A Disciple Making Movement, or DMM, is an unusual concept for many westerners. Growing up in predominantly Christianized cultures, we can find it difficult to grasp how quickly the Church can spread in areas it hasn’t previously permeated. What, even, is a movement? David Garrison defined a movement as “a rapid multiplication of indigenous churches planting churches that sweeps through a people group or population segment.” Perhaps it is best understood through the following example from India.
Reshma* was invited by her neighbor to participate in a Discovery Bible Study. The woman was aware of the poor situation in Reshma’s marriage, but, as a follower of Jesus, she knew God could meet all of Reshma’s needs. Through the story of creation, Reshma understood for the first time that there was a God above all gods, a true God who loves her, and she received the Good News as dry soil receives the rains. When Reshma began sharing her newfound belief, she encountered persecution from her husband. She stood firm, however, and God’s grace sustained her and brought about an improvement in Reshma’s marriage. (Read Reshma’s story here.)
Madhu*, a relative, noticed the positive change in Reshma’s husband and said, “(He) seems changed. Are you doing something different with him?” Excitedly, Reshma told her of all that God had done. Madhu was so impressed by His ability to soften and change the heart of Reshma’s husband that she gave her allegiance to God and joined Reshma as a co-laborer in the Kingdom.
Three months later, Madhu shared a Bible story with her neighbor, Maravan, and his whole family. Maravan was an aggressive and rough man who owned a nearby shop which wasn’t doing well. He told Madhu, “If you will pray for me and God brings financial change to my shop, then I will believe this God is true.” Madhu prayed, God blessed Maravan’s shop, and he and his whole family gave their allegiance to God. Soon people began to see that Maravan was a changed man!
Maravan began sharing with many others about the changes that had occurred in his family since they became Christ followers. A friend named Krish and his entire family accepted Christ because of Maravan’s testimony of God’s power. Soon another man and his family became Christians when Krish shared Christ with them!
In only 9 months, 5 generations of believers were birthed in a difficult area in India. From these 5 generations, 42 people have been baptized into the Kingdom! This is essentially what a movement looks like: the Kingdom of God flowing quickly, effectively and naturally along relational lines making an immediate and eternal difference in the lives of those who hear, receive and obey. What could be better than that?