123. Pray and Share with Jim Britts

This episode, we begin our conversations with movement catalyst Jim Britts who has just released a new book, 21 Days to Becoming a Disciple Maker

Jim’s story

In 2018, after serving as a pastor for 20 years, Jim had a middle-of-the-night encounter with God who said, 

“Jim, I love the story of your church but you’ve missed the whole point. I called you to make disciples that make disciples and you’re not.” 

He started reading everything he could get his hands on about disciple making. This soon led Jim to discover what God was doing around the world through DMM. 

He was rocked by one stat from a Gallup survey. It showed how the church in North America had shrunk by 23 percent from 1999 to 2019. This statistic was especially challenging to Jim since he had started full-time ministry in 1999. 

He says, “So, on my watch 1 out of 4 people had left the church. Even though I was loving what was happening in my own ministry, I felt that the only thing that really mattered was seeing lostness being penetrated.” 

In California, where Jim lives, he tells us how 65% of people are saying, “We are never going to church”. 

Jim says, “In our culture, we have taught the non-Christian that they’re the missionary. If they want to find God, they have to leave their comfort zone. But the game changer for me was when I realised that the Great Commission and Gospels teach us that we are the ones who are supposed to leave our comfort zones. We were to meet these people (the 65%) where they’re at.”

“My life doesn’t look like a harvest worker!”

Jim resonated with Chris Galanos’ similar discontentment and started going through his DMM training. He was struck, for example, by how he’d never made the obvious connection that Matthew 10 is a detailed description of what a harvest worker is who Jesus urges us to be praying for from the end of the previous chapter (Matthew 9:35-38). It dawned on him, “My life doesn’t look like a harvest worker!”. 

Over the last five years, as Jim learned to become a disciple maker himself, others joined him as almost everything in terms of ministry for him changed. These days, generation 1 churches and generation 2 groups are being birthed!

Habits of a disciple maker

Jim describes how the simplest way to cast vision for DMM has been to show people the Parable of the Sower (Matt 13:1-23). Despite everyone wanting to be the ‘good soil’, nine out of ten Christians say they are in the ‘too busy soil’ (amongst the thorns). Therefore, Jim encourages us that instead of focusing on the results of a disciple maker (that can easily bring discouragement), we can focus on the habits of a disciple maker.

Jim describes how his church ask each other every week, “Tell me a story about intentional prayer and intentional conversations”…

Habit #1: Intentional prayer

Jim tells us how the gateway habit to disciple making is intentionally praying for others. And if we want to be catalysing disciple makers, we need to be spending our time not just praying but multiplying prayer.

Some of the DMM tools for intentionally praying for others include: 

Habit #2: Intentional conversations

Jim encourages us to not just have conversations but always have intentionality when we’re interacting with others. 

A simple tool is Paul Watson’s conversation quadrants where we move from Casual > Meaningful > Spiritual > Discovery conversations. Jim says people are waiting to share deeper things with us (Meaningful). From here, we are to seek opportunities to “drip God in” (Spiritual). And look to move into sharing stories, helping people discover truth about God together (Discovery).

Final encouragement

Jim finishes this episode encouraging us that there are People of Peace looking for us everywhere…

When Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd (Matt 9:36). There are people in your city who are feeling like this way right now. Their life is not going well for them. They feel like they can’t help themselves and there is nobody to help them. Imagine if somebody came up to them and said, “Can I pray for you? If you could see a miracle happen in your life what would it be?”. Imagine how open they might be!

Purchase your copy of Jim’s book here.