The vision the individual members have for your group will determine the actions they take and your group’s ultimate destination.
Photo credit: woodleywonderworks (Creative Commons)
Why are the people in your group meeting?
Simple/organic church provides a more intimate community. This is great, and an important component of simple church, but if that is why people are meeting, community is what you will get.
Simple/organic church offers a more informal and relaxed atmosphere. But if that is the main reason you are meeting, it is what you will enjoy.
Simple/organic meetings are participatory, with the Holy Spirit setting the agenda. This is crucial, a vital component of what goes on, but it is in danger of stopping there unless there is a deliberate outward focus.
Unless your group has a vision for reaching out and touching the lives of those who don’t yet know the Lord, you are unlikely to see the multiplication of new disciples and churches.
If you long to see the lives of those who don’t yet know the Lord transformed by their coming into relationship with Jesus, then that vision needs to be set before people frequently. Everyone in your group needs to be excited by the prospect, otherwise they will resent the thought of change. As people buy into this vision, their actions and attitudes will change. It may take a little time, but it’s worth putting the vision before people on a frequent and regular basis. It can be done in different ways: for example
- An interactive Bible study on the Great Commission, or Luke 10, Matthew 10 etc.
- Videos such as this one
- Asking the Lord what he wants for your group
(This last one is crucial. Everyone in our simple/organic church bought into the vision of multiplication when we spent time seeking the Lord about his vision for our group and he showed more than 50% of us the same thing in different ways. You can read the story here. We frequently refer back to that vision and make sure that newcomers to the group hear about it. Whenever a potential new group starts, we remind people how this is a fulfilment of what the Lord showed us.)
Practical application: Ask everyone in your group to listen to the Lord with the question, “Jesus, what is your vision for our group?” Give everyone 20 minutes on their own to listen and then compare notes. See if a theme emerges. See if the Lord gives you a vision of an outward focus.
Subscribe to Get Simply Church Updates
Join our mailing list to get occasional updates from me!
4 replies on “Multiplication tools: vision”
Good stuff, Felicity.
Gathering with other believers is not necessarily the epitome of the Christian life. I think a lot of Christians view outreach as that thing we have to do in between gathering times. With a different vision, we might find that God wants to reveal himself more as we go out searching for him among not-yet believers.
Joel, I think you are right. We Christians have made the gathering the all important pursuit of Christians. “Was it a good meeting?” “Did you have a good teaching?” Church is not the event, but the lifestyle, and one component of that needs to be an outward focus.
Yep. At the end of the day, the highest activity of the Christian life is not gathering or scattering or outreach, but obedient love. Or loving obedience.
The trouble I notice is when we settle on a default rather than seeking and listening. As you’ve pointed out, it seems like the common default is “gather”.
Joel, i like that way of putting it, that our common default is “gather.” It’s very true. And you’re right. It’s loving obedience that counts.