Vision with a Deadline

 by Steve Cordle

Today I’d like to continue the conversation that started with Joel’s post yesterday concerning the importance of goals in the multiplication process. (There were some great comments on that yesterday!)

Joel’s research found that a group is more likely to birth when the members (and leader) easily remembered the date of their expected multiplication. I believe this finding points to the role of vision rooted in faith.

A goal certainly can be merely a manifestation of fleshly ambition. However, that human-generated goal is a distortion of true vision. God gives vision to his people. When He wants to do something through His people, He usually gives someone a vision of what He wants to do. God even gives visions to cell leaders about what He wants to do through their cells!

In an earlier post I mentioned my conversation with the pastor of a great cell church in Kazakhstan. I asked him what he would say to a leader or pastor who is not seeing growth in his cells. He said he would first explore the faith they have for thier groups to multiply. He is saying that if we don’t truly believe and expect that our group will multiply, it probably won’t. God asks us to add our faith to His vision.

Rick Warren has said a goal is simply a dream (vision) with a deadline. Without the accountability of a goal, we can too easily drift into unfocused ministry and be lulled into contentment with the status quo.

It’s not our goals that bring the Kingdom, but goals allow us to more fully co-operate with God’s purposes. As Iain said in the comment section yesterday, a goal “helps us focus our faith on what we are aiming for (together with God).”

There is mystery here, but “without God, we cannot; without us, God will not.”




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