Someone on your team or in your church has a missional vision. How do you encourage them to make that dream reality?
These are some of the ways I’ve encouraged people to move towards their vision, and see kingdom breakthrough.
My team always laugh at me for saying this frequently. But it’s true. When it comes to stepping out in missional vision, or any vision for that matter you have to both start small and dream big.
There’s never one simple step or process. The big dream is about where you want to get to, what you want to achieve, and what change would look like. But in order to get there you need to take one simple step towards that vision. The big dream will never happen without the small steps to get us there – they simply remain dreams, rather than becoming lifestyle and kingdom breakthrough.
On the flip side if you just start small, without knowing what you’re heading towards, you can make lots of incremental changes but don’t actually know where you want to get to; the small steps just take you round in circles.
So we need Both/And. Both dreaming about tomorrow and starting with a small step today.
What does tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, or even next decade look like? It needs to be something that’s broad enough as a timescale to really hear and take hold of what God’s heart and vision is for you. But it’s also about today: multiple daily decisions about how you live today towards the dream of tomorrow.
For example we as parents wanted to raise our children as people of prayer. We had an important, deep, and passionate vision for them to have a living relationship with God and a vibrant, passionate, and relational prayer life. So we started to pray every day at 7am with them. We decided to do a simple pattern everyday of saying “what are you thankful for and what can we pray for?” We prayed. They began to pray. And so the first step was taken.
Have a process.
The most helpful way I’ve found to help people step out into missional vision is to encourage them in the 1-3-2 process:
1 Picture of the Future
What’s the one picture you’re passionate about; something you want to see happen, or that you’re frustrated by and want to see change in the future.
For example, one of the Missional Communities that lives in a suburban area had a vision where every neighbour knew each other’s names & their children could play out safely together.
3 Values to live by
What are the three values you want to live by, whether that’s hospitality, generosity, mission, family prayer, helping people, faith? It’s important to identify key components of the lifestyle to put foundations on for that picture for the future.
In the example I gave above their values were:
- To have connected relationships,
- Safety for their children
- Taking responsibility (to create the reality they hoped for).
2 Next Steps
What are the two next steps you could start to do today that help you live towards that vision? What things need to stop, start, or change to help you live towards it? What are the key decisions today or in the next week that will help you move towards that reality? The two next steps the above mentioned missional community took were to write to the council to ask for speed bumps to be put on their road (so the cars slowed down & the kids were safer) and they went door knocking (to say hello to each of their neighbours).
What could your 1-3-2 process be?
Rich is based in the UK and leads 3DM Europe with his wife Anna. He has been involved with missional communities for 15 years – pioneering, planting & leading them as well as overseeing leaders across St. Thomas’ Philadelphia for more than 3 years. He has developed leaders’ training, coaching & consultancy resources and a coaching team to disciple leaders and support the work across the ministry. Rich is married to Anna and they have three children – Josiah, Esther and Samuel.