus’ Life-Transforming Movement of Disciples Making Disciples (DMD). We see a simple church committed to impact over activity so that priority may be given to fulfilling Jesus’ Great Commission, both locally and globally. We see a church passionate about reaching the lost, not just reshuffling the sheep from one church flock to another. We see people coming to trust Jesus Christ and being transformed into committed Jesus followers where they live, work, and play. We see an ever-expanding network of regular Life Groups involving thousands of people (believers and non-believers) and from which many believers go into 4E Life Groups that multiply disciples who make disciples for the fame of Jesus. We see this movement transcending our local fellowship and taking on a life of its own in ways too numerous to imagine all around the world.
WE DREAM OF a community of Jesus followers grounded in the rock-solid truth of God’s Word, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and passionate about praying. We see a dynamic synergism of Word, Spirit, and prayer coalescing to ignite supernatural ministry. We see that the proper goals for life and ministry are beyond our ability to reach, so we will intentionally cultivate a culture of prayer. We see a supernatural ministry where prayer is the fuel that fires the furnace of all our efforts to love God, love others, and make disciples who make disciples—a supernatural ministry whose impact can only be explained by the gracious work of the almighty, sovereign God.
WE DREAM OF a community of Jesus followers filled with the grace and truth of Jesus. We see a church where those who are far from God feel welcomed, so they might be won for Jesus Christ. We see a place where people have the freedom to transparently work out their messy lives without immediately conforming to all the hallmarks of Christian maturity. We see a church where it’s safe to openly confess your brokenness with fellow broken people, so the transforming power of the Holy Spirit can move us together toward wholeness, health, and restoration.
WE DREAM OF a community of Jesus followers where all the generations passionately engage in Spirit-empowered, gift-based ministry to the church and world. We see a church where spiritual gifts are being discovered and deployed by all so the body of Christ is built up to a place of unity, maturity, stability, and love. We see a church where the entire team is on the field with nobody passively watching a select few from the bleachers. We see a church where all the generations worship, fellowship, and engage in Jesus’ mission together.
WE DREAM OF a community of Jesus followers so completely saturated with the love of God that we become a church of irresistible influence in our local community and beyond. We see a church where the Great Commandment is the burning motivation for the advancement of the Great Commission. We see a church compelled by the love of Christ to invite thousands of people who do not know Him to find their place in God’s story. We see a community of believers so transformed by the love of Jesus that we can say “there’s not a needy person among us.” We see a worship gathering where the love of Christ is expressed in genuine and tangible ways.
WE DREAM OF a community of Jesus followers anchored in historic-contemporary worship of our glorious Triune God. We see truth being made accessible to the people of our present culture while simultaneously respecting and learning from the rich aspects of our heritage. We see a modern church that recasts the best ancient practices in a contemporary way while avoiding traditionalism and meaningless habits.