Cast Vision


Part 1 – Raise the Sails
Part 2 – Focus on God’s Word
Part 3 – Multiply Extraordinary Prayer
Part 4 – Go Out Among the Lost
Part 5 – See Groups Start

The fifth element in “raising the sails” for movement is “Cast Vision.”

DMM Researcher & Beyond staff member, Justin Long, tweeted something recently that sums up this element well.

If you just raise up one team to Focus on God’s Word, Multiply Extraordinary Prayer, Go Out Among the Lost, and See Groups Start, you can reach a lot of people! But think about how many people you could reach if you raised up multiple teams to do the same thing? That’s the point he’s making here. 1 team can be effective but 10, 25, 50, or 100 teams can greatly multiply your effectiveness & the likelihood of reaching your people group.

The reason we Cast Vision is because we want more believers to get involved in disciple-making & church planting. The more people we have involved, the more people we can potentially reach.

Let me give a practical example of how we’ve done this with the people we trained from eLife.

Nine months prior to our 10 Year Anniversary we started casting vision to people in our church that we thought might be interested in DMM Training. We had around 100 people express interest in being trained to make disciples & plant churches.

We spent the next several months taking them through the training. During the last lesson, we encouraged them to Cast Vision to family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors that are fired up & might be interested in going through the training as well. We told them that these people could possibly become part of their DMM Church Planting Team once they finished training them. That’s how we’ve formed the DMM Church Planting Teams that we have today.

The more vision we cast, the more people we’ll be able to train. The more people we train, the more teams that will form. The more teams that form, the more people we can potentially reach. That’s why Casting Vision is so important.

We are encouraging everyone to always be Casting Vision to their believing friends about what God is doing through their disciple-making efforts. We’re hoping to inspire as many believers as we can to consider becoming disciple-makers & church planters.

One of the great tragedies of the American church model, and it’s happened at our church too, is that it tends to suppress the gifts, ambitions & callings of ordinary believers. I believe Jesus intended the Great Commission in Matthew 28 to be for every believer, not just pastors & church staff members. Yet, because of the way we “do” church, most believers think that the disciple-makers are the pastors. They think the church planters are the pastors.

They don’t typically hear the words “disciple-maker” and think, “That’s me!” And they definitely don’t hear the words “church planter” and think, “That’s me.” We’ve communicated to people, often unintentionally, that the pastor or the church staff are the disciple-makers & church planters. Not the ordinary Christian.

I definitely don’t think this is how Jesus intended it to be.

As we cast vision to American Christians to be disciple-makers & church planters, it’s definitely an uphill battle. Most have never thought of themselves that way. Many aren’t sure if they can even do that. Many have assumed that’s the job of the pastors. We haven’t done a very good job training them to think of themselves that way.

But, that’s how many Christians in these movements think of themselves.

Jerry Trousdale, in The Kingdom Unleashed, describes it this way:

When Global North [North America & Europe] church leaders visit Kingdom Movements in the Global South [Asia, Africa, Latin America], the single most powerful response to what they see is “everybody here is making disciples. The accountants, the custodians, the police, the doctors, the farmers . . . they all see themselves as disciple makers and church planters!

We’ve got to keep casting vision to American Christians that God can use them in the same way too. God’s great purpose for the American Christian is not just that they’d go to church each week, listen to a sermon, go home, and then go back again the next weekend.

No way!

If we’re going to reach our people group & see millions come to Christ, ordinary Christians have to be empowered to believe God wants to use them to make disciples & plant churches!

A lot of deconstruction is probably going to have to take place in an American Christian’s mind before they’ll really believe this, but I think it’s worth the effort in Casting Vision.

Can I share what one of the church planters we trained said?

We Cast Vision to him, trained him, and then sent him out to train his team. Once he trained the team, he & his team left our church & began to function as a DMM Church. I asked him later how it was going.

He said, “I feel like we were set free.”

What!?!?!? I definitely wasn’t trying to hold anyone in bondage while they were coming to our church. Much of what the American church does to people is unintentional, I’m sure. Why did he feel “set free” when we laid hands on him & sent him & his team out? Because probably for the first time in his life someone was saying to him, “YOU can do this!” You don’t have to wait on your pastor to make disciples. You don’t have to just sit in a pew and hope your pastor plants churches. God wants to use YOU!

He definitely didn’t mean for that phrase to affect me the way it did, but I was so convicted. I thought to myself, “I don’t want to enslave people to my church. I don’t want to keep people in bondage to our ministries. I want people to feel like they can hear from the Lord & do whatever he tells them to do! I want people not just to attend the church I planted, I want them to make disciples & plant many of their own churches.”

I decided from that day forward that I’d set as many people free as I could. I never again wanted myself or my church to be the reason someone believed God couldn’t use them to make many disciples & start many churches.

If we want to see 1,000,000 reached in the next 10 years & if we want to partner with other churches to see our whole people group reached in the next 20 years, we’ve got to start casting vision like crazy! American pastors have to set the Christians in their churches free! We’ve got to recover the “culture of empowerment” of ordinary believers that was evident in the first century church! Did you know this same “culture of empowerment” is one of the elements that leaders in the movement in India that has reached millions point to as being essential to movement? We’ve got to empower ordinary people once again!

Remember this verse?

Acts 4:13The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus.

God loves using “ordinary men (and women) with no special training in the Scriptures” who have “been with Jesus.” We’ve got to set the Peter’s & John’s free!

Pastors, I implore you to join me in SETTING THEM FREE!

Each of our DMM Church Planting Teams that we’ve sent out from eLife has this goal related to this element:

  • Cast vision to 1 believer each week to be a part of an upcoming DMM Training

Here’s a link to the Cast Vision message in a sermon series we recently did called Raise the Sails.

Part 7 – Train Believers