Image for Three Things to Learn from Curtis Sergeant About Disciple Making Movements

Three Things to Learn from Curtis Sergeant About Disciple Making Movements

Photo of Matt DabbsMatt Dabbs | Bio

Matt Dabbs

Matt Dabbs is a church planter, disciple maker, and content producer on discipleship. He has been in ministry for over 20 years in various roles from youth worker to lead pastor. Matt’s current focus is on simple reproducible models of making disciples and planting churches. He has been married to Missy for nearly 20 years. They have two teenage boys, Jonah and Elijah.

Curtis Sergeant has had a tremendous influence in disciple making movements around the globe. The movement that started through his ministry in China reached 10 million people in a decade. After that, Curtis led church planting efforts at Saddleback for several years, and he has continued to train people in disciple making and church planting. The result of his training is that 78 million people have come to Christ worldwide.

That is approximately 1% of the world’s population.

We can learn a lot from Curtis Sergeant’s approach to making disciples and starting movements! I had the pleasure of spending a few days with Curtis and a number of other ministers going through one of Curtis’s Metacamps. It was one of the most practical trainings I have ever been a part of, and I went home with several lessons etched in my mind.

I want to share these lessons with you to offer encouragement and to point you to resources that might truly be a blessing to your ministry.

First, Curtis Sergeant teaches us to have a sense of urgency.

He illustrates the difference between movements that reproduce churches every two years versus every four months, and the difference is exponential. Reproducing churches every four months over 10 years has the potential of reaching 1 billion people.

I have often been far too slow in ministry and expected people to have a higher level of knowledge and maturity before putting them to work—much less starting new churches! Curtis refers to this immediate call to action for new believers as “duckling discipleship,” where each duck follows the duck in front of them. Most are not the lead/mama duck; rather, people follow people who are following other people.

“People follow people who are following other people.”

You reach new people, and then train them to reach new people. As you train new believers, they actively engage the people in their lives with what you have taught them. They learn as they go and grow.

Second, Curtis is very intentional about coaching specific skills.

These are skills such as sharing your testimony and sharing the gospel. Rather than just telling someone to go do this, you practice and practice and practice. For example, you can role play how to share the gospel with specific people.

You can also chart your progress through MAWL (model, assist, watch, and leave/launch). So when it is time to launch, you can assure people they are ready because you have been tracking their progress. If people have reservations, tracking their progress in specific skills allows you to walk back through concepts and go over them again.

“Tracking their progress in specific skills allows you to walk back through concepts and go over them again.”

This specificity and intentionality in coaching are often missing in many disciple making approaches.

Third, Curtis calls for a heavy investment of time in prayer and Scripture reading.

Curtis uses the prayer wheel to engage people in hour-long prayers. He also uses the SOAPS method to get people journaling their Bible study:

S – Scripture: read Scripture
O – Observation: re-write key verses and points
A – Application: obey what you read
P – Prayer: write prayers to God about what you learned
S – Sharing: with whom can you share what you have learned?

Disciples read 25–30 chapters of Scripture a week, and then meet in a weekly group to discuss, have personal and mutual accountability, and dive deep into each other’s lives. These groups are called CHAT groups.

Many of these resources are readily available online through Zúme training and I appreciate Curtis Sergeant being so open with his resources so they can reach more people and change more lives.

What a blessing!

From Used with permission.