There is a difference between compliance to a vision, and true commitment to it. Developing and focusing a shared vision among all those involved – parent church pastors, planters, and congregations – is essential to the success of a multiplication movement. Without actively cultivating a vision for multiplication, a would-be movement never gets off the ground. It will remain a nice idea that we may do someday when we have the time.
Generally speaking, two things prevent shared vision for multiplication: one is not seeing the harvest (vision) and the other is not caring for the harvest (heart). Seeing the harvest means opening our eyes and looking for where God’s hand may be at work. Caring for the harvest means having a compassion for the lost that reflects the heart of God.
Vision and heart are always linked – one cannot flourish without the other. People must see the harvest in order to care about it, and they must care about it in order to really see it. It’s a symbiotic relationship. Sometimes the problem is more one of blindness – people don’t see the harvest. Sometimes the problem is more one of the heart – they see but don’t care. Yet the two are always linked.
As multiplication movement leaders, the best way to begin breaking the cycle is to start with the heart. Out of that heart for the harvest will grow a desire to identify the harvest more specifically, which in turn will lead to a deeper compassion. Synergy develops as each side strengthens the other, so we will constantly need to be moving back and forth between heart and vision. Then, when both heart and vision are in place, we will need to cultivate a faith that the harvest can be won – the faith that is needed to take action. That’s the commitment end of a shared vision. Heart, vision and then action plans, that’s what commitment to a shared vision is all about.
When we see the fruits of our efforts – maybe a new church has been planted or another milestone has been met – that’s not the end of the vision. That’s an opportunity for the vision to be expanded and re-cast so others can join in for the next round or the next milestone. We’re always going somewhere new, until the Kingdom comes.
In order for shared vision to take place we need to consider the following areas:
- Clarify our vision and values for Multiplication
- Develop effective ways of communicating the vision to the whole movement
- Increase the vision of every church involved in multiplying churches
- Identify the harvest fields that we are able to reach
- Prioritise the planting of new churches in the identified harvest fields
- Identify and develop strategies and resources needed to reach our target groups
- Discern and address potential spiritual blockages
For further insights into the elements of a Multiplication Movement check out the other articles in this section of the Blog.
Would you like to know more? Download the free booklet on Shared Vision click here