How Not to Motivate Your Team (and 4 Ways that Work)


Working in a united team with a high level of commitment and diverse gifts is an amazing experience! As the Bible says, “One man can chase a thousand, or two put ten thousand to flight…” (Deut. 32:30-NIV.) This is only true when your team is united around the same vision and moving in the same direction. How do you get your team, or church, on board with the idea of launching a Disciple Making Movement (DMM)?

Much vision casting is necessary during the beginning phase. It carries on throughout the movement launching process. Learn how to do this well from the start. A deep commitment to multiplication will become an integral part of the movements’ DNA.

How Not To Vision Cast For Movements

When we first started vision casting, we thought this meant that every time we met we should repeat from memory our End Vision statement. It was quite a mouthful and many of us struggled to remember it. “Uhhh…we want to start a hundred groups…uhhh…and see a movement happen?” Someone would say. Others who had memorized it well, scowled and tried to help them. This exercise wasn’t exactly having the right effect.

When it took longer for us to see people coming to Christ than we expected, we grew tired of chanting that statement each week. It was causing more demotivation than encouragement. That is how not to get people excited.

I unsuccessfully tried another way to mobilize people toward the idea of movements. That was to convince them DMMs were a great strategy. I’d use a lot of numbers and statistics and talk about the population growth rates in our part of the world. I shared videos and told stories about movements happening around the world.

That worked a little bit, but we’d often have people say, “that works in (fill in the blank) but it can’t happen here. ” Or they suspected that the reports were lies and exaggerations. Using this method to vision cast didn’t lead to long term motivation either.

I’ve watched people try to motivate their team or believers toward movements but putting down other ways of working. They verbally attack the traditional or mega church. Not only do I think that is not a godly way to behave, I can also tell you it is not effective.

Learn from my many mistakes. Through trial and error, we found a much better way.

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

2 Tim 3:16-17 NIV

How to Motivate Your Team and Believers for DMMs

The best way to motivate and cast vision for movements is to base your teaching firmly in the Bible. The goal of rapid multiplication of believers and house churches must be deeply grounded in Scripture. Then it will take deep root in hearts. Commitment will be stronger and they will work for this dream from a place of conviction.

1) Teach the Great Commission

You may have preached many sermons on the Great Commission already. Take time with your leadership team to study the various parts of it again. What does this passage in Matt. 28:18-20 actually tell us to do? Who is to do it? Is it for all believers or only some people?

Make sure each person understands each part. I like the way Ying Kai teaches this passage and often use his approach. Indian movement leader, Victor C. teaches the Great Commission in much the same way.

  • Go (Go Not Come- We want to start “go” churches, and make disciples who go and share, not just bring everyone into this building to fellowship)
  • Make disciples of all nations (Everyone- Not Some- We must take the good news to every person in our city and around the world. We can’t predict who will respond to it. Our job is to share it with them and then when they believe to disciple them until they can disciple others.)
  • Baptize them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Is this part of the Great Commission only for pastors and ordained ministers? Or did Jesus instruct all of us to do this? Here you can talk about the priesthood of all believers.)
  • Teach them to obey all that I have commanded you. (Making disciples means that we also teach them to become obedient to Jesus’ commands. How will we do that? Here you can talk about the need for friendly accountability and a feedback loop. This is tough to do unless we have smaller, more participatory groups that meet).

Train about other Great Commission passages like Acts 1:8 as well. It says, “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth.” How well are we doing at training all of our believers to be His witnesses?

2) Study the growth of the church in the Book of Acts

The best movement to study is the one in the Acts of the Apostles. We often teach believers about Paul’s missionary journeys, but don’t study his disciple-making patterns. How did the church spread? Show patterns of multiplication like 2 Timothy 2:2. Paul discipled Timothy, who discipled faithful men, who discipled others also.

Get out a map and chart how the church grew and quickly spread in the time of Paul. Wouldn’t that be great to see something similar happen in our area? Do you think it is possible? God’s will?

3) Talk about what is happening today and how we too can be a part of this

Then, after looking at scripture, you can share stories of movements taking place around the world. There are wonderful stories in Jerry Trousdale’s book Miraculous Movements. Case studies are found in the Church Planting Movements booklet. There are current stories you can use from as well.

4) Pray together and ask God what is on His heart for your city, region or people group in light of this.

Ultimately, strong ownership and commitment come from the conviction of the Spirit of God. Allow time for people to respond to what the Bible is saying and what is happening around the world. You telling them they should help you start a movement won’t work. Pray hard, and allow God to speak to them. Then, together look both at first steps and also the long term End Vision.

It is good to ask them to count the cost and to share that this will mean changes and sacrifices from all of us. Discuss what some of those may be.

Have a special commitment time. Pray together and determine to go after the full purposes of God. Decide to pursue something beyond what has become “normal” Christianity. Determine to pursue something like the New Testament revival where disciples made disciples. Everyone started churches everywhere they went.

It is well worth taking the time to get your church members, leaders and/or team on board. Together you will see God’s kingdom grow and spread like never before. Alone, you will only end up frustrated.

What questions do you have about Vision Casting and getting your team or church on board? Let me know in the comments below.

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  1. Vitaly

    Do you do vision casting at every Discovery Bible Study? What do you usually do for vision casting at regular group/one-on-one meetings?

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  2. mark

    great article Cynthia. #4 in my opinion is the most important. I think once you start with a prayer, it really gets people’s mindset ready and sometimes when we arn’t motivated…alittle prayer together as a group in the beginning is the spark I need to get going!

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