As you read this, I am in Manila, Philippines meeting with a team focused on helping us get to unreached campuses globally. Very exciting!
In preparation for coming, I looked over some of the tools this team uses to resource staff around the world. One, in particular, caught my attention. It’s a training module on their website called DISCOVER, UNDERSTAND AND EMBRACE YOUR SCOPE. Here are excerpts from that particular training module.
Key Idea: God wants to use you as a catalyst to see multiple movements built as you own and focus on a large scope.
BIBLICAL EXAMPLE OF BUILDING MOVEMENTS IN MULTIPLE LOCATIONS OVER A LARGE GEOGRAPHIC AREA ACTS 11-14
Biblical foundations, Explore and listen: Paul and Barnabas, and later apostolic teams are biblical examples of laborers who were focusing on multiple locations across a broad scope, launching and then cultivating movements, but never becoming an essential element of the local critical mass.
Part 1: Read Acts 11:19-26
- What changed that so radically affected the development of the movement in Antioch?
- Who is in our scope?
- What will it take to launch new movements?
Part 2: Read Acts 13:1-4
- How do you see the principle of focus playing out in this passage?
- Paul had been called from the beginning to be an apostle to the Gentiles. What is different about what the Holy Spirit is saying?
- What was the result?…
Part 3: Read Acts 14:21-28
- How did Paul and Barnabas develop movements in multiple cities? (After they finished going through all the cities they went back and established a plurality of leaders (elders) in each place.)
- Why do you think Paul and Barnabas didn’t just pick one of the cities and stay there for some years, certainly these young converts needed good models, teaching, and training?
- How did they teach, train, model and leave? Who were the local leaders and house churches dependent on for their ongoing growth and development?
GOD USED PAUL AND BARNABAS TO CATALYZE THE PLANTING OF NEW CHURCHES ACROSS THE SCOPE OF MULTIPLE CITIES. LET’S TAKE TIME NOW TO THINK ABOUT WHERE HE MAY USE YOU TO CATALYZE NEW MOVEMENTS.
LEARN HOW TO RESEARCH AND DEFINE YOUR SCOPE
RESEARCHING YOUR SCOPE
Using the Internet and other sources of demographic information, gather a clear picture of your scope.
(The module uses these websites.
In the US, http://www.petersons.com/college-search.aspx is very helpful.)
- Where is “everywhere”? (Where are the universities in your scope?)
- Who is in your scope? What are they like? Needs? Are there unique affinities and people groups, religious grouping etc.? (This can be researched in greater detail later. For now, just try identify broad groups and affinities)
- Where do we have ministries now? Where are we not?
- Where do other organizations/churches with a shared vision have ministries?
- How many cities and total locations are you called to be responsible for? How many universities? How many students?
- How can you evaluate and prioritize universities in your scope?…
DEFINE YOUR SCOPE
By faith what is God leading you to take responsibility for? Is it a whole city, a region, a people group, or the whole nation? Will you focus on all 3 and 4 year institutions or only 4 year?
Note: In some cases your leadership may have already given you clear direction on defining yours scope. Even if they have it is critical that this becomes yours in response to God’s call on your life at this time…
VISUALLY ILLUSTRATE YOUR SCOPE
With the data you gathered above, create a visionary national or regional “scope” map, which represents your scope in a visual and motivating way.
Your map should show where you are, where you are not, and where you need to trust God to go…
For further thought and consideration: What’s it going to take to see movements everywhere? Take a look at your map. Are there any things that really stand out to you? [Are] there any structural or focus directions that start to become clear? Look for clusters and geographical considerations…
HOW TO THINK, PLAN, AND PRAY FOR YOUR SCOPE
CHANGING OUR THINKING
When staff who have been accustomed to ministering and building a movement in one focused location begin to think about launching and developing movements in 15-25 locations it can be extremely overwhelming and even feel impossible.
In many ways it makes me think of how the Disciples must have felt when they looked at a tired and hungry crowd of 5000 and Jesus asked them, “You give them something to eat.” Before we even think of strategies, tools or plans, we must remember, that “Jesus asks us to do what we can’t do with resources we don’t have, so that we can learn to do what only He can do with resources that only He can provide.” Remember, He is working, and He desires that we share with Him in the work He has prepared to do.
We could never even begin to dream of reaching 10-20 universities if we did not believe that He is already working preparing people and resources for movements!
I really like this. On most days, I want my life to be characterized by the supernatural. Nearly everything about this look at scope anticipates the supernatural.