Sometimes we just need to get back to the basics. So, what does it take to have a thriving DMC?
As disciple makers, personal practice is important, but in order to sustain it we need community. That’s where a Disciple Making Community, or DMC, fits in. In this mini blog, we’ll cover some of the crucial ingredients that define a DMC and help us as we go forth and make disciples.
What is a DMC, anyway?
A DMC is made up of believers and is designed to mobilize believers to become intentional disciple makers who fall in love with Jesus as a part of their everyday lives. We already know Jesus, now we want to help one another put what we believe into action.
Unlike traditional Bible studies, one of the goals of a Disciple Making Community is to create a culture and a team, not just a meeting. This means that the members of a DMC are connecting and building one another up throughout the week, not just during the set time of their meeting.
So what are the crucial elements that need to be part of a DMC in order to help us achieve this goal?
Action Focused Learning
Way too many of our groups these days are about knowledge acquisition. We leave church or a Bible study feeling good because we’ve learned something new and grown in knowledge, but a DMC is all about getting people to take what little things they know and put them into practice.
It’s this idea of Transformative Action.
By putting things into practice, knowledge becomes tangible and personally meaningful, we can see change happen, create a culture and usher in movement.
We see this principle in the Discovery Bible Study question: “If we believe this story is from God, how must we change?” It’s designed to help us read God’s word with the intention to obey it.
Anyone who has been with CDM for any length of time knows that prayer is essential to all disciple making efforts. No Disciple Making Movement has been started without a prayer movement preceding it.
Prayer is something we not only encourage within the DMC meeting itself, but also throughout our everyday life. We add one another to our Prayer Calendars and we ask for prayer from one another over upcoming engagements with nonbelievers.
A huge part of the DMC is helping one another brainstorm and plan engagements with nonbelievers. We’re looking for ways to actively, regularly and naturally build deep friendships with lost people in hopes that they will want to discover God by reading the Bible for themselves.
Engagements can come in so many forms — walks, hikes, potlucks, a meal at someone’s house or on the town, a picnic, a beach day, a monster truck rally, gardening, playing a mutually appreciated sport, video game or board game; going to a Renaissance fair, watching a movie, building Legos — and the list goes on and on!
Whatever form your engagements take, the goal is to spend a significant amount of time having good conversations and developing friendships with lost people, praying that God will draw them to discover Who He is for themselves in His Word.
Our DMCs should be a force for being Christ’s hands and feet to bless people within our communities and cities.
Whether we’re picking up trash, feeding the homeless or delivering a meal to a suffering neighbor, meeting the needs of our communities augments our engagements and gives them power, showing people that we care about them and practice what we preach.
Accountability and Encouragement
A lot of people hear the word “accountability” and want to run for the hills. It calls to the mind the idea of stern and sterile checklists and uncomfortable talks. That’s why we pair accountability with encouragement within our DMCs.
Rather than shame or scare people into a rote behavior, we build a culture of positive accountability by encouraging one another, asking good questions, spending quality time in fellowship together and showing that disciple making can be fun.
And if someone doesn’t get a chance to do something they said they would do, we simply ask how we can help them in that and we stand at the ready to celebrate any victory, big or small.
Celebration is intricately connected with all the aforementioned elements. It’s what helps the DMC move forward.
During our times of celebration as a DMC, we thank and praise God for how He has answered our prayers, for the people He has brought into our lives, and for how He has worked through our little steps of obedience.
In this place of gratitude that is centered around God and His work in the steps we’ve taken, people are encouraged to go out and live the life of a disciple maker.
These are the key elements that make a DMC what it is. Paul and Rebecca break each of them down in greater detail, so if you’d like to learn more, be sure to check out “Disciple Making Community Basics“ on the CDM Podcast. You can find the full podcast here or on the CDM App! Thanks for reading!