Can our churches be a disciple making movement?

Recently I’ve been looking in on what God’s doing in Iran. He’s saving a nation and building his church as a disciple making movement. I’ve had to rely on the internet, so faith in those who reporting is part of this journey. You can check this out with the following link.

My hearts desire is for a move of God like this, in New Zealand.  I’ve been pursuing Jesus and his kingdom for over 40 years and cannot ease off, put my feet up and take it easy while people in New Zealand go to hell. But I cannot keep doing the same old things for the same old results.

I’ve seen some good results, but for me the human effort compared to the results is too high. Much of the human effort is maintaining the institutions of church with its systems, structures and buildings. I know we need this stuff, but my heart is to streamline, or minimise our stuff and maximise God’s stuff. So we’re not worn out running our institutions.

You can do what you want. But I want more fruit for eternity than I’ve seen to this point. And I can’t do more of the same expecting to get a different result. For me more begins with more abiding in Jesus and more pruning from the Father, which leads to more obedience to his word.

A disciple making movement

My question to God is: Can we have a disciple making movement in New Zealand similar to the one in Iran? Which is similar to China’s underground church.

Do we need more persecution? And for the existing church in New Zealand to be more marginalised? Have we woken to the truth that lethargy and indifference are a greater threat than persecution and political marginalisation?

So I’m praying and asking God. Can a dynamic disciple making movement flow through our existing church institutions in New Zealand?

The answer is Yes; when we realise the Sunday meeting is not the measure of the church, because it’s often not effective at making disciples. At least not anywhere I’ve seen. It makes some disciples but many just sit and exist.

 A year ago I couldn’t imagine making some of these comments. God is putting his plough through my heart with pruning and discipline. This has been more thorough, harder and gone on for longer than I anticipated; and it’s all good.

As I asked the Holy Spirit about a dynamic disciple making movement within our existing church institutions, He said to me:

“A big blockage in the current wineskin of church is ownership. Who owns the people? You always want to attach my people, my living stones, to your institutions. To count them, control them, own them and their gifts. They belong to one church, my body, not to you or your churches.

This must change, it must not be in the heart of my church. This frustrates my making disciples, and confuses who is leading, who is arranging the body, and who is to be obeyed.

Don’t take my place. Don’t arrange. And don’t lead people to follow you. You lead them to me. If I’m leading you and people are following, I’m leading them to follow you. They are my followers not yours.

Don’t demand obedience to yourself or your church institution. People are confused and torn apart from trying to obey two masters; me and my leaders. I lead people to gather and work with a leader, not to follow and obey a leader; know the difference.

The lost human spirit looks for flesh to obey, don’t give in to it; always lead people to follow and obey me.

My word creates the faith to obey. Your word does not. That’s why people get worn down in your churches. They’re obeying you not me, and your word doesn’t ignite their Spirit with faith. My word does ignite the spirit creating the inner faith, love and power to obey. I want my church back.”

So, there we are. If we want to make disciples, we’ve got to be relentless about leading people to follow and obey Jesus.  There is nothing on earth more important than this.

Give the church back to Jesus

If we want to see a Holy Spirit fueled dynamic disciple making movement, we need to give the church back to Jesus. It was never ours. We were never meant to be fascinated with our leadership and creativity. It seems to me that sometimes we’re more invested in our expression of church than in making disciples and bringing his kingdom.

Will we give our church back to Jesus? I mean really give it back to Jesus, every person, tradition, our precious brand and culture, and every asset and dollar. He may have different plans and priorities than us. And he may scatter where we want to gather. He may raise into leadership the one we missed. He may give our money to a part of his church we don’t usually associate with. It’s his church. Remember, no institution we call church inherits his kingdom. His church, the holy body of Christ, inherits the kingdom.

I’m quitting before I get into more trouble. I pray you will hear what the Spirit is saying not what I say. Know you are beloved of God and that’s enough!


I love comments, even those that disagree with me. And while I have not put scripture in this blog, I can bring scripture to all I’ve said. My purpose is to share what God is stirring in my heart, not try and convince you of my convictions. Convincing you is the Holy Spirit’s job.


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