Casting Vision to Local Partners and Churches
Our goal is to mobilize the closest possible people to reach the unreached people group we are serving. If they love God and are willing to learn and implement, this is typically the order of effectiveness:
- Same culture: Any believers I can find inside the same specific group
- Near neighbor: Any believers from other culturally close neighbors in my country/region
- Farther neighbor: Any believers from the other groups in my country/region
As an example, if we think of the Mandinka people from Western Africa, you may say that these are examples of each:
- Same culture: Believer from the Mandinka tribe
- Near neighbor: Believer from Western Africa who can speak a language that the Mandinkans can understand.
- Farther neighbor: Any African that who can speak a language that the Mandinkans can understand.
- Outsiders: Italians, Americans
Prayer is the foundation of all that we will do. Pray that God will send out laborers into the harvest field!
To understand how to find Local Partners, we will use the acronym BLESSING:
Be a Friend
Affirm, love, and ask their vision
Build a Relationship
Spend time getting to know them. Find out what their needs are and serve them. Make sure to balance this with your limited time and an understanding that the individual or church may have priorities that compete for precious time. However, some may open up to your vision simply because you’ve taken time to meet their needs. Some people have found that when they helped with a specific need (supply Jesus Films or Bibles, offer leadership training, etc.) that this opened the individual or group up to more involvement in the vision.
Listen to their vision
Ask and learn about their ministry vision
Find out what vision God has given them. It may surprise you that their vision is not too different from yours. It may be that you can simply help shape their vision, and even let them help you shape yours. You may find it helpful to explain to them something like this: My vision is to help you fulfill your vision.
Help them get a realistic picture of the ministry situation
Lostness in your city:
- How many lost people are there in the target group?
- How many new people do you reach each year?
- Based on that number, how long will it take you to reach all of them?
- How does that make you feel?
- You are already faithful. If I could show you Biblical strategies to reach many more of them, would you be interested?
Share from God’s Word
Be ready to cast vision. If God has burdened your heart, He will touch their hearts also.
Your Vision Aligned with God’s Heart
Affirm their good efforts, but excitedly portray for them an even bigger vision.
- Cast vision for Disciple-Making and Church Planting Movements, not simply disciple-making or church planting.
- Don’t be afraid to share your vision. God put it on your heart!
Appeal from Scripture
In sharing the vision above, discover together what the Word says:
- “I’ve been learning how to see disciples made and churches started as we saw it happen in the Bible. Would you be willing to learn this together with me?”
- Study God’s methods to learn how the Kingdom grows, as Jesus taught or as the apostles implemented.
- Matthew 13:1-9 – Four soils
- Matthew 13:31-33 – Mustard seed and Yeast
- Mark 6:7-12 – Jesus sends out the 12
- Luke 10:1-11 – Jesus sends the 72
- Matthew 28-18-20 – The Great Commission
- Acts 17:24-27 – Paul at the Areopagus, specifically for immigrants
- Acts 19:8-10, Romans 15:23 – Paul’s strategy on the third journey
- Acts 10, Acts 11:14 – Peter, Cornelius, and Cornelius’s household
- 2 Timothy 2:2 – Reproducing discipleship
They may be worried about turning loose of the control of a movement. You can share case studies of where this is happening all over the world. This may help them answer questions and concerns they have.
- Try to use case studies from their country or a similar situation
- Offer to have a CPM practitioner come answer questions in difficult situations.
Show them a next step
Prayer walk and praying for the lost
Ask them to commit to praying for the target group with you. Take them prayer walking to pray for the lost and look for people of peace that you might witness to. Prayer for the lost may be the most effective vision casting because God speaks directly to their hearts.
- Generations of Disciples
Ask them for specific response, to take concrete steps. You will know that they are serious if they are doing the things that you have planned together.
Most leaders will not completely buy into everything you propose. Find out where they are and just try to get them to the next step (+1 more step). Often, if you get them to do more evangelism, then they will have to face the fact of how to start new groups, raise up more leaders, etc, which is what you were hoping to help them with anyway!
Invite a pilot group
Invite a few to catch the vision and implement
You want to try to find a small group of people to work with. Don’t try to change an entire church at once, but work with a small initial group to get started.
As you work with the small group, take time to evaluate the results. Determine the factors that have made the biggest difference in the results and decide together with the leaders whether to Stop, to Continue, or to Expand.
Never pre-judge the trainees
Experienced trainers / leaders say that you can never tell who will implement. You should evaluate someone’s leadership capacity based on their faithfulness and reproduction.
Go with the Go-ers
- Focus your energy on those who do what they have been trained to do.
- Help them cast vision and train others.
- Make sure they receive ongoing training and coaching from you or from reliable partners.
- The goal is to catalyze multipliers!
|Prayer||How and for whom will you pray?|
|Be a friend||Create a list of names.|
|Listen to their vision||Make time to meet together and hear their vision for their ministry.|
|Evaluate||Write down a realistic picture of lostness in the area where they are working|
|Share from God’s Word||Which scripture will you share with them, and how will you study it together?|
|Show them a next step||What do you want to invite them to do? What specific action do you want to challenge them to take?|
|Invite a pilot group||Are you ready to train this initial group?|
|Never prejudge trainees|
|Go with the Goers||How will you coach those that are ready to implement?|