Miraculous Movements is the best book on disciplemaking that I have read in some time.
This book is the fruit of a process of self-examination by two experienced Muslim-area church planters and the COO of a chain of disciplemaking Rescue Missions as they discussed what was working in their respective mission fields. Based on this discussion, they extracted and made explicit a methodology for making disciples in Muslim areas.
This book describes that methodology and illustrates it with actual cases of church planting in Muslim communities.
The book is well-organized and outlined for people who want to read it to learn how to be a missionary and church planter. Topics are presented as lists with examples from the mission field after each numbered point. Here are some of the lists.
As the authors thought about what was working, they decided they had been focusing on the "wrong" biblical principles. The ones they should have been focusing on were:
1. Go slow at first in order to go faster
2. Focus on a few to win many
3. Engage an entire family or group, not just the individual
4. Share only when people are ready to hear
5. Start with creation, not with Christ
6. It's about discovering and obeying, not teaching and knowledge
7. Disciple people to conversion, not vice versa
8. Coach people from the beginning to discover and obey biblical truth
9. Prepare to spend a long time making strong disciples, but anticipate miraculous accelerations
10. Expect the hardest places to yield the greatest results
And some "paradigm shifts" were necessary to support the new methodology.
1. Make intercessory prayer the highest priority
2. Make disciples who make disciples
3. Invest time in the right person
4. Don't tell people what to believe and do
5. Never settle for revealing just one dimension of Jesus' life
6. Never substitute knowledge about God for an obedience-based relationship with God
7. Understand that Jesus does impossible things through the most ordinary people
And, here is the methodology for disciple making:
1. Pray abundantly
2. Gain access to the community through service and prayer
3. Wait for the Lord to lead you to the person of peace
4. Start a Discovery Bible Study with the person of peace and the members of his network
5. Coach the leaders who emerge in the group
6. Help them to focus on engaging other families and networks, not individuals
7. Coach and mentor leaders as they baptize new believers and organize them into a simple church
8. Encourage leaders to repeat the process among another family or community
6. Develop leaders
The Discovery Bible Study in point number four is described in detail. The difference between it and some other outlines for inductive bible studies is that it has questions on obedience. "What is there in this passage that I am planning on obeying?"
Why are Muslims attracted to Christianity? Because of the transformation that takes place in their lives. Here are the most common changes seen among Muslim individuals and communities who accept Christ.
1. Healed families
2. A spirit of freedom
3. A spirit of love
4. Diminished violence
5. Less addition
6. Redemption and hope
7. Evidences of divine favor
8. Grace in persecution
9. Freedom from demonic oppression
10.The power of individual prayer.
Each of these biblical principles and methodology points is illustrated with a story from the Muslim mission field in Africa, Asia or the Middle East.
The author says, "This way of making disciples results in:
1. rooting the gospel in any context,
2. developing disciples who are obedient to Jesus, and
3. creating disciples who make disciples, leaders who reproduce leaders, and churches that plant churches."
These lists of principles do not hint at the power of this book, which comes from the many stories of Muslims coming to Jesus. This book is an inspiring read even if you are not interested in learning how to evangelize.
If this were just a book about great successes in Muslim evangelization, it would be worth reading. But it is more than that. The principles described in this book for evangelizing Muslims in Africa should work in evangelizing secular Americans as well. I plan to take this book into a pastors' discussion group and we are going to look for ways to adapt this book for use in our churches and our communities.