I know I'm sending you a lot of stuff but what I see is the Lord beginning to birth DAWN Projects in many places. The following is the exhortation that Kenny sent out to his 11 DOMs in Colorado. What he is essentially doing is challenging each of them to begin a DAWN Project in their geographical region. Ft Collins has the potential for being a prototype for the state. Pray for our meeting there in 2/27. -John
Two people can accomplish more than twice as much as one person. A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. Ecc. 4:9-12
WHAT WILL IT TAKE?
Not what can I do or what can we do, but what will it take to saturate Colorado with the gospel of Christ?
February 1, 2004
I had wanted to communicate with you at the end of six months in my new role at the state office, but I was wanting to get some feed-back from the field, from Mark, and from personal research and evaluation. I have had to change my thinking on several fronts, but I have at the same time become more confirmed on a number of other fronts.
We are positioned in Colorado as is no other convention in North America. Mark has given us a vision for penetrating lostness that no other state has come close to developing. Veryl left Colorado with an environment for church planting that is unequaled anywhere. As I have reflected, prayed and sought the Lord’s guidance, I am confirmed in my spirit that I work with the best group of ADOMs in the United States—bar none. I am even more encouraged that we understand that our mentality must be one of asking continually—“what will it take for every person in and visitor to Colorado to hear the gospel, have an opportunity to respond, have an opportunity for discipleship in some expression of a faith community and to worship God.”
I am writing today to address the issue of strategy. We live in a world, in a culture and in a denomination where the “S” word is king. All of our titles have “strategist” somewhere in the appellation or in our job description. I embrace this title and even use it on my IRS tax return. However, I think it is important as we go into the next months for me to honestly express to you my definition of strategy and how I am thinking strategically. This communication is not to get you to embrace my strategy or to necessarily agree with me, but to encourage you to work out your own strategy in your particular context and look to the CBGC and to me as your advocate to help you implement your strategy. I am totally convinced that strategy, particularly tactical strategy, is best developed as close to the field as possible. I also am convinced that the local association has the best information and opportunity to develop a contextual strategy. It is my goal, as we work together, that we will see associational strategies bubble-up from the front lines in a very organic way and not from a top down strategy promoted by this office.
At our meeting last week at Ponderosa, we talked a lot about strategy and strategic thinking. As important as I think it is for you to be developing a local strategy, I think it is also important for me to try and articulate what I am thinking strategy wise so that we can blend our thinking into a cohesive plan for the future. We all agree on the goal of total gospel saturation—completing the Great Commission. We believe that if we have a plan to saturate a context with the gospel of Christ that there will be spontaneous results—new church plants of all kinds and expressions. However, it is in the means to accomplish this that opinions vary. However, I see a likeness of minds and spirits that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt will carry the day.
As to strategy, I believe that the simplest strategy is the best strategy. Our greatest challenge will be to avoid taking what could be done simply and complicate it with unnecessary programs and questionable structures. Jesus has challenged us from scripture to be on the offensive. The entire New Testament promises us a power that is far greater than the enemy whose territory we are invading. There is no need for subtlety, only a belief and a confidence in who we are in Christ. For some to not see a comprehensive/set in concrete strategic plan in place may be frustrating and maddening, but I believe from my experience that strategy is best developed in route. In some ways, because of the spiritual and contextual dynamics present as we infiltrate the enemy’s territory, it will be like having to “design and build an airplane in flight.” We are engaged in an effort to penetrate lostness where we have few maps to go by. We are on a journey where we will learn together how best to engage the enemy and defeat him. There will be chaos at times and the process will be messy in many respects. There will be cries for us to stop and become more organized and to hesitate until we have a firmer strategy/plan/process/etc. in place, but we must not hesitate. We must continually advance. Wars, football games or whatever must have battle or game plans, but when the plans/strategies break down or don’t work, for whatever reason, it will be execution that wins the battle or the game.
Another reason, and perhaps the most important reason we must not put great quantities of our energy into strategy development in the present is because it will be the future emerging indigenous leaders we encounter who will be the best equipped strategists for their context or people group. However, it will not just be any Christian leaders in a given context or people group, but they will be the indigenous harvesters/strategists whom God-provides (Luke 10:2b).
I am attaching a sample of a simple strategy plan that I will flesh out in a later communication or when we are together sometime. When you read it you will see an example of how really simple I believe strategic planning/thinking can be. The entire strategy which I believe will carry us to achieve our goal is only three parts: prayer, research and strategy, i.e. a strategic commitment/plan for total gospel saturation that flows out of our prayer and research. I want to encourage you to continually ask the Father to give you a simple biblical strategy to saturate your context with the gospel. I want you to begin to craft your own “one page” strategies for penetrating lostness and share with the rest of us. To do what Mark has envisioned for Colorado will require confronting the enemy on many fronts and the strategies will be as varied as the variety of contexts and people groups we encounter and that God gives us the eyes to recognize. However, I believe that the three components just mentioned are the nonnegotiable components that must be present in all of our strategies
Right now, I believe there are three major goals that come under these three strategic components:
1) Prayer: To encourage our people as individuals, as prayer partners (2 X 2) and corporately to begin to pray for apostolically gifted/prepared “harvesters” as Jesus commanded in Luke 10:2b. I want to encourage each of you to pray about getting yourselves a prayer partner to pray Luke 10:2b. You can be a model and testimony to others. I have been doing this now on a daily basis with a brother for eighteen months, and God has literally changed my life in terms of what I believe about prayer.
2) Research: We are working with the NAMB and DAWN Ministries to create a process of research that will allow us to have a template for profiling a community or people group in the simplest, most sustainable and reproducible manner. I want to see a “Research For Dummies” process that can be used by almost anyone. I will be sending you training dates as this materializes.
3) Strategy: As we think total gospel saturation that results in spontaneous church planting, here is the overarching strategy that I believe could make you and your association the most effective it can be. I am persuaded that we must get our resources as close to the people we are trying to reach as possible. This will mean that you need help. You need workers/leaders who are passionate about reaching a particular area or people group and who have the gifts to do it. You need a team mate/team mates who can identify, enlist, equip/train/coach, and deploy an army of lay men and women to penetrate the pockets of lostness and unreached people groups that make up your association. To accomplish this I would like to see every association have catalytic/strategic personnel like Denver (John Lewis), Colorado Springs (Bobby Dean), High Country (Scott Wilson and Juan Tovar) have or like the southern part of our state has in Moises Jimenez—workers who can be totally focused on gospel saturation and starting new work—churches (campus, cell, hybrid, simple, ethnic, etc.).
I am working with Mark to see how we can find some dollars to help in this vision, but there is a role that you need to be playing to see this strategy happen in your association. I want to encourage you to consider making this type of strategy (i.e. strategic/catalytic personnel working with the association or Ministers of Missions working out of churches with missional hearts) a priority in your 2005 requests. My goal would be that every association could see making a strategist role or Minister Of Missions role as their highest priority for 2005 and beyond. These roles will not be positions, but will be people to whom you may pay a salary, or only a stipend or expenses, etc. as God provides the individuals and as the finances emerge. I would like to see these “harvester” types of roles become our primary strategy (prayer will provide the individuals) for the coming years. I am persuaded that our greatest need is for God-called and God-provided front-line leaders to be on your team in each of your associations. Some associations may share these God provided “harvesters,” but some may find the resources to have their own. Whatever the case, we need these leaders to be the mobilizers for the lay movement we all agree will be our best weapon to penetrate lostness.
I pray that we will all be very strategic in our thinking and our planning, but that we will not become caught up or entangled in strategy for the sake of strategy. My other prayer is that the Spirit of God will convict us strongly and quickly when we start to default from simple to complicated or from organic to programs.
Thank you for all you do. You are a gift from God for me and the Kingdom work here in Colorado. Please do not hesitate to call me if you have questions.
Pray Luke 10: