89. Nairobi Gathering #3 – Rwanda Case Study

This is our third Nairobi Gathering podcast. In this episode, we will hear a case study from Rwanda. Justin shares about a God movement that has been birthed in his nation. 

The start of Justin’s journey

Since coming to Christ, Justin always carried a call to go from house to house and share the Gospel. Justin became the bishop of his church. He held a big vision for the Gospel to spread across his nation. But it wasn’t happening. So he started to ask the question, “What is wrong?“. 

Justin tells us some of the humorous anecdotes of his anointing as a leader. But then he took a great risk as he stood aside and resigned to learn about disciple making. Justin describes how he read a book asking him the question, ‘Are you a minister who make disciples?’. He started to ask himself questions like, “Are all of my people in the church disciples of Jesus or just members of my church?”. These question deeply rocked Justin and started him on the journey. 

Learning about DMM

After resigning, Justin started a house church. However it soon became a traditional church in his house. He says it was “like bringing in an elephant into the house – it destroyed everything!

Learning about DMM – Intentional Prayer

Since 2010, Dr Aila Tasse has been instrumental in Justin capturing the concepts of DMM (Disciple Making Movement). Justin responded by starting to implement one of the DMM principles he had learnt, intentional prayer.

After six months of praying, he came back with a New Testament concept of early church (how Jesus made disciples who multiplied). He also started with a weekly all night prayer meeting. In the process, he started to loose people that were once around him. He describes the great ‘undoing’ that God led him through so that he could start building as a disciple maker. 

Finding the Person of Peace

Movement is about finding the Person of Peace. Movement for Justin began in 2011 when he encountered a drunkard called John Paul and another man called Augustine. These men, along with their wives, became the first core members of the movement. After seeing them baptised through DBS (Discovery Bible Study) in their home, Justin trained them to find other People of Peace. To disciple and baptise others themselves through DBS. Ordinary people like storekeepers started to baptise others, even educated engineers!

Later that year, they saw 18 churches birthed. He brought the leaders together and gathered around a map of Rwanda. It was then that they started to vision cast and move out from the cities to go back into their villages. After five years, they found themselves working in 22 districts. However problems continued…

Problems encountered

Sending people out one by one resulted in many challenges for Justin and the team. They learnt to shift to sending people out two by two as Jesus commanded in Luke 10. They now develop teams with a vision for a region. 

Positions and titles became important to people as some in the movement went back to more traditional models of church. Foreigners also started to bring money into the movement. Justin describes how they needed to embrace a self supporting movement. This was done through developing small businesses and various access ministries that met the needs of people in the community. 

Focus on households

Returning to the Person of Peace principle, Justin highlights how they focused on households. Every household has another household. All of the people in these households need to come to Christ, not just individuals. All through finding the Person of Peace. Justin says, “If you start lonely, you finish lonely”, highlighting the importance of DBS involving group participation. 

Movements birth movements

Justin shares how they have seen movements birth other movements. We listen to stories of how this has occurred amongst Muslims and the Pygmy people where they now have 165 churches down to 6 generations with nearly 500 people baptised. The movement has multiplied and spread into other people groups and nations. Since 2011 (in the last 12 years), they are now up to 1,300 churches and about 14,000 people have been baptised down to 26 generations of disciples. 

Lessons learnt

Justin finishes by sharing some of the lessons he has learnt as he has embraced DMM: 

  • Focus on biblical obedience 
  • A commitment to reach the lost 
  • Depending on the Lord, not your tools
  • Raising up and catalysing disciple makers
  • Always be ready to learn – “The day you stop learning, is the day you die”
  • Model everyday 
  • Raise up leaders up to sustain the vision
  • Focus on a common DNA