In the beginning, tracking progress as you work towards Disciple Making Movements is difficult. You probably haven't found Spiritual Sharers or Persons of Peace. You don't have any Discovery Groups. You certainly haven't seen anything multiply. All the hard work without any visual progress can be frustrating, to say the least.
Mitigating frustration - especially in the early stages of Movement - is one of the reasons I like to ground Metrics on tactics which are ultimately informed by our strategies. I like to set Goals around things I do and Desired Outcomes based on how I hope God will use my activity to build His Kingdom. (I talk about Metrics here. I talk about Goals and Desired Outcomes here.)
'Prayer' is the focus of our next few blog posts. As we transition, I thought I'd talk about some things I look for as I evaluate the progress of our Prayer Strategy. They aren't specific enough to be goals, but they are indicators of heading in the right direction. Let's call them Key Performance Indicators.
Key Performance Indicators of a Prayer Strategy
Your prayer team is growing. (Mobilizing) This should be obvious.
People you have trained are creating their own personal Prayer Teams. (Equipping) In Disciple Making Movements, we want to see multiplication at every level - Prayer Teams included. This fosters a culture and value of prayer
If you use Facebook, more team members 'Like' and comment on your updates. (Communication) Communication with your Prayer Team shouldn't be one way. Prayer Teams rarely respond naturally, though. You have to teach them to 'Like' posts. I simply say, "Please let us know you took time to pray by 'Liking' this post."
Prayer Team members hear from the Lord and share what they've heard through comments, private messages, texts, or email. (Listening) This is much deeper than simply 'Liking' a post. This level of communication indicates people are really seeking the Lord and they feel safe enough in relationship with you and your team to share what He is telling them.
New team members are leveraging your Prayer Team to pray for them as they minister while they are building their own Prayer Team. (Mobilization) As you probably have become aware, building a Prayer Team takes time. I love it when a new Disciple-making teammate is already moving ahead faster than they can build their own Prayer Team. I want my Prayer Team to know what is being built on the foundation of their prayers up to that point. I also don't want to let my new teammate off the hook for building their own Prayer Team, though.
You have a team member who commits to ask the question, "What are we doing to pray, mobilize prayer, equip our prayer team, communicate with our prayer team, and celebrate with our prayer team?" (All) For me, one of the ultimate ways you and your Disciple-making Team demonstrate prayer is a priority is by assigning the execution of your prayer strategy to one person. This person will not do all the work - every team member MUST put in the work. But, this person will be responsible for holding everyone accountable to participate in the Prayer Strategy.
Prayer Team members are leveraging the resources you created to pray more effectively. (Equipping) When Prayer Team members start small groups within their churches to equip people to pray - that is a very good sign. When they tell you stories of ministry that happens as they work through their Prayer Calendar - that is a good sign. When they invite you into their personal Prayer Teams - that is a good sign. All of these things mean that prayer is working its way into their spiritual DNA.
Team members are regularly communicating with your Prayer Team without prompting. (Communication) When you don't have to remind Disciple-making Team members to communicate with their Prayer Teams anymore, that is a sign that they've realized the importance of prayer for ministry and for catalyzing Disciple Making Movements.
You are scheduling time every month to celebrate and worship with as many of your Prayer Team as possible. (Celebration and Worship) Celebrate what you and your team are doing as they obey God and work toward Movement. Worship God for how He blesses the prayers of your Prayer Team and the obedience of your Disciple-making Team. If you don't schedule time to stop and worship with your Prayer Team, they will lose focus and drift away. Even worse, you are robbing God of glory that is due His Name.
As your Prayer Team matures and your Disciple-making Team puts in the hard work, you will experience the following fruit:
- You will have more meaningful and spiritual conversations.
- You will meet people who have had dreams and visions about Jesus.
- You will find more Spiritual Sharers and Persons of Peace.
- You will start Discovery Groups.
- Groups will multiply.
- People will fall in love with Jesus and be baptized.
Hope that helps. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask them in the comments below.
Contagious Disciple Making is offering a webinar on Praying for Disciple Making Movements. You can register for it here.