Here we share faqs to answers you may need
What is New Generations?
New Generations is a tool of God designed to train and coach indigenous leaders and like-minded ministries around the world to launch self-sustaining Disciple Making Movements that create an upward spiral of transformation in individuals, families and communities.
Why does New Generations exist?
We believe that the only way to complete the Great Commission is for ordinary people to multiply disciples in their natural networks of friends and family. But this does not happen without a catalyst and will never have ‘game changing’ impact unless it can scale to global proportions.
Therefore, New Generations exists to accelerate the completion of the Great Commission by empowering individuals and organizations around the world to unleash Disciple Making Movements that foster a lifestyle of personal discovery of God’s will in His Word, immediate obedience and a consistent pattern of passing on what they are learning within their circles of influence.
Who does New Generations Serve?
New Generations is serving a broad cross-section of the Body of Christ that we train and coach to launch and sustain Disciple Making Movements including:
- Indigenous ‘apostles’ (church planters) that we train, send & coach
- Indigenous & western missionary organizations
- Indigenous & western service organizations
- Indigenous & western denominations
- Indigenous & western ministry networks/alliances
- Indigenous & western Bible colleges
- Indigenous local churches
- Western partner churches we train to do DMM in their home areas
- Individual western believers who use our materials to practice DMM in their personal networks
Who is the Beneficiary of New Generations?
The beneficiaries of New Generations are the hurting people who receive help, the lost who come to saving faith, the individuals, families, communities and people groups that are truly transformed and the multitude of individuals and ministries we have trained to repeat the process around the world.
Does New Generations have a Theory of Change, and, if so, what is it?
At ‘The Fall’ man chose to turn his back on God and follow Satan. The result was separation from God and a curse on man and the world around him. Each act of disobedience brings further separation and an ever-increasing swath of collateral damage.
We want to see this situation reversed. This change takes place when wide spread and consistent obedience to the will of God reconnects man to God and reverses the downward trend of destruction to create an upward trend of restoration.
The Gospels are replete with Jesus declaring ‘the good news of the kingdom’. The concept of the Kingdom is about destroying the works of the devil and restoring the rightful rule of the King. When the King is in control, things start returning to what they should be.
The answer to the haunting question, ‘If the foundations are destroyed, what will the righteous do? (Ps. 11:3) is that the redeemed will restore! Isa. 61:4 says, “Then they (indicating the redeemed) will rebuild the ancient ruins, they will raise up the former devastations; and they will repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations.”
Embedded in this passage is the clear and compelling principle that it is the ones natural to the context who will repair and restore. It is their assignment. The one from the outside who supplants them in this role, commits a strategic error and robs them of their birthright.
The role of the DMM trainer is to be the catalyst and coach who finds the inside leaders and then gives them the mindset, the training, the tools and the encouragement to fulfill their God-given destiny.
There is another powerful spiritual reality revealed in this passage. The rebuilding of ancient ruins and repairing the desolation of many generations takes time. The destruction didn’t happen all at once and it won’t be fixed all at once. Rebuilding takes place brick by brick.
That is where obedience comes in. Each step of sin takes us farther from God. The journey back may start with a leap at salvation, but it is still a journey. Every act of obedience is a step in the right direction but consistency is the key to realignment with God that is deep enough and wide enough to touch every area of life.
Obedience is first a discipline, then a habit, then a life-style and finally a shared culture in a community. That is why we gather people in community so they can encourage each other on their journey to get better together.
In the DMM process we are intentionally setting out to create a Kingdom culture. That is why the ultimate expression of ‘Start like you want to finish’ is about catalyzing a life-style of obedience to the will of God that brings alignment with the plan of God and ultimately restores the Kingdom of God.
But how can this dynamic spread to encompass the 5 billion+ highly diverse and dispersed people in the world who are separated from God? The answer is the spiritual equivalent of compound interest. The ‘magic’ of compound interest is that all of the money is working all the time as interest becomes principal that earns more interest. The same is true in discipleship as disciples make disciples who make disciples.
In the parable of the Sower, the power to change the world is not in the fact that Good Seed in Good Soil can produce 30/60/100 fold. It is in the reality that each of those seeds can also produce 30/60/100 fold!
In Isa. 9:6-7 the prophetic announcement concerning Emmanuel, says, “There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace.” This is the prophetic promise of viral growth as each generation of obedient disciples reproduces in kind.
The crescendo of the Great Commission is to make disciples and teach them to obey (Mt. 28:19-20). God’s ‘Big Idea’ is for everyone to obey what Jesus said and get others to do the same. In this you have both the solution to the fundamental problem and the ability to scale to address the size of the problem.
The results so far have been amazing but the real story is not in the size of the numbers today. It is in the implications for world missions in the days to come. God is re-energizing His people to fulfill His original plan – disciples making disciples. As individuals are personally transformed they move from being part of the problem to part of the solution. When those who have been fundamentally changed begin to spark change in others, the foundation is laid for lasting transformation in families, communities and even whole societies.
Has New Generations identified any key indicators of spiritual transformation?
Spiritual transformation is a ‘work in progress’ for all who follow Jesus so it is impossible to define when someone is fully transformed. There are however a clear set of markers that indicate that the transformation process is well-rooted and is progressing. The indicators we have found and try to track in our qualitative research are:
- Repentance – Salvation – Baptism
- A lifestyle of prayer
- A lifestyle of loving God and loving your neighbor
- A lifestyle of sharing the gospel
- A lifestyle of disciple-making
- A lifestyle of multiplying disciple makers
- A lifestyle of service to the Body of Christ
- A lifestyle of service to the community and the poor
- A lifestyle of sacrificial giving
- A lifestyle of personal discovery of God’s will revealed in His Word
- A lifestyle of immediate obedience to the will of God
- A lifestyle evidencing the fruits of the Spirit and not the deeds of the flesh
- A lifestyle of forgiveness when wronged
- A willingness to suffer for the sake of Christ
What is New Generations doing differently today than it was doing twenty years ago?
- Moved from being a branch of Cityteam to becoming a stand-alone organization
- Switched from a Cell-church orientation to a Disciple Making Movement model
- Intentional Prayer Mobilization: Currently 10,000 intercessors with a goal of 100,000
- Chose ‘movements’ (100 churches to 4th generation) as our main measure of success
- Moved from an African focus to the vision of a Global Scope for DMM
- Developed a strategic focus on the ‘pioneer places’ where the gospel has never been
- Grew from zero to 424 People Groups engaged with the DMM process
- Included DMM for difficult populations segments such as: street kids, prostitutes, gang members, prisoners, etc.
- Developed an Urban DMM focus for large cities around the world
- Developed a tracking system that provides “actionable intelligence” to field leaders
- Moved from using spread sheets to a data base
- Grew to consistently tracking 14 key data points
- Moved from just tracking quantitative results to include qualitative results
- Incorporated graphic visualizations to help interpret data
- Developed a system for continuous leadership development that keeps an on-going cascade of leaders moving in sync with the generational growth of movements.
- Developed over 700 indigenous DMM partnerships
- Developed multiple ‘Synergy Partnerships’ that infuse DMM into service ministries
- Adopted a replication requirement for all partners to pass on what they have received
- Developed two parallel streams of church planting that yield complementary benefits:
- ‘Commissioned’ (training, sending & coaching indigenous apostles) This provides:
- The credibility of “hands on” experience
- A learning laboratory for innovation
- A ‘farm system’ to develop trainers and coaches
- Trained leadership to open pioneer areas where no potential partners exist
- “Catalytic” (training and coaching indigenous partner ministries). This provides:
- The leverage of mobilizing the people and resources of existing ministries
- Access to new networks to distribute concepts and training
- Strong local ownership of the process
- Broad diversity in the number of population segments engaged
- Developed broad scale compassion ministries to open communities
- Education, agriculture, micro loans, literacy, food, water, medical, dental, etc.
- Fundraising Evolution
- Decentralized donor base outside of SF Bay Area
- Adopted a missionary support system to offset cost of personnel
- Moved from HQ only to everyone involved in fundraising
- Started marketing via the web
- Began using video in donor development
- Developed a system to transfer essential DNA in a way that allows rapid reproduction while maintaining quality
- Developed a very low investment – high flexibility cost structure.
- 12-year average – $500 to launch a church with 25 members
- Operations can scale up or down as needed
- Developed a proximate strategy that uses ‘near neighbor’ indigenous apostles to penetrate unengaged, unreached people groups (UUPG)
- Developed an informal leadership structure that involves thousands of local leaders held together by a shared vision and relationship who consider themselves part of the “team” but are not getting permanent paychecks as part of the staff
- Developed a leadership training system that filters out those who do not apply what they learn, but provides on-going coaching to those who do.
- The exclusive use of indigenous leadership for implementation on the field
- Developed DMM for the illiterate and oral learning cultures
- Included women DMM trainers and coaches and began targeting women’s groups
- Developed a DMM disaster response that turns emergency help into church planting
- East Africa Famine, Ebola, earthquakes, tsunami, etc.)
- Developed a DMM approach for refugees (Nuba Mt.-Sudan, Syrians in Jordan, etc.)
- Developed a future vision for a ‘Global Scope’ and ‘Global Voice’ for DMM
What is the mission of New Generations?
We work with God to launch Disciple Making Movements.
What problem is New Generations trying to solve?
The basic problem we are addressing is the lack of a simple, sustainable and scalable system for catalyzing movements of obedient disciples that can virally reproduce within their natural networks as a way to engage the billions of people that are outside the reach of traditional missions.
God created man to flourish in alignment with His will or suffer in alienation outside it. The options are an upward spiral of blessing or a downward spiral of destruction. Man has chosen to disobey God and the result is that the foundations for a successful physical and spiritual life have crumbled.
The Psalmist summarizes the problem by saying, ‘The enemy has damaged everything’ (Ps. 74:3) and ‘If the foundations are destroyed, what will the righteous do?’ (Ps. 11:3). Therein lies the problem. When the foundations are destroyed, programs don’t provide solutions, they only treat symptoms.
Lots of good things are happening in ministry around the world. They are real and we should celebrate them. But in the big picture God’s people are winning some battles but losing the war! The most generous estimates say that 30% of the world’s population is Christian. After more than 2,000 years of effort and investment, 30% success still means we are suffering from 70% failure. The so-called ‘solutions’ in place provide answers for hundreds and thousands but the need is for millions and billions. The approaches missionaries have been using are simply not sufficient to finish the task.
“Your system is perfectly designed for the results you are achieving.”
Unfortunately, the traditional missionary ‘system’:
- Takes too long – At the rate we are going, most of the world’s 5 billion plus lost souls will be dead before the gospel arrives
- Costs too much – $15 Billion a year, spent by Christians worldwide, is barely maintaining the status quo while vast sections of the world remain untouched
- Stops too short – God’s people are busy with lots of ‘nice’ things that stop well short of making disciples and teaching them to obey all that Jesus commanded
- Doesn’t reproduce – What has been planted for the most part are “seedless grapes.” The fruit is real but it only lasts one generation
- Doesn’t transform – A gospel focused on Jesus as Savior without including Jesus as Lord does not transform individuals or society
- Depends on Professionals – Outside professionals are limited and expensive. An army of ordinary people is the only hope for the massive unfinished task
- Creates dependency – Local ministry too often is tethered to outside money
- Doesn’t multiply leaders – Lacks the capacity to train the 50 million new leaders required for a 1/100 ratio of the 5 billion lost souls
What are the key elements of your methodology?
Our ‘ministry compass’ points to the least reached and most neglected. We train indigenous leaders to launch and sustain DMMs that are simple, sustainable and scalable.
Simple: The idea of a “movement” is something that can ripple from generation to generation, so it must reproduce organically. The engine that drives DMM is an easy to understand process we call “Discovery Bible Studies” (DBS). Groups of spiritually interested people gather to answer four basic questions about a passage of Scripture; What does it say? What does it mean? What will you do in response? Who can you tell what you have learned? This simple process gets ordinary people interacting with God’s Word, it gets them obeying His will, and it gets them encouraging their friends and family to do the same. This is the foundation that “movements” are built on.
Sustainable: The reality in ministry is, “What you win them with is what you win them to.” When new life in Christ occurs in the context of obedience-based discipleship, it is normal and natural to do what Jesus said in every area of life. When God’s people follow His instructions, He gives them everything they need to advance His Kingdom. When every disciple is praying, there is power. When every disciple is serving, the workforce is unlimited. When every disciple is giving, there is money to meet needs. When every disciple is ‘loving their neighbor,’ communities are transformed. And when every believer is reproducing, there are always new disciples.
Scalable: We have developed and refined 10 elements of Disciple Making Movements and proven their effectiveness with many different people groups and conditions in Africa and Asia:
- Basic – Ordinary people discovering God’s will and obeying
- Reproducible – Nothing is used that is not locally available
- Low Cost – Only $500 +/- is required to start a new church with 20 followers
- Locally Sustainable – Doesn’t depend long term on outside resources
- Multiplication – Disciples making disciples and churches planting churches
- Leadership Multiplication – Every leader trains other leaders
- Everyone Involved – All are involved in sharing what they have learned
- Self-Correcting – Obedience based, peer group accountability
- No Imposed Culture – The Bible provides the answers not an outsider
- Transformational – Transformed people change families and communities
How many Beneficiaries are there of New Generations?
From March 2005 through December 2017, New Generations has documented the launch of over 55,000 churches encompassing more than 1.4 million new followers of Jesus. These are the direct beneficiaries of the efforts of New Generations. The number of indirect beneficiaries consists of those who chose to follow Jesus because of the reproductive discipleship practiced by the direct beneficiaries. That number is impossible to calculate but it will be many multiples of 1.4 million. As an old saying goes, ‘Anyone can count the seeds in an apple but God alone can count the apples in a seed.”
What does success look like to New Generations, and how does New Generations know if it has been successful?
We know we are being successful when people from all walks of life are engaging in personal Discovery Bible Study, coming to saving faith, being baptized, forming new churches, creating a ripple effect of transformation in their communities, multiplying in their natural networks and training others to repeating the process without us.
We also want to see:
Effective Prayer Mobilization
Effectiveness in Diverse Countries
Effectiveness in Diverse Cultures & Languages
Effectiveness in Diverse Religions
Effectiveness ‘Pioneer Places’
Effective Leadership Development
Effective Cost Structure
Effectiveness in Diverse Circumstances
- Literate – Illiterate
- Rural – Urban
- Freedom – Persecution
- Upper Class – Lower Class
Effectiveness in Difficult Populations Segments
- Street kids
- Gang members
- Slum dwellers
Can we trust the numbers?
We occasionally hear legitimate questions about why should people believe the surprising things that New Generations and our Books like Miraculous Movements reports about many movements of Muslims becoming Christ Followers in Sub-Saharan Africa. Those questions are altogether appropriate to ask and we want to answer as best we can, with the understanding that we must respect our commitments to every partner ministry and pioneer team to never reveal any information that will put people at more risk than they already have assumed.
Happily, many of our partners in ministry who have visited the fields described in the book have sometimes joined this conversation with a “we have been there and seen these movements with our own eyes.” Three of the endorsements printed with the book feature well-known and trusted sources confirming their own, or their organizations’ observations.
But perhaps a little more detail about what we can reveal about our research protocols may be helpful.
I was part of a team with Younounssa Djao and Shodankeh Johnson that began to partner with the Lord in 2005 to launch Kingdom movements in Africa among 19 Muslim people groups. For the last twelve years I have been involved on a regular basis of observing what God was doing.
Our philosophy is to document what people do, but celebrate what God does!
That meant spending significant time in most of the countries in which we are tracking outcomes, especially among Muslim-majority peoples. So my personal understanding of these movements has been shaped over years of closely and regularly relating to many of our teams and partner ministries.
Many Practitioners Have Come to Observe
Obviously we did not give out any information in the book that reveals the locations of any of the movements. However, there are multiple Christian foundations plus some supporting churches, scores of partner ministries, missiologists, and Western missionary agencies that have had significant access in five of the six regions of Africa where these movements are happening. (We only recommend primarily Arab colleagues to visit the movement in one specific North African country)
Many of these partners in the harvest have sent teams to review what God is doing and sometime share their experiences in general terms with other ministries. But they are also aware of the need to maintain security in sensitive regions. It is not too hard to find organizations that have one, or in some cases, several people who can share their general experiences relative to visiting the regions described in Miraculous Movements.
Starting with a Research Plan
When we launched in 2005 I began to require our teams to create regular reports that would inform what is happening in the field. Then we started making that a requirement for every partner ministry as well. We started with one excel sheet and have moved to complex excel documents, and for the last four years, a data base that can create increasingly complex visualizations of progress in regions, countries, people groups, urban groups, and by religions. We are now tracking quarterly data on 424 people groups, plus 61 other urban or special affinity category.
The Research Team
To do this we have a fairly large Cityteam Research and Assessment Team including seven people including:
- six regional data researchers, who themselves are DMM practitioners independently confirm data, but also cross-check information with region leadership teams. These teams are typically trained in new technologies and methodologies every year.
- a prominent, and highly respected African Research Director (Dr. Samuel Kabreab)
- a Data Base Manager (Carolyn Cantwell),
- plus Jerry Trousdale, who spends about half of his time shaping the Research initiatives.
We do not yet have a full-time researcher in India, but the work is relatively newthere.
The DMM Research Categories
Our quarterly protocols include all of the following categories:
- Year and Quarter Reported
- Local Coordinator Name
- People Group
- Commissioned Churches (those planted by workers we train, deploy and coach)
- Catalytic Churches (those planted by partners we train and coach)
- Total Churches
- Generations of New Churches
- Average Church Size
- Number of New Christ Followers
- Number of New Baptisms
- Percentage of Muslim Background Christ Followers
- Number of Muslim Background Christ Followers
- Other Background, New Christ Followers
- Number of Leaders Trained This Quarter
- Number of Active Trainers/Coaches in Region
- Churches that Have Migrated, or Died, or Amalgamated, and Why
- Other Badd News to Report
- Persecution Reports (Including Emergency Requests)
Over time we have chosen to reclassify more than 2,600 churches to a non-reported category because while the churches existed, we did not feel that they evidenced the DNA of disciple making movements.
We have also chosen from time to time not count reports for many churches in highly restricted regions, until we can get multiple, independent confirmations.
After the first seven years of disciple making movement activity we decided to begin tracking how many planted churches died, amalgamate, or migrate. And in 2012 we set about to find out. That study of about 26,000 churches indicated that over seven years about 24.6% of those churches needed to be reclassified:
- some churches died,
- some churches that were not adequately followed up due to remoteness or national barriers,
- more than 1,500 small churches amalgamated into larger churches,
- clusters of churches were recruited to be part of denominations and often ceased multiplying,
- and some churches migrated due to weather, war, natural nomadic patterns, and governmental forced migrations.
And finally, we have invited others to commission an independent field audit of all of the African countries in which we are reporting disciple making movements. The sheer scope of a quantitative analysis of hundreds of people groups in almost 30 countries now suggests that qualitative assessments are more feasible and practical.
In 2016 we invited the Global Research Division of the International Mission Board to do an independent assessment of nine people groups including seven Muslim people groups, some of which have been Muslim for more than 800-1,000 years. Cityteam/New Harvest Muslim engagements in Sierra Leone have produced 51.5% of all the Muslims background Christ Followers outcomes in the 28 total countries in which we track data in Africa.
The IMB qualitative assessment affirmed that all of the nine people groups Cityteam/New Harvest Ministries had reported engaged were in fact engaged with quality outcomes with most having movements. A security redacted (blurred pictures, and names) version of that 139 page document was released in January 2017 and New Harvest and Cityeam authorized the IMB to release this document to other Christian organizations upon request.
We are grateful that the IMB also granted Cityteam permission to use the extraordinary research tools they developed to train all of Cityteam’s research teams and field trainers so that we can do our own qualitative assessments along with our on-going quantitative analysis.
These efforts are not to just inform strategy but to honor God. From beginning with prayer to training the new scores of thousands of new leaders God raises up, we believe God is calling His people to be very intentional to do what God’s Word teaches us to do in making disciples, so that God can do what ONLY He can do in transforming whole communities
What does New Generations mean when it speaks of Global Scope and Global Voice?
We believe the Holy Spirit is authoring a new era of His work on the earth and that this new era will be centered around the kind of obedience based reproductive discipleship that turned the world upside down through the early church.
We believe the Holy Spirit is authoring a new era of His work on the earth and that this new era will be centered around the kind of obedience based reproductive discipleship that turned the world upside down through the early church.
The calling of New Generations is to train national leaders to launch and sustain Disciple Making Movements and help like-minded ministries around the world to do the same. The purpose of this new organization is to see DMMs launched either directly, through partnerships or through ministries we help influence in every people group and population segment. In this regard, we believe that God is calling us to establish a ‘Global Scope’ and ‘Global Voice’ for DMM.
The idea of a Global Scope for DMM is not about saturation. It is about establishing a representative ‘proof of concept’ in every major region of the world. There are two basic reasons for this. First, to put the ‘leaven in the lump’ so the catalytic nature of DMM can begin to work around the world and secondly, to silence the skeptics who say, ‘DMM won’t work here.’
Our DMM journey began in Africa in March 2005. As the work grew and flourished, we began to divide the continent into sub-regions with key leaders on our Core Team from 6 sub-regions within Africa; Anglophone West, Francophone West, Francophone Central, East Africa, Horn of Africa and Southern Africa.
With the advent of South Asia and SE Asia in our ministry scope, we went to a ‘macro region’ strategy, meaning one key leader for each large overall region. We will use this strategy for the 6 new regions we are targeting over the next 5 years; North Africa, Middle East, Far East; Eurasia, Europe and the Urban Arena (not technically a region but ½ the world’s population is now in cities so it is an essential element of a global strategy).
A ‘Global Scope’ for DMM will lead to a credible ‘Global Voice’ that will allow us to speak into the conversation about completing the Great Commission and attract partners who want to incorporate the DMM process in their ministries. Our specific intent with a ‘Global Voice’ is to distill the concepts and produce the tools that will inspire, educate and train other ministries to be able to understand, apply and transfer the principles of obedience based reproductive discipleship throughout the span of their influence.
Mt. 10:8 says, ‘Freely you have received, freely give.’ In that spirit, New Generations is committed to an ‘open handed – unbranded’ policy that offers whatever we develop for use by any part of the greater Body of Christ.
The net result is that whatever we design, produce, develop, etc. by way of materials, systems, technology, information, etc. we do with a view to sharing with others who want to pursue the same goals. Therefore, an investment in New Generations helps bring lift to the broader work force within the Missionary Enterprise.
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