Daily Habits Are More Effective Than Big Programs

Updated: Jun 4

Peter's daily habits of engaging unbelievers led to breakthrough

Peter is a disciple-maker in West Africa. Working in a region fraught with spiritual oppression, Peter turned to Disciple-Making Movements after losing most of his team. His story displays the importance of mobilizing prayer, inviting Muslims into God's Word, and engaging unbelievers through the cultivation of daily habits rather than big programs!


Ministry in a Spiritually Oppressed Region


My team and I work in an Islamic region where missionaries ministered with little success in 100 years. Extreme spiritual oppression plagues the area. One missionary told me, "Nobody lasts here. Whether because of illnesses, fights, or fears, missionaries always end up leaving."


Within a few years, every member of my team left due to hardships, just as the missionary had warned. I decided I needed to find a new direction in ministry.


One day, a pastor visited and dropped off books he recommended for me to read. One of them was Miraculous Movements. I read it and discovered about Disciple-Making Movements (DMM) for the first time and my jaw dropped. This was the answer to all the questions and challenges I had faced!


Prayer was the Foundation for Movement


We decided to pursue Disciple-Making Movements as our new direction. We made the difficult decision to move on from our denominational group during a furlough because they would have been hesitant to support this direction. They were only interested in planting churches of their denomination.


My team knew we needed to mobilize at least 1,000 people to pray for us if we ever hoped to see movement. While visiting churches, we asked every person and prayer group to pray regularly for us and receive our prayer updates.


After returning to the field, we started a medical clinic to reach and bless the local community. In the following years, we started Discovery Groups among Muslims, Muslim-background believers, and believers. At this point, I realized I didn't know what I was doing, so I searched online for help in DMM. I stumbled upon Contagious Disciple Making and signed up for coaching!


Since then, one Muslim-background believer started a DBS with his Muslim friends. Once he started his Discovery Group, he told me, "This is amazing. I talk to so many Muslims and, before, it always ended in arguments. They always got stuck on Jesus being the Son of God. However, now as we do DBS, these same Muslims are discussing Creation and asking questions about the God of the Bible!"


Engaging with Unbelievers while Jogging


Though the clinical helped us reach the lost, my running hobby became more effective. I go on runs regularly through my neighborhood and practice learning the language by speaking phrases with locals. I frequently ran by an Islamic school. Every time I passed by, all the kids would come out and greet me.


One day, the teacher came out and said, "I like you—you're a nice person."


"I like you too," I replied and we started talking. After having many casual conversations while jogging by the school, I decided to give an invitation to Discovery Bible Study.


"I know the Torah," I told him, "and I know you're a teacher. Would you be interested in reading it with me in your language?"


He agreed and brought 6 teachers with him for our first meeting! Eventually, the others dropped out, but two of the Islamic teachers still study the Word with me to this day.


Even after we reached the Gospel passage where Jesus is called the Son of God—a statement that would normally be hard to swallow for Muslims—these two guys keep coming back for more! They continue to obey God's Word and share the stories with their Muslim friends and family.


Lessons Learned:

First, prayer is the prerequisite to disciple-making. Peter and his team knew that prayer is indispensable to movements. Not just any prayer, but large scale prayer, especially for a region that is so spiritually dangerous. Second, reading directly from God’s Word is far more powerful than speaking for God. Peter’s Muslim-background believer teammate struggled to get past arguments and roadblocks through discussions with his Muslim friends. Once he invited them to read God’s Word for themselves, barriers were overcome! Third, daily habits are often more effective than big programs. Peter found that his regular runs were more effective than the entire medical clinic at engaging lost people. Furthermore, running costs a lot less time and resources, and anyone can do it!

Free Podcast on Helping Others Pray Regularly!


Being able to multiply a Prayer Calendar is just as important as personally practicing it. In this episode, discover the key to helping others engage in prayer by starting their own Prayer Calendar. Start with just 5 friends, and see hundreds mobilized to prayer. Let's start a prayer movement together! Listen here.


Looking for where to start?


Begin with these 4 core disciple-making habits!


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