Many people get excited about the idea of Disciple Making Movements (DMMs). Few see them happen in their ministry and locations. This is not because they are impossible. It is not because they are not on God’s heart to release. Why don’t they happen more often? One reason is that people don’t take time to develop a clear vision from the beginning.
An End Vision statement gives you (and your team) necessary focus for prayer and disciple-making.
Do you ever get distracted? Do you end up wasting hours on something that is not really that important to you? I do! Just the other day I spent hours tweaking a small video I was creating. Big waste of time.
I didn’t visit my unreached neighbors, I didn’t work on my book. Many top priorities got ignored. Some days this happens to all of us.
When I have written down what my goals and priorities are, I stay much more focused on them. This is especially true if I keep those posted somewhere that I see them every day. If I then add in friendly accountability I am much more likely to be fruitful. Coaching really helps as well.
Many church planters, missionaries, and pastors are interested in DMMs but haven’t taken the time to clearly hear from God about it. They haven’t written down exactly what it is that they are pursuing. Lack of focus is a key barrier to seeing a Disciple Making Movement.
There are 10 steps to take as you get started with a DMM vision. The first is to create a clear End Vision statement.
“And the LORD answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.”Habakkuk 2:2 ESV
4 Actions To Clarify Your End Vision
Invest the time necessary to clarify what your End Vision really is. Start by drawing pictures. Then create a concise statement to summarize it. You will return to this often. Keep this in front of your team, reviewing it and praying for it over the next few years.
Action One: Draw It Out
What would it look like if everything you desire was fulfilled? What if your entire people group or city was reached with the gospel? Transformed and discipled?
I recommend you sketch this out first. Draw pictures even if they are stick figures. Grab a big piece of poster paper. Together as a team, draw pictures of the things you would see happening if the kingdom transformation came about.
An End Vision statement should contain these elements:
- locations of every village, city or neighborhood (make a rough map or drawing)of every ethnic group and religious block (where do the unreached peoples live)
- locations of existing churches and Christian ministries (add to your map or picture)
- where are there no Christians, Christian ministries or churches yet?
Consequently, you want to include these in your picture as well.
Action Two: Take Time To Listen
What is God saying? As you wait on God and pray together, record the things you sense He is speaking to you.
-promises He has given your team
-prophetic words, scriptures, and pictures
These things will become anchors for you. Return to these when the going gets tough. What God has purposed to do will come about. (Prov. 19:21)
Our job is to partner with Him in His vision, not create our own. It is well worth taking the time (both personally and as a team), to seek Him for the dream on His heart. Then you can see what your specific role is in it.
Action Three: Clarify Your Goal Related To The Multiplication Of Disciples
Determine whether you are pursuing a DMM, a cell church, or wanting to multiply disciples and grow your current church. Truly embracing a DMM vision means counting the cost of the changes that may be necessary.
You will need to adopt different methods and release much leadership to ordinary believers. Are you ready for that?
Do You Want To:
A) See existing disciples make disciples they then bring back to your main church?
B) Start a Cell Church? One central church that has many house groups (cell), but everyone comes back to the main church every week or month.
C) Begin Discovery Bible Study groups that function as mid-week small groups of the main church? Similar to this would be the desire to use DBS to improve evangelism efforts as a church.
D) Start a movement of reproducing disciple-making groups? This includes T4T groups, DBS groups, and house churches. These groups will form one movement but only
After a few generations take off, you will not even know most of the people in the movement. Each tier is responsible for discipling the next. Elders and trainers at each level serve the generation below.
As you reflect on these four options, which one best fits you?
Let me know in the comments below. Then go on to step four below.
4) Turn Your End Vision Into A Simple Statement
Taking all you’ve done above, now put it into a short simple statement that describes your vision.
Here are some real examples of End Vision statements. Don’t get hung up on wording. It doesn’t have to be perfect! This statement can be adjusted as you go along, but it is important to create it now.
-To see a church movement among the Garwali people of Northern India. It will be 10 generations deep, with 3000 house churches, 3000 local leaders and will include outreach in 200 new villages within 8 years.
-To see a Disciple Making Movement in Pattaya, Thailand, where every locality in our city will have at least one DBS group. We will establish multiplying DBS streams among ethnic Chinese, Thai, Malay and Khmer peoples. The transformational result will be a significant reduction in crime and human trafficking rates. This will happen within 10 years.
There is no magic formula for an End Vision statement. What’s important is that 1) it is created and owned by your entire team and 2) it is clear and measurable.
Set A Time Now
Are you ready to get started? Don’t wait. Plan a time this week or month to work on this. Go ahead! Pull out your calendar and designate the time now. Got questions? Feel free to ask them in the comments below or in the Disciple Making Movements Facebook Group.
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