Vision Recovery Process, Step 5: INSPIRE Your Church

The Vision Recovery Process is Auxano’s five-step framework for navigating and helping church leaders plan through all three phases.

 

Join David Putman and Mike Gammill on Thursday 4/30 for:

Step 5: Inspire Your Church.

An intentional communication strategy that is consistent and far reaching.

 

The webinar is free, but you must register: https://auxa.no/2Xvbcdj Thursday April 30, 11am EDT/10am CDT

If you would like to view our previous webinars in the Better Future Web Series, check out the archives here.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

VRcurator

VRcurator

Bob Adams is Auxano's Vision Room Curator. His background includes over 23 years as an associate/executive pastor as well as 8 years as the Lead Consultant for a church design build company. He joined Auxano in 2012.

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COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Vision Recovery Process – Step 1

As a part of Auxano’s Better Future Webinar Series, we will be posting videos and links here from the preceding week’s topics.


 

Listed below are the first two of our 30-minute “Vision Recovery Process” webinar videos, introduced last week as a part of our Better Future Webinar Series.

Please click on the images below to play the videos.

Tuesday, April 14

 

Thursday, April 16

Supporting resources discussed in the webinars are available as the following PDF downloads.

  • The Disruption Timeline – An overview of three disruption phases you will move through
  • Seven Disruption Conclusions – Seven ideas you may begin to anticipate
  • Vision Recovery Process Overview – Five steps of the Vision Recovery Process
  • COVID-19 Congregational Survey – Feel free to use these questions or use them as a starting point for listening to your congregation.
  • ASSESS Your Reality – A lists and development tool, this editable PDF is for bringing together thoughts from other churches, your community and your congregation.

> To receive these downloads, please complete this form; you will receive an email with download instructions.

Our team of Navigators is also offering free, 30 minute follow-up coaching calls. To schedule a call, please complete this form.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

VRcurator

VRcurator

Bob Adams is Auxano's Vision Room Curator. His background includes over 23 years as an associate/executive pastor as well as 8 years as the Lead Consultant for a church design build company. He joined Auxano in 2012.

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Addressing the Bigger Question on Your Mind

When will things get back to normal?

Do we really want to go back to NORMAL?

In Tuesday’s Better Future Web Series, Auxano Senior Lead Navigators David Putman and Bryan Rose introduced Part 1 of the Vision Recovery Process.

There is a difference in “getting back to normal” and “getting back to normalcy” in your church. We are now in a season in which church leaders can consider, as we all yearn for normalcy, the potential of instilling a “new normal” within our congregations.

  • What if our families could stay connected?
  • What if our discipleship efforts could remain decentralized and outward focused?
  • What if being the Church could continue to outpace doing Church?

You can catch Part 2 of the webinar on Thursday, April 16 at 11am EDT/10am CDT.

Register here.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

VRcurator

VRcurator

Bob Adams is Auxano's Vision Room Curator. His background includes over 23 years as an associate/executive pastor as well as 8 years as the Lead Consultant for a church design build company. He joined Auxano in 2012.

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Do You Want Normal or Normalcy?

There is a difference in “getting back to normal” and “getting back to normalcy” in your church.

The latter is a restoration of the rhythms and relationships found in gathering together as the Church once again. The former is a restoration of the habits and practices of doing Church as it was pre-COVID-19.

We are now in a season in which church leaders can consider, as we all yearn for normalcy, the potential of instilling a “new normal” within our congregations. What if our families could stay connected? What if our discipleship efforts could remain decentralized and outward focused? What if being the Church could continue to outpace doing Church?

Join Auxano Navigators David Putman and Bryan Rose on this week’s Better Future Webinar as they present a brand-new training tool, the Vision Recovery Process. In this two-part online training, attendees will learn:

  • How to process the timing around three phases of disruption
  • Key conclusions about disciple-making in a “new normal” of church life
  • Five critical steps to recovering your church’s disciple-making vision
  • Ten questions every church should ask every member this week

Part one will be Tuesday, April 14, at 11:00 am EDT / 10:00 am CDT, and part two will be on Thursday, April 16, at the same time. You don’t have to attend both, but we recommend reserving a spot here because space will be limited.

The last thing any of us needs is another talking-head driven ZOOM call, so Auxano promises that every Better Future Webinar will be super practical, immediately applicable, and founded on process tools that will make a difference in your leadership.

Thanks for you all you are doing for your congregation and community in this generation-marking season. We hope to see you right here on Tuesday!

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bryan Rose

Bryan Rose

As Lead Navigator for Auxano, Bryan Rose has a strong bias toward merging strategy and creativity within the vision of the local church and has had a diversity of experience in just about every ministry discipline over the last 12 years. With his experience as a multi-site strategist and campus pastor at a 3500 member multi-campus church in the Houston Metro area, Bryan has a passion to see “launch clarity” define the unique Great Commission call of developing church plants and campus, while at the same time serving established churches as they seek to clarify their individual ministry calling. Bryan has demonstrated achievement as a strategic thinker with a unique ability to infuse creativity into the visioning process while bringing a group of people to a deep sense of personal ownership and passion.

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COMMENTS

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Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

6 Tips in Leading Your Next Capital Campaign

I was given a campaign manual on my first day as an XP. That’s right, I got my first assignment and it was to lead our growing church plant through a capital campaign that would allow us to double our space. Over the next six years, I found myself in back-to-back campaigns as our church attendance grew from 500 to over 2,000 people in weekend attendance. I learned some valuable lessons and some best practices during those six years that I want to pass on to you.

> Slow Down in Order to Speed Up

When it comes to campaigns everyone is in a hurry. Proper prep takes time especially when it’s linked to expanding your space. Most of us pastor types (human types) want everything right now. Determining the scope of a project, the consultant, the lender, the architect, the site issues, along with a dozen more issues are critical to address if your campaign is going to be successful. The more focused you are as you begin, the greater the impact and results. Often the best way to speed up the entire process is to slow down.

> Hire the Right Consultant

I’m not sure what would have happened if we had not hired the right consultant from day one. Failing to engage a consultant may actually cost you tens of thousands of dollars in the long haul. Yes, there are fees involved when you hire a good consultant, A good consultant can be costly, but I promise you it’s the best money you can spend if you want to maximize your campaign. You will find these characteristics in a top-notch consultant:

• Calling – Do they have a passion for helping the local church?

• Competent – Do they have a proven track record as a campaign consultant and do they have local church experience?

• Character – Do they do what they say they’ll do? What do are other people say about who they are?

• Chemistry – Do they understand and fit your culture?

> Let the Senior Leader Call the Shots

First, the Senior Pastor must have buy-in and be engaged. Clearly, every senior leader leads differently. I’ve been in situations where the senior leader wanted to micro-manage every detail. I’ve been in other situations where he wanted to be told “when” and “where.” As an XP it should always be your goal to help the senior leader succeed. So lean into his or her leadership style to accomplish this. My starting point as an XP was, “What is it that I must have from the senior leader for this to succeed?” I made sure he was freed up to actually do that. My job began with his job.

> Link Your Campaign to Vision

Campaigns tend to be too focused on money. The place we need to begin is vision. A good campaign will always start and end with vision. Vision clarity is a must. People give to vision, not to buildings unless it’s part of a larger vision.

> Listen to Your Consultant

Don’t assume you know more about the campaign than your consultant. I have found that there are times when leadership resists listening to their consultant. This happens when the church has had a previous win or big success. Unfortunately, a previous win doesn’t mean the next one will go just as well. It often doesn’t.

> Work Really Hard

Campaigns are hard work. Effective campaigns are even harder. The harder you work, the greater the results. Don’t take shortcuts during this season. Plan on working long, hard days. It will pay off.

I hope these tips will guide you to run a successful campaign that will help you advance your mission and make disciples.

More from David.


 

If you enjoyed this article, you need to check out Auxano’s Capital Campaign Boot Camp, coming to Huntington Beach, CA on February 19-20. Click here for full details!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Putman

David Putman

David is a Lead Navigator serving on the Auxano Team, the category leader in vision clarity and vision focus campaigns. He is also founder leader of Planting the Gospel a non-profit ministry committed to helping churches move discipleship from a program to a culture. He has been involved in church planting for over twenty years as a planter, strategist, and coach. He is author of I Woke Up In Heaven, The Gospel Disciple, Detox for the Overly Religious, Breaking the Discipleship Code, and co-author of Breaking the Missional Code with Ed Stetzer. He latest book The Gospel Disciple Journey will be released in February 2014. David’s life mission is to help others discover the simplicity, centrality, and beauty of Jesus and his ways. David is married to Tami and they have two awesome kids, and two even more awesome grandkids.

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COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

The Disciplemaking Worldview: What is a Disciple?

Auxano Navigator David Putman is committed to catalyzing gospel-centered, disciple-making movements. He lives out his mission by helping others go further, faster, and longer than they ever imagined. David’s writings have been the primary foundation of this SUMS Remix.

According to David, disciple making at its core is about worldview transformation. A person’s worldview is the way they see and understand the world.  Our worldview is based on our core beliefs. These non-negotiable beliefs determine our behavior. In other words, what we believe determines our behavior.

As a disciple of Christ we might frame it this way, “What we believe about the gospel determines how we follow Jesus.”

David uses a simple tool he created called the “Gospel Lens” to illustrate this. This tool is based on three questions that he believes have a very unique and specific relationship to one another.

It is essential that we begin with the gospel, move to disciple, and finally to the church in the order we ask and answer these questions. In other words, the gospel informs our understanding of disciples, and our understanding of disciples informs our understanding of the church.

What is a Disciple?

THE QUICK SUMMARY – A Long Obedience in the Same Direction by Eugene Peterson

As a society, we are no less obsessed with the immediate than when Eugene Peterson first wrote this Christian classic. If anything, email and the Internet may have intensified our quest for the quick fix. But Peterson’s time-tested prescription for discipleship remains the same–a long obedience in the same direction.

Tucked away in the Hebrew Psalter, Peterson discovered “an old dog-eared songbook,” the Songs of Ascents that were sung by pilgrims on their way up to worship in Jerusalem. In these songs (Psalms 120-134) Peterson finds encouragement for modern pilgrims as we learn to grow in worship, service, joy, work, happiness, humility, community and blessing. This 20th anniversary edition of A Long Obedience in the Same Direction features these Psalms in Peterson’s widely acclaimed paraphrase, The Message. He also includes an epilogue in which he reflects on the themes of this book and his ministry during the twenty years since its original publication.

A SIMPLE SOLUTION

The announcement of good news is that God in Christ doesn’t only save us by grace, but He grows us by grace. We see this best in Jesus’ parable of the growing seed. He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain – first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come” (Mark 4:26-29, NIV). The seed in this parable is the gospel and soil is our hearts. When we receive the seed into the good soil of our heart something happens. We can’t explain it, but it does. Jesus says, “Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how.” This is an amazing truth that changes everything; gospel in, gospel out.

Paul understood this when he said, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not be conformed any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approved what God’s will is – his good, pleasing, and perfect will” (Romans 12:1-2, NIV). In this text Paul demonstrates that our devotion is based on our understanding of the gospel. We are to offer our bodies, but only as a result of being in full view of His mercy. We don’t present our bodies to get God’s mercy; we present our bodies because of God’s mercy. The order has been reversed. I don’t do in order to earn God’s favor, but I do because I have God’s favor. He goes on and addresses the idea of transformation. We are transformed by the renewal of our minds. Once again we see gospel in, gospel out.

When I come to understand that I am fully loved, then and only then can I offer love. When I come to understand God’s forgiveness of me, I become more forgiving and understanding of others. As I come to understand God’s provision for me, only then can I truly become more generous. As I come to apprehend the gospel there is a reformatting and aligning of my values that take place. I am transformed.

When you understand gospel in, gospel out it changes everything.

It is not difficult in our world today to get a person interested in the message of the gospel; it is terrifically difficult to sustain the interest.

Millions of people in our culture make decisions for Christ, but there is a dreadful attrition rate. Many claim to have been born again, but the evidence for mature Christian discipleship is slim. In our kind of culture anything, even news about God, can be sold if it is packaged freshly; but when it loses its novelty, it goes on the garbage heap. There is a great market for religious experience in our world; there is little enthusiasm for the patient acquisition of virtue, little inclination to sing up for a long apprenticeship in what earlier generations of Christians called holiness.

For recognizing and resisting the stream of the world’s ways there are two biblical designations for people of faith that are extremely useful: disciple and pilgrim. Disciple (mathētēs) says we are people who spend our lives apprenticed to our master, Jesus Christ. We are in a growing-learning relationship, always. A disciple is a learner, but not in the academic setting of a schoolroom, rather at the work site of a craftsman. We do not acquire information about God but skills in faith.

Pilgrim (parepidēmos) tells us we are people who spend our lives going somewhere, going to God, and whose path for getting there is the way, Jesus Christ. We realize that “this world is not my home” and set out for “the Father’s house.”

Eugene Peterson, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction

A NEXT STEP

Auxano founder and team leader Will Mancini has developed three snapshots of Jesus’ disciple-making ministry for your consideration.

Set aside time to review each of the following snapshots, including time to read and reflect on the Scripture and how the snapshot applies to your current disciple-making process.

In each of the three synoptic gospels we see a different scene in the life of Jesus just before He calls His twelve disciples. Each snapshot reveals a unique aspect of both the heart of Jesus and His earthly-eternal kingdom strategy.

Snapshot #1: The great opportunity meets a great shortage (Matthew 9:35-38)

Before Jesus calls the twelve from Matthew’s perspective, we see Jesus’ compassion for the crowds. As He looked over the masses He observes, “the harvest is plenty but the workers are few.” His last command before selecting His inner circle is to pray earnestly to the Lord of the Harvest to send out laborers. In the light of the urgent opportunity, Jesus begins investing deeply into the twelve.

Snapshot #2: Building the infrastructure not the popularity (Mark 3:7-12)

Mark shows us a different angle of Jesus’ motive just before He appoints the twelve. In this passage He repeats the phrase “great crowd” showing for the first time the sheer volume of people who were responding to Jesus. Not only that, He shows the intensity of their pursuit by explaining how the people were “pressing around him” and how they needed to escape in a boat “lest they be crushed.” If that wasn’t enough, even the demons cried out that He was the Son of God. What was Jesus’ final act before appointing the twelve from Mark’s perspective? Jesus strictly ordered them NOT to make Him known.

Why in the world did Jesus come to earth if He wanted to lower the volume of His identity and mission? Why would He intentional minimize His platform? The answer is simple. He wasn’t building a stage and an audience; He was building a people movement. And the disciple-making infrastructure was being threatened by the quick popularity. Thus He focuses even more on the twelve.

Snapshot #3: The brevity of life on earth (Luke 6:6-11)

In Luke’s snapshot we see a simple healing scene. This is where Jesus heals the man with a withered hand on the Sabbath. It is also the first time we see the scribes Pharisees filled with fury to the point that they begin plotting what they are going to do with Jesus. This is the fountainhead of the death plot that would end Jesus’ physical opportunity on planet earth to be a disciple-maker. The next thing we see Him doing is praying to the Father all night and then calling the twelve.

What about you?

As you plan the coming year, how does Jesus’ disciple-making conviction, and especially these three catalysts, rescue you from a “program management” culture? Are you herding people through classes and events? Are you trying to make life-change happen through better preaching only? Or do you have a robust, disciple-making strategy built around life-on-life investment, like Jesus?

How will your leadership and your ministry reflect the same catalysts in Jesus’ life?

  • Helping people see the amazing opportunity of lost souls and recruiting them to pray for more harvest workers.
  • Building the core with significant time investment before gathering the crowd.
  • Being deeply aware of the finite window to invest in others in light of the eternal kingdom economy.

Excerpt taken from SUMS Remix 108-2, released December 2018.


 

This is part of a weekly series posting excerpts from one of the most innovative content sources in the church world: SUMS Remix book excerpts for church leaders.

SUMS Remix takes a practical problem in the church and looks at it with three solutions; each solution is taken from a different book. Additionally, a practical action step is included with each solution.

As a church leader you get to scan relevant books based on practical tools and solutions to real ministry problems, not just by the cover of the book. Each post will have the edition number which shows the year and what number it is in the overall sequence. (SUMS Remix provides 26 issues per year, delivered every other week to your inbox). 

>> Subscribe to SUMS Remix <<

>> Purchase prior issues of SUMS Remix<<

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

VRcurator

VRcurator

Bob Adams is Auxano's Vision Room Curator. His background includes over 23 years as an associate/executive pastor as well as 8 years as the Lead Consultant for a church design build company. He joined Auxano in 2012.

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

The Disciplemaking Worldview: What is the Gospel?

Auxano Navigator David Putman is committed to catalyzing gospel-centered, disciple-making movements. He lives out his mission by helping others go further, faster, and longer than they ever imagined. David’s writings have been the primary foundation of this SUMS Remix.

According to David, disciple making at its core is about worldview transformation. A person’s worldview is the way they see and understand the world.  Our worldview is based on our core beliefs. These non-negotiable beliefs determine our behavior. In other words, what we believe determines our behavior.

As a disciple of Christ we might frame it this way, “What we believe about the gospel determines how we follow Jesus.”

David uses a simple tool he created called the “Gospel Lens” to illustrate this. This tool is based on three questions that he believes have a very unique and specific relationship to one another.

It is essential that we begin with the gospel, move to disciple, and finally to the church in the order we ask and answer these questions. In other words, the gospel informs our understanding of disciples, and our understanding of disciples informs our understanding of the church.

What is the Gospel?

THE QUICK SUMMARY – Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary by J.D. Greear

Could the gospel be lost in evangelical churches? In this book, J.D. Greear shows how moralism and legalism have often eclipsed the gospel, even in conservative churches. Gospel cuts through the superficiality of religion and reacquaints you with the revolutionary truth of God’s gracious acceptance of us in Christ. The gospel is the power of God, and the only true source of joy, freedom, radical generosity, and audacious faith. The gospel produces in us what religion never could: a heart that desires God.

The book’s core is a “gospel prayer” by which you can saturate yourself in the gospel daily. Dwelling on the gospel will release in you new depths of passion for God and take you to new heights of obedience to Him. Gospel gives you an applicable, exciting vision of how God will use you to bring His healing to the world.

A Simple Solution

The essence of gospel is good news. It’s an announcement that God has done something for us that we could not do for ourselves. All other religious systems offer us good advice. The gospel offers us the Good News.

Jesus begins His ministry with an announcement, “The time has come the kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news” (Mark 1:15, NIV)! In essence He was saying the King has come. Everything has changed. What God began in Genesis, He completes in Jesus. This announcement is good news because in Jesus, God announces that we are redeemed, we are being renewed, and He is restoring all things through us.

It is one thing to understand the gospel but it is quite another to experience the gospel in such a way that it fundamentally changes us and becomes the sources of our identity and security. It is one thing to grasp the essence of the gospel but quite another to think out its implications for all of life. We all struggle to explore the mysteries of the gospel on a regular basis and to allow its message to influence our thinking.

The gospel is not just supposed to be our ticket into heaven; it is to be an entirely new basis for how we relate to God, ourselves, and others. It is to be the source from which everything else flows.

In the last message Jesus gave to His disciples, He told them that the way to fruitfulness and joy – the “secret” to the Christian life – was to abide in Him. They wouldn’t produce “abundant fruit” by reading books, intensifying their self-discipline, memorizing Scripture, or getting in accountability groups. Those things all have their place, but real fruit comes only from one place: abiding in Jesus.

The point is that to produce real love in your heart for God takes something beyond spiritual gifts, greater doctrinal knowledge, audacious faith, and even radical obedience. Something entirely different. Radically different.

That’s where the gospel comes in. The gospel, and the gospel alone, has the power to produce love for God in the heart. Paul calls the gospel “God’s power for salvation” (Romans 1:16). Religion can tell you what to do – namely, to “love God with all your heart, soul, and mind” and “to love your neighbor as yourself”; but the gospel alone gives you the power to do it.

The gospel, however, is not just the diving board off of which we jump into the pool of Christianity; it is the pool itself. It is not only the way we begin in Christ; it is the way we grow in Christ. As Tim Keller says, the gospel is not just the ABCs of Christianity, it is the A-Z; it is not the first step in a stairway of truths, it is more like the hub of God’s wheel of truth. All other Christian virtues flow out of it.

Always “begin again” with the gospel. Abide in it; swim in it; make your home in it. See more and more of your life through it. Be absolutely convinced at every moment of every day of the goodness of God in your life. That’s the only way you’ll ever really grow.

J.D. Greear, Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary

 A NEXT STEP

Author J.D. Greer has developed a tool he calls “The Gospel Prayer” to help saturate himself with the truth of the gospel.

Set aside a quiet time to read and reflect on the following prayer, and make it a part of your daily devotional life.

There’s nothing magical about this prayer. It’s not an incantation to get God to do good things for you. Incidentally, it’s also not my attempt to replace the Lord’s Prayer. This prayer is simply a tool to help you train your mind in the patterns of the gospel. The point is not the prayer; the point is thinking in line with the gospel.

The Gospel Prayer has four parts. The first two parts lead us inward, helping us to renew our minds in God’s acceptance of us and the value of that acceptance to us:

  1. In Christ, there is nothing I can do that would make You love me more, and nothing I have done that makes You love me less.”
  2. Your presence and approval are all I need for everlasting joy.”

Part 3 of the prayer has us consider what responding to the grace of the gospel looks like. Understanding God’s generosity toward us should lead us to radical generosity toward others.

  1. As You have been to me, so I will be to others.”

Part 4 of the prayer helps us see our world through the lens of the gospel and moves us to audacious faith. If the cross really does reveal God’s compassion for sinners and the resurrection reveals His power to save them, then our prayers on their behalf should be audacious and bold:

  1. As I pray, I’ll measure Your compassion by the cross and Your power by the resurrection.”

Excerpt taken from SUMS Remix 108-1, released December 2018.


 

This is part of a weekly series posting excerpts from one of the most innovative content sources in the church world: SUMS Remix book excerpts for church leaders.

SUMS Remix takes a practical problem in the church and looks at it with three solutions; each solution is taken from a different book. Additionally, a practical action step is included with each solution.

As a church leader you get to scan relevant books based on practical tools and solutions to real ministry problems, not just by the cover of the book. Each post will have the edition number which shows the year and what number it is in the overall sequence. (SUMS Remix provides 26 issues per year, delivered every other week to your inbox). 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

VRcurator

VRcurator

Bob Adams is Auxano's Vision Room Curator. His background includes over 23 years as an associate/executive pastor as well as 8 years as the Lead Consultant for a church design build company. He joined Auxano in 2012.

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COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

The Stop & Go Process of Disciple Making

What many churches call discipleship, or disciple-making is a far cry from what Jesus had in mind when He gave us the Great Commission. What you are doing may be the very reason your church is struggling when it comes to reaching non-Christians with the gospel. ​

I work with dozens of churches each year, helping them align their strategies and programming with their disciple-making results (measures).  My observation is that most churches have three core components when it comes to their strategy.  Most often, it consists of 1) a gathering where worship takes place, 2) groups where people connect and study the Bible, and 3) a place of service in the church.  It may look like some variation of the drawing below.

This model most often assumes that people find their way into our gatherings, and the rest will take care of itself.  The challenge to this assumption is that in today’s culture that people are no longer finding us.  We have reached everyone like us or who is wants to be like us.  If we are frank about our situation, if we are experiencing growth at all, it is usually the result of doing things better than the churches around us and reaching their attenders and members.   In essence, we are growing at the expense of the churches around us, with little or no actual kingdom growth.

Think about it for a moment.  We encourage disciples to gather for Christian worship on the weekends and then gather with a smaller group of Christian in our homes during the week for Bible Study.  You may be wondering what’s wrong with this?  Well, I’m glad you asked.  Jesus didn’t save us to spend our lives in a holy huddle.  The very commission he gave us begins with an imperative to “go.”

For Jesus, there was no separation in evangelism and disciple-making.  Evangelism is simply the first part of a holistic process we refer to as disciple-making.  Whenever I think of disciple-making, I process it through our pipeline that includes:  pre-disciples, new-disciples, growing, disciples, multiplying disciples, and catalytic disciples.  A healthy disciple-making culture will have both pre and new-disciples flowing through it.

A more open system for disciple-making might look like the one I use when working with leaders or catalytic disciples who are interested in catalyzing disciple-making movements.

This is what we call a strategy map, and it consists of five components.  Here’s a super quick overview.  I will save a fuller discussion for future writings.

Enter the Field
Jesus calls us to enter the fields that are already “white unto harvest”.  We must be intentional about equipping disciples at every level of our pipeline to enter the harvest field.  This may require a rethinking of how we relate to people where we live, work, and play.

Plant the Gospel
We plant the gospel by proclaiming the good news that in Christ, God did for us what we could not do for ourselves in that He redeemed us, He is renewing us, and He is ultimately going to restore all of creation.  We plant the gospel by telling our story and telling His story of redemption.  While the gospel may be demonstrated non-verbally through our actions, be not mistaken, the gospel is verbal.  The gospel is a good news announcement that must be proclaimed.

Make Disciples
Once someone is open to the gospel, disciple-making begins.  I was reminded the other day of a young man I disciple for two-years before he became a Christian.  I did this by engaging in a relationship with him, having an honest dialogue where I answered his question, and introduce him to my broader Christian community.  My disciple-making efforts consisted of exposing him to Gospel Truth, Gospel Community, and Gospel Mission.  We did life-on-life, life-in-community, and life-on-mission together.

Form the Church
Once you begin making disciples, you can then form new communities or new churches around those disciples.  When I first started this journey of church planting, I thought I needed to form a church and then go make disciples.  What I have discovered in the post-church era is we have to make disciples and then form the church around those disciples.

Reproduce
The final part of our strategy is to reproduce.  We reproduce other disciples, groups, churches, ministries, and networks.  However, it’s important to note that reproduction begins in the pre-disciple phase.  If we meet someone open to the gospel, then we can ask that person if he has family or friends that might be open to the gospel.  When they do, we can encourage them to invite us into their network, and when this happens, they are learning to reproduce from day one.

Now let me ask you a question: Which one of these approaches to church is going to allow us to make disciples of people far from God?  Hopefully, both, but certainly the open system, is going to be more effective in today’s context.

> Read more from David.


 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Putman

David Putman

David is a Lead Navigator serving on the Auxano Team, the category leader in vision clarity and vision focus campaigns. He is also founder leader of Planting the Gospel a non-profit ministry committed to helping churches move discipleship from a program to a culture. He has been involved in church planting for over twenty years as a planter, strategist, and coach. He is author of I Woke Up In Heaven, The Gospel Disciple, Detox for the Overly Religious, Breaking the Discipleship Code, and co-author of Breaking the Missional Code with Ed Stetzer. He latest book The Gospel Disciple Journey will be released in February 2014. David’s life mission is to help others discover the simplicity, centrality, and beauty of Jesus and his ways. David is married to Tami and they have two awesome kids, and two even more awesome grandkids.

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COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Four Benefits of a Disciple-Making Pipeline

Let’s face it; you don’t have to have a disciple-making pipeline to make disciples.  I would say that very few churches have an intentional pipeline.  At the same time, there may be some benefits that you might want to consider when it comes to a disciple-making pipeline.

Let’s start by looking at what is a disciple-making pipeline? A disciple-making pipeline is a structure for identifying and moving disciples from one level of development to the next. Our goal in developing and implementing a disciple-making pipeline is more and better disciples.  We encourage churches to develop their unique disciple-making pipeline. The table below represents a generic disciple-making pipeline for beginning our conversation and for the development of your own disciple-making pipeline.

The benefits of an intentional disciple-making pipeline are numerous.  Here are a few:

1. It depicts a clear pathway for growth.  I can remember being a brand follower of Christ, thinking I want to be a good citizen.  I had no clue what it meant to be a disciple or that as a disciple, I needed to grow.  Imagine having a clear pathway with clearly delineated measures or competencies at each level of discipleship.  Regardless of how you program around a pipeline, just having one would benefit any church serious about making disciples.

2. It allows you as a church to evaluate your disciple-making effectiveness.  Once you develop your own disciple-making pipeline based on your disciple-making dream,  you have a built-in tool for assessing your effectiveness.  For example, if you don’t have any pre-disciples, it is a good indication that something is off about your overall disciple-making culture.  The same could be true of any level of your pipeline where you may have a deficiency.  A healthy disciple-making culture will have disciples at every level of the pipeline.

3. It integrates both evangelism and disciple-making.  A common mistake that churches make is separating evangelism and disciple-making, but for Jesus evangelism was always a critical part of His disciple-making.   His disciple-making always began with pre-disciples.  Creating a disciple-making pipeline should always begin with pre-disciples.

4. It encourages the disciple-maker to focus on his/her area of greatest strength.  We all have different passions and giftedness.  I may have a passion for working with pre-disciples, while you may be gifted at working with multiplying disciples. Having a disciple-making pipeline gives us multiple areas and places to plug into the disciple-making process as a disciple-maker.


 

To learn more about a disciplemaking pipeline, connect with an Auxano Navigator.

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| What is MyVisionRoom? > | Back to Discipleship >

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Putman

David Putman

David is a Lead Navigator serving on the Auxano Team, the category leader in vision clarity and vision focus campaigns. He is also founder leader of Planting the Gospel a non-profit ministry committed to helping churches move discipleship from a program to a culture. He has been involved in church planting for over twenty years as a planter, strategist, and coach. He is author of I Woke Up In Heaven, The Gospel Disciple, Detox for the Overly Religious, Breaking the Discipleship Code, and co-author of Breaking the Missional Code with Ed Stetzer. He latest book The Gospel Disciple Journey will be released in February 2014. David’s life mission is to help others discover the simplicity, centrality, and beauty of Jesus and his ways. David is married to Tami and they have two awesome kids, and two even more awesome grandkids.

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Three Actions to Give You Confidence in Developing Vision

Here are my observations…many leaders default to what we call generic vision.  Generic vision is akin to having no vision at all.  There are several different types of generic vision.  They all take a kind of general tone like love God and love people, reach more people, or go make disciples.

I’m glad you love God and people.  I’m glad that you want to reach more people and make more disciples.  We already know that, but what if God wants to do something cosmically significant and locally specific through you and your church?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worked with a church when they actually “name” the vision and then for whatever the reason they blink.  They default back to generic vision.  I mean they pull back and retreat to the safe and secure lands of Generica.

What we need and what it takes to lead with specific and clear vision is courage.  Everyone loves you as long as you don’t have vision or have some common form of a lesser vision.  Get specific and guess what?  There are going to be people who are going to disagree with you.  Be bold and courageous!  Name your vision!  Get specific!

Let’s face it, we all lack courage at times.  You are not alone, but what if you could gain courage and by doing so discover that God is able to do abundantly above all you ask or imagine!

Here are three things that will give the confidence and courage when it comes to vision.

Collaboration with a Team
Don’t take the vision journey alone.  Build a team of both strategic and tactical people who are willing to own the journey with you.  A common mistake when it comes to vision is the idea that if we get it down on paper, we have a vision.  We may have a vision statement or a visionary plan, but what we want and need to build courage is so much more.  We need a sense of shared vision. This visionary plan isn’t a document that a leader wrote and is now sharing with us, but it is a shared vision that we discovered together.  Each person on the team is now a stakeholder and has a deep level of ownership.  Together we are more courageous than when we are separated.  We draw strength from the collective genius of all.

Confidence in a Process
As an organization, we consider ourselves a team of Navigators.  You, the client, are the content experts.  You and your organization are unique.  You consist of a unique people, in a unique place, and with a unique passion.  There is no one or any given place quite like you. At the same time, our navigators are process experts.  We believe God is at work in you and a great navigator with the best process tools should serve you well in helping you discover God’s unique vision for your church.  We have seen it work hundreds of times and we believe it can work for you.  Go ahead and check it out for yourself.  We included our entire process and many of our tools in a book by our founder Will Mancini titled God Dreams.

Clarity of Vision
The final component of courage when it comes to vision is clarity.  The way we say it is, “Clarity isn’t everything, but it changes everything.”  That’s right clarity changes everything.  When you have it, you experience the confidence and even the courage needed to lead with it.  However, getting to the point of clarity isn’t easy, if it were everyone would have it.  Clarity requires hard work.  Clarity requires time and testing.  There is rarely a day that I don’t encourage one or more of my clients to slow down in order to speed up.  That’s right, slow down and do the hard work of vision.  Work the process with your team until you experience breakthrough.  My consistent prayer for the teams I work with is for God to give us breakthrough.  Prior to clarity, it is my observation that we often have to go through the tunnel of chaos to get there.  This alone takes a level of courage.  You can be courageous even when you feel fear.  Courage is not the absent of fear, but the willingness to continue in spite of fear.

A great team, proven process, and clarity goes a long way when it comes to leading with confidence and courage.

> Read more from David.


 

Connect with an Auxano Navigator to learn more about leading with confidence and courage through vision clarity.

Download PDF

Tags: , ,

| What is MyVisionRoom? > | Back to Leadership >

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Putman

David Putman

David is a Lead Navigator serving on the Auxano Team, the category leader in vision clarity and vision focus campaigns. He is also founder leader of Planting the Gospel a non-profit ministry committed to helping churches move discipleship from a program to a culture. He has been involved in church planting for over twenty years as a planter, strategist, and coach. He is author of I Woke Up In Heaven, The Gospel Disciple, Detox for the Overly Religious, Breaking the Discipleship Code, and co-author of Breaking the Missional Code with Ed Stetzer. He latest book The Gospel Disciple Journey will be released in February 2014. David’s life mission is to help others discover the simplicity, centrality, and beauty of Jesus and his ways. David is married to Tami and they have two awesome kids, and two even more awesome grandkids.

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.