Helping mission champions to multiply Kingdom impact

Mentoring for Movements

The concepts found in Disciple Making Movements are beginning to be widely accepted. But as this acceptance spreads, we are also experiencing a lot of confusion. Part of this confusion results from the application of Disciple Making Movements methodology in a variety of contexts.

 Not everyone has the same role in a movement.

When I mentor people into Disciple Making Movements, I first listen very carefully to a number of things the person is telling me:

  •  Their perceived goal (what is the desired result?)
  •  History and experience of the leader
  •  Current structure/ organization he/ she is in
  •  His/ her natural inclinations and personality
  •  His/ her spiritual gifts
  • The spiritual climate amongst the people he/ she wants to reach

If there is a mismatch between any of these factors, the person is probably due for some major disappointment. Part of my job as a mentor is to help manage expectations and guide the person into his or her role in the movement.

Some examples of a bad mismatch would be:

  •  An extremely introverted but gifted administrator who desires to be the primary catalyst for a national movement
  •  A frustrated church member who is already at enmity with her church and pastor, but thinks that this is the way to show the church the correct way to make disciples
  •  A missionary with a pastoral gifting, surrounded by very broken, isolated and hurting people and expecting these people to become the leaders of the movement

I have personally seen every one of these situations (and many more - these are simply examples) lead to shattered expectations and disillusioned leaders. Therefore, it is very important for Disciple Making Movement Mentors not to create false expectations. It is also critical for new leaders to invite mature mentors into their lives. We need Mentors who will speak the truth in love.

When launching Disciple Making Movement teams, the leaders need to create very clear goals, objectives and expectations. Often people hear the remarkable results of movements around the world and they formulate false expectations. The reality is that explosive movements are a combination of several rather complex factors. Every person can be part of a movement and can add great value to the movement.

No one is excluded. But it does take a certain type of leadership and certain factors to be in place for movements to be started. Ultimately it takes the hand of God.

Let us pray that God would open our eyes to see where He is working and help us to find our unique roles in His work. If you desire to see movements started, I advise you to invite mature mentors into your life. It can save you years of frustration and pain from learning the hard way!


You are spot-on David. I too had to learn the hard way. When hearing the amazing stories David Watson told us during my 1st training in 2007, I got very inspired and somehow also expected quick success here in the San Francisco Bay area. It took my team about 2.5 years of trial and error before we started to see such breakthroughs that David told us about. My expectations were unrealistic, and I did not understand the “below ground work” needed to produce the “above ground results”. We also did not have an experienced DMM mentor till later, that also slowed our learning experience and caused us to make more mistakes and make them more often, have we had clear mentorship. The challenge was that mentors in DMM just were not as many or as available as there are today. That’s why the work you are doing is so needed and important.