Revitalization and Transformation Through Renewed Vision
A resource from Rev. Ken G. Crawford and Synchronous Life.com.
Without vision, the people cannot thrive.
The Dream Discovery Process is a biblical model of mission and ministry discernment for individuals and groups to clarify where and how God is calling and preparing them to serve. After reviewing this document, please contact us for a consultation. We are committed to helping you thrive in ministry.
God calls us to be both prayerful and strategic in our ministry. We are called to understand who we are and how we are blessed to be a blessing. We are also called to clearly understand the context in which God works through us. Jeremiah 29:11 says:
For surely I know the dreams I have for you, says the Lord,
dreams of your welfare and not of harm, to give you a future with hope.
We want to discover God’s dream, to discern who we are and who we serve, and develop ministries under the Lord’s guidance that will help us to live into God’s dream for us. It is God who has the dream, and God who makes the dream come true – and we have the opportunity to partner with God in that work.
Looking for God’s Dream
How do we discover what it is that God wants of us? How do we get a glimpse into this dream? In the broader context of Jeremiah 29, when God speaks to the Israelites about the dream, they are essentially told, “Yes, I have a dream for you – one of blessing and peace and joy. But I’m not going to give you any of the details right now. What I need you to do is to bless the place where you live while you wait for me to reveal my work in my own time and way.” This is the same word that comes to us today. “Yes, Church, I have great plans to use you to transform this community. For now, what I need you to do is get to know your neighbors and love Me and them as I have loved you and as you love yourselves. Do this, and you will see my hand at work soon enough.” While we seek the Lord, we focus our attention on blessing those around us, trusting that in them we meet God, and through us God will work.
THE FOUR STEP PROCESS – Jeremiah 29
The Lord promises that he will redeem and restore the people of God. In the meantime, we are called to bless those around us –for “your welfare depends on the welfare of your community around you.”
Our Quest From Numbers 1-3 & 13, we are instructed to “take a census of the people” (making an assessment of our group/congregation), and to “scout out the land” (making an assessment of our neighbors).
- Taking the Census: Compile data on internal needs, resources, and current energy focus.
- Scouting the Land: Gather community demographic information from Link2Lead and other sources. Survey the community regarding “ministry gaps” and untapped resources
- Articulate a focused vision: within this vision people can find a place to be served and to serve.
- Determine how to live into that dream: In light of the needs and resources of congregation and community, (#1 & #2 above) how will we fulfill God’s call on our congregation (#3 above) – God’s dream for us of “a future with hope” (Jeremiah 29:11)? This will be a concrete plan with action steps to be carried out by a variety of smaller teams (the ministry and administrative committees, for instance) gathering probably monthly for celebration and calibration to keep on track.
The One Thing:
BHAG – Big Holy Audacious Goal
In our vision discernment, we often look for One Thing, around which everthing else orbits.
This one thing becomes the central focus and compelling visionand passion for the organization.
Study Plan – outline of sermon and teaching themes (Typical schedule begins in September)
SCHOLA (4 weeks) Season of preparation – Laying the foundation of our shared faith in Jesus Christ.
QUEST (6 weeks) Season of exploration – Who are we? Who are they? How does God call us to serve?
ADVENT (6 weeks) Season of gestation – Allowing the Holy Spirit to work within us.
EPIPHANY (6 weeks) Season of revealing – What new thing(s) is God doing among us?
LENT (6 weeks) Season of strengthening – Deepening our spiritual muscles for God’s work.
EASTER (6 weeks) Season of resurrection – New life springs forth from us into the world.
PENTECOST (3 months) Season of formation – The new Spirit empowered community taking shape.
Dream Discovery Leadership Team:
One of the things this process will require is a core leadership team who will serve as guides. These should be people from the congregation who have a deep prayer life, a strong commitment to the future growth and health of The Congregation’s life and ministry, and a willingness to set aside personal agendas for the sake of the process. Some leadership consultants suggest that this group should be 7% of the Average Adult Worship Attendance, and should include People of Passion and Influence – i.e. those who will follow God, and whom the congregation will follow.
Who would you recommend for this team? Do you see yourself serving in this role?
Additional Scripture Resources:Following are scriptures that help guide our thinking about this process as we see God’s work unfolding through the called community out into the world that Jesus came to bless with the saving knowledge of God’s unfailing love. Texts of God’s vision and dream for the call, blessing, and restoration of God’s people for the blessing of the world:
Gen 12:1-3; Jer 29:4-14; Mat 11:28-30; Mat 13:31-32; Mat 22:36-40; Mat 28:18-20; Eph 4:11-16
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