Release


Part 1 – Church Involvement Continuum
Part 2 – Bless

My guess is that after reading the Bless post, you probably want to do more. You know you can bless & pray for movement work in your city but you’re wondering if there’s a more significant way your church can be involved. That leads us to a second way your church can be involved with DMM.

But first, a friendly reminder. It’s best to let the Holy Spirit pick the way he wants your church to be involved. The temptation is to read these posts & pick the one you like the best or think your church would like the best. Try to resist that temptation and pray through each of these asking the Holy Spirit to show you what he wants you to do (it may not be on this list). 

Let’s continue. 

The second way the Holy Spirit might lead a church to be involved with DMM is to release some of the “radicals” in the church to be trained by a DMM trainer/catalyst and sent out as missionaries from your church to your city.

Each of these ways build on each other, so this second way a church might be involved in DMM builds on the first way of blessing & praying for movement work in your area. This just takes it a step further. The Holy Spirit may lead some churches not only to bless & pray for the work but get involved in the work themselves by releasing radicals from within their church.

Like the first way we discussed, this doesn’t end up changing the direction of the church in any way. The vision stays the same & the programming stays the same. This is more of an underground, behind the scenes strategy that only affects the few radicals that you’re wanting to send out. Most people probably wouldn’t even know you’re doing it, unless you wanted them to. It’s not a public invitation. More like private recruiting. You could make it public but we are trying to gradually move up in commitment level with each post and some churches may not be able to go public without more pushback. 

The way this works is that a pastor or leadership team first identifies some people in the church that are “radicals.”

What’s a radical? Perhaps this explanation will help.

These are the people so fired up in our churches that we have trouble containing them. They are like caged lions ready to break out and and take the world by storm for King Jesus. They know there must be more than just the activities of the church & they would be really excited to be trained and released to make disciples outside the church. 

Most churches have a few people like this. It’s not usually very many. They’re not disruptors. They’re not antagonistic toward the church. They’re just discontent, but in a good way. I’ve heard them called “holy discontents.” They love their church but they know there’s got to be more.

You probably are thinking of some people like this right now in your church. Again, it’s usually a very small percentage.

After you identify the radicals, next you cast vision to those radicals & then release them to be trained by a DMM trainer/catalyst. That trainer would show them how to multiply disciples & churches among the lost of your city that will probably never attend a traditional church like yours.

If you’re in a Christian bubble, like most Christians are, it’s probably difficult to imagine people who wouldn’t want to attend a traditional church. But let me remind you, it’s probably 90% of your city or more according to statistics. We’ve got to open our eyes & see that most people aren’t coming. Even worse, many aren’t even interested in coming. The Field of Dreams “build it and they will come” model is becoming less and less relevant especially with the increasing secularization of our culture. We’ve gotta release some people to “go” and get them, much like Jesus instructed in the Great Commission.

Next, if after the training with the DMM trainer the radicals want to form a “missionary” team/DMM church with the other radicals to start “going and making disciples” in the most difficult parts of your city, you and the leadership team would gladly bless and send them to do so. They would technically be “missionaries” sent out by that church to reach people that likely would never go to a traditional church.

Again, this doesn’t change anything at the elephant church, it just encourages some of the “radicals” in the elephant church to chase the Romans 15:20 ambition God has put on their heart to see your whole city reached.

We mentioned in the first way a church might be involved that pretty much any pastor/staff could “bless & pray” without pushback from the congregation. The same likely remains true with this second way a church could be involved. However, I would say that most pastors would probably need leadership approval (elders, deacons, or whoever governs the church) to implement this since some of the radicals that you send out are likely some of your best givers/volunteers. Since it will probably just be a few people, maybe 5-10, I don’t think it will be difficult to get the approval but it definitely requires a little more commitment and risk on the part of the leadership than just blessing & praying for movement work in your area.

Some might ask: Can we release the radicals & still have them come to our church so they can keep volunteering & giving? You could, but I wouldn’t recommend it. 

Here’s why. 

Same reason you don’t recommend that people attend two different churches. Why do most pastors encourage people to just get involved in ONE church? Because it’s too difficult to get deeply involved in more than one church. Typically if people are going to multiple churches, it’s because they’re not very involved in any of them. That’s why they have time to go to multiple churches. 

If these radicals stay involved in your church, chances are they won’t be very involved in their DMM church (the missionary team of radicals). And that would be a tragedy because these are the few that will be making disciples & planting churches in the darkest & most difficult parts of your city. It’s too hard to be involved with both. Just like it’s too hard to be involved in two churches. 

In the same way, do you continue to expect the same level of involvement from the missionaries your church sends overseas? Of course not. Besides the fact that they don’t live in that area & couldn’t attend anyways, you wouldn’t want them to come because you want them focused on their mission — reaching people who haven’t heard/responded. Same is true here.

Having said all of this, will they still be connected to your church like a normal missionary would? Absolutely! Will they still come on occasion to give reports of what God is doing? Absolutely! Will they be a missionary sent by & supported by your church? Absolutely! There’s still a strong partnership & they are technically still a part of your church. You’re just sending them out like missionaries for the sake of the lost people in your city that will never come to a church.

I hesitate to use the term missionary because people may start to think I’m talking about paying people to do this full-time like you would traditional missionaries. I’m not. These radicals are normal people with normal jobs. They will just begin to do “church” with their missionary team/DMM church like other missionaries would do overseas. No need to be involved in two churches. It’d actually be detrimental. I think most know that this would be true. That’s why most pastors encourage you to pick one church and get involved.

Clearly this requires a higher level of commitment than the first way just because you could lose some of your best givers & volunteers. But isn’t that a small sacrifice for your church to potentially be a part of a movement of God that impacts the lost in your city?

We certainly thought so. 

At our 10 Year Anniversary at Experience Life, we laid hands on & commissioned our first 50+ “radicals” to be sent from our church to form native missionary teams/DMM churches to go & reach our city. It was so exciting and our whole church was involved. You don’t have to send them out as publicly as we did, but we definitely wanted to free up our “radicals” to go and reach the people in our city that our church would never reach — the 90% that need Jesus!

It’s been 2 years since we sent them out, and we’re so glad we did. They haven’t had to pass out bulletins at the door, watch kiddos, usher people to their seats or anything else like that at the elephant church. We removed every potential distraction from them & told them that we supported them and we were cheering for them as they were sent out (just like we’d do for a missionary). I think they would all say it’s been much better being fully involved with their DMM church than being partially involved in their DMM church & partially involved in our traditional elephant church.

If the Holy Spirit were to lead in this direction, I believe this is a significant contribution that your church could make to movement work in your area. Bless and pray for the work & the workers (1st way). But even further, send out workers from your church to be a part of the work (2nd way)! How exciting!

Then, if/when God brings a movement to your area, you not only blessed & prayed for it, your church was able to be a part of it by releasing the radicals!

Since we released our radicals 2 years ago, they’ve prayed for hundreds of hours, shared with thousands of people, and even seen over 150 Discovery Groups started in multiple streams to the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and even 5th generation. The stories they tell are totally amazing!

Imagine what would’ve happened if we didn’t release them! We’re so glad we did! You’ll be glad too!

Part 4 – Hybrid