How big is your vision? (part 2)

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Photo credit: rightee (Creative Commons)

Vision is one of our greatest challenges here in the West. We think too small, and act accordingly. Our dreams are limited by what we believe we can accomplish. This post is the second part of a vision statement put out by an apostle from Asia who is constantly seeing things that amaze us. You can read the first part of his statement here.

Among all the issues and challenges, lack of vision is the greatest weakness. With all our small thinking, hiccups, resource crunch and other failures and hang-ups, is making 10 million new connections doable in three years? Just by mobilizing your disciples to catch one person per month and training them to do the same, can your disciples add 10 million to the Body of Christ in 3 years? Can we agree to this target for 2012-15?!!  

Is it possible to reach the whole world and bring them to faith in the Lord Jesus in this generation – the answer must be ‘Yes!’  Simply by being obedient to two of the commands of the Lord Jesus – Follow Me and Make Disciples!! 

What will it take for you to start this chain reaction and for it to go viral? 

Suggested thoughts:

  1. Debunk all existing myths surrounding the traditional church, even the house churches that are not multiplying.  Go for the flexible “Third Place Discipling Church” that happens wherever you spend 8 hours of the day. That way no one will have the excuse of being too busy. Focus on small group discipling as worship rather than on large group gathering and singing as worship.
  2.  Filter out all those who have excuses. Don’t waste time on them but invest time and resources only on those who are willing to invest their own time and resources. Most of the resources are in the harvest field. Regional training and apostolic visits are the only times you may need external resources.
  3. Opening of e-gates. Use mobile phones and the Internet which are now ubiquitous (five billion mobile phones in circulation worldwide; companies are planning to add another billion customers in 2012). Provide facilities for downloading Bibles in their language, God story and Christian music (Great Commission songs ). Send SMS to non-believers instead of sending wonderful gospel messages to well meaning but non-performing Christians. Use mobile phones not just for voice communication but for multi-tasking. Can be used for discipling, providing privacy and safety to both the mentor and the mentee.
  4. Focus on young people. All the disciples of Jesus and Paul were young people.
  5. Focus on women as they are relational and have access to closed doors in restricted communities.
  6. Focus on the supernatural rather than on a cognitive, academic, intellectual approach.
  7. Focus on “Church Planting Movement Planters (CPMPs)” rather than on evangelism.
  8. Focus on discipling rather than on preaching, where Christ has not been named.
  9. Focus on rapidity (instant baptism) rather than on stability (the same people gathering every Sunday).
  10. Be intentional in sparking a CPM (Church Planting Movement) but it must end out of human control. spontaneity (Holy Spirit driven).
  11. Focus on developing local leadership and passing the baton to them, but keep the connexion.
  12. Periodically monitor to see that the goals are being achieved and if necessary, do a course correction.
  13.  Measure your success not by buildings, bodies and budgets, not even by the missionary force on the field or graduates coming out of your Bible schools. Instead measure it by disciples made, baptized, equipped, sent, People Groups reached and territories possessed….until the kingdoms of this world have become the Kingdom of our Lord and his Christ. 

 

7 thoughts on “How big is your vision? (part 2)”

  1. Setting goals with numbers is just the hugest turn off!!! Seems like totally contrary to organic church. Very depressing to read this.

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  2. Thanks for this Felicity. The world is changing in how we communicate the good news. I like your ideas.
    For me I think it will come down to people learning to listen to nudges from Spirit. Listening deeply for when and where we are to sow the seed, water it, harvest it.
    thanks and keep up the great writing

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  3. Yes. Thanks Felicity. These encourage my socks off..
    Barry: I agree… Listen to His Spirit when & where to sow etc. In a coffee shop another brother & I met to build up each other…instead we spent the whole time sharing the gospel w/ a homeless man.. We both agreed “the Lord directs his steps”.
    Rita: don’t get depressed about the numbers…I relate. The numbers are the responsibility of the Lord. But our responsibility is to “make the most of our time”. But numbers are imortant to God. All we need to do is be available when & where He calls us to act & pray. Remember the story of the shoe salesman back in the 1800’s ???? He may not have led multitudes to Christ himself…but Dwight Moody & Billy Graham were in that spiritual family tree….

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  4. Yes. Thanks Felicity. These encourage my socks off..
    Barry: I agree… Listen to His Spirit when & where to sow etc. In a coffee shop another brother & I met to build up each other…instead we spent the whole time sharing the gospel w/ a homeless man.. We both agreed “the Lord directs his steps”.
    Rita: don’t get depressed about the numbers…I relate. The numbers are the responsibility of the Lord. But our responsibility is to “make the most of our time”. But numbers are imortant to God. All we need to do is be available when & where He calls us to act & pray. Remember the story of the shoe salesman back in the 1800’s ???? He may not have led multitudes to Christ himself…but Dwight Moody & Billy Graham were in that spiritual family tree….

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  5. Rita,
    I understand how you feel about the numbers. The Lord has led us personally never to count, so for example, House2House has never been something that people can join. We’ve no idea how many churches have started because of the resources we provide.
    Having said that, I know the church planting movement that is being described here a little. I know of the lives transformed, the people set free, the healings and miracles. I hear the stories of villages who now have electricity and clean water, where the children are no longer malnourished because of the Gospel. When viewed in these terms, I don’t find the numbers offputting at all. These people are literally changing their communities and I find that both inspiring and challenging.

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  6. Paul and Barry,
    Thank you for your comments and encouragement. I agree–if we will listen to the Lord, he will lead us to the people he wants us to touch with the Good News.
    Tony and I quite often comment to each other when we speak at conferences that we don’t mind how many people are there–just a handful is fine–it only takes one or two of the right people to make a difference.

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  7. Interesting and good stuff! Listening is so, so important. I know I can easily fill my time with things that are irrelevant and of no Kingdom value if I don’t listen.
    A friend and I have started deliberately listening when we meet, and it’s making a huge difference. Here are some jottings from our most recent session.
    http://jesus.scilla.org.uk/2011/11/brampton-vision-of-christ.html
    It’s been exciting. Is this something others could try? John White has a lot on listening at http://storiesfromtherevolution.blogspot.com/

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