The seventh element in “raising the sails” for movement is “Ongoing Coaching.”
I’ve already written some on the importance of this element in an article called DMM Coaching. Feel free to check it out if you haven’t already.
I’d like to say a few more things here.
When I’ve looked for coaches in the past to help me with starting a church, or help me with the transition to DMM, or help me with businesses I’ve started, I’ve looked for someone who has experienced what I want to experience. There are a lot of theorists out there, and while some of them may make great coaches, I’ve always been most helped by people who have already been where I’m wanting to go. People that have already seen what I’m hoping to see. These people can speak from having “been there, done that” rather than what they “think” might work.
As I started looking for coaches that could help our church with our 1,000,000 in 10 Years vision, I knew I wanted coaches that had seen millions come to Christ. I wanted coaches that had experienced what we were wanting to experience. Not people that just had some ideas about how it might happen, but people that had actually experienced it.
That immediately meant that I had to look outside of America. I don’t know any pastor/leader in America that has seen 1,000,000 disciples made in 50 years, much less 10 years. The largest American churches have reached people in the tens of thousands, but I’ve never heard of any movement in America in modern times that has seen millions.
Missiologists that study movements agree.
I get a monthly email from a movements researcher that documents where movements have been catalyzed around the world. Last I looked, there were only 2, maybe 3, documented movements in America. The one that we know of for sure has disciples numbering over 100,000 and growing, but not quite a million yet. And, believe it or not, this movement wasn’t even started out of a church. Rather, it was started out of a non-profit that ministers to the poor. We’ve been out to see this ministry & we were astounded by the tens of thousands of disciples that have been made through them. We’ve been mentored directly & indirectly by them as well.
Looking outside of America for a few coaches led me to my primary DMM Coach, Stan, who lives in Dubai in the UAE & a leader from India whose name I’ll leave out for security reasons. Both of these men have been a part of movements that have reached millions. The leader from India leads one of these movements & Stan coaches in many of these movements.
To me, one of the great tragedies in the American church, is that it seems like many American pastors, including myself for a long time, aren’t even aware that millions are being reached overseas. If we were, perhaps we’d reach out to some of these leaders & invite them to coach, mentor & train us so that we might pray & strategize toward a similar movement of God in our country. Rather, since we’re often not aware of what’s happening in the world, American pastors usually choose as coaches & mentors other American pastors. Nothing wrong with this, but you’ll likely only experience what those American pastors have experienced because you’ll end up doing the same things those American pastors have done. With some influence from overseas, we might be able to see some things in the American church that are barriers to us experiencing a great movement of God.
Harry Brown, in his foreword of The Kingdom Unleashed, said:
The Global North has much to be proud of in what it has accomplished in the last two centuries of missionary work. But the cold, hard reality is that we have pretty much found the ceiling on what can be accomplished with the approaches we are using. By contrast, what God is doing through His people in the Global South is creating an upheaval that is tossing the status quo out the window. A timeless truth states, “The humble get better.” It is time for all of us on this half of the globe to listen and learn from the folks on the other side.
We are still in the very early stages of implementing a DMM strategy, but we wouldn’t have had a clue how to even get started without coaching from overseas. Much of what they’re doing overseas to reach millions is totally foreign to the American church. I’ve had to do a lot of deconstruction in my own mind to be able to even understand what they’re saying to me. The way they view church & discipleship is so different there. And as I hear them talk about it, if I’m being honest, it aligns so much more with what I’ve read in Scripture than what I had always been taught to do as an American church pastor.
I constantly call my coaches & ask questions. I share with them what we’re doing & ask for feedback. I’m eager to implement whatever they tell me. I want to “raise the sails” here like they’ve “raised the sails” in their countries so that we might see in our country what we’ve seen in theirs if the Holy Spirit chooses to “blow on our sails!”
I can’t stress enough the importance of having a coach if you’re going to dive into DMM. You need someone to take you through the initial DMM Training. Then you need someone to guide you as you implement that training. You need someone you can ask questions to & someone that will help you troubleshoot difficult situations. My coaches have been an incredible resource for all of these situations.
My DMM Coach told me that it’s common in these movements to meet with a coach at least weekly in your first 2-3 years of getting started. You need that much input into what you’re doing. They often point to the 3 years that Jesus spent with his disciples as a model for this.
For each of our teams that we’ve sent out from eLife, they meet with us weekly for coaching. We talk about how their implementation of the 7 elements went that week & what they can improve for the next week. We tell powerful stories & we pray for each other that we’d see many disciples made & many churches planted.
I’d encourage you, if you’re interested in getting started in DMM, to seek out a coach that can take you through the training & then guide you along as you begin to implement the principles.
Roy Moran wrote in Spent Matches, “Movements live and die on good mentoring and coaching.”
Each of our DMM Church Planting Teams that we’ve sent out from eLife has this goal related to this element:
- Participate in an Ongoing Coaching meeting at least once a week