The new vision of Discipleship Journeys with Jesus!
“Our vision is to take 100 million people on a Discipleship Journey with Jesus.” That’s the new vision of the Discipleship Journeys with Jesus ministry, approved unanimously by our Board and affirmed by our staff. One thing is for sure, it is a God-sized vision! And that’s my favorite kind of vision-the kind that only God can fulfill. 100 million disciples is certainly far beyond our team.
How did we get such a big vision? Well it began with a challenging conversation with my friend from India, MK (name withheld for security reasons). On a ride to the San Diego Airport he challenged me saying, “Your vision is too small.”
I was surprised, because I felt that a vision of a half-million disciples was already a God-sized vision. But when MK shared with me why he felt we should go larger, I couldn’t argue—his reasoning was unassailable. So, after a few months we were led to increase our vision to 100 million disciples.
Here are the 3 reasons MK explained that a bigger vision made so much sense-now a vision of 100 million disciples:
1. God loves faith.
When my friend MK said this, it was something that I already knew. But I needed a reminder.
God loves it when we exercise faith, faith in Him to reach something like 100 million disciples. The Bible is clear about this saying, “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” (Hebrews 11:5a)
This is not just faith for salvation, but faith for big goals like 100 million disciples.
A great illustration of this is the twelve spies who were sent to check out the Promised Land before the Israelites would attempt to conquer it (see Numbers 13:1-33). Ten spies had little faith and said things like:
It’s a wonderful land, but we’ll just be defeated if we try to occupy it. We can’t do it.
The cities are too big and too strong for us.
The people are more powerful than we are. There are giants living there!It might be a promised land, but I promise you we cannot have it.
The result: The 10 doom-and-gloom spies were struck with a plague and died (Numbers 14:36-38). The two faith-filled spies, Joshua and Caleb, were the only two who entered the Promised Land.
I want to be like the two, not the ten!
Everyone loves the story David vs. Goliath. Why? Because with faith in Jehovah God, David defeated the giant Goliath. David had a giant-sized vision and faith in God. The result was a victory for the ages.
“Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.” (Romans 12:3)
Pastor Rick Warren wrote:
The Bible says in Matthew 9:29 “According to your faith it will be done unto you.” That’s one of my favorite verses in the Bible. What are you expecting God to do in your life? This is the law that God has established. It’s called the Law of Expectation. The fact is, we tend to get what we expect out of life. We tend to see what we expect to see. We tend to hear what we expect to hear. We tend to feel the way we expect to feel. We inevitably accomplish what we expect what we’re going to accomplish. This is the law of faith. God says you get to choose. Because “According to your faith it will be done unto you.”
Vision should be based on how big God is, not how big we are. A vision of 100 million disciples is WAY too big for me, and for that matter so is a half a million. But for God it’s no problem.
“Whatever is not of faith,” the Bible says in Romans 14:23, “is sin.”
2. People are attracted to a big vision.
“Where there is no vision the people perish.” (Proverbs 29:18) But where there is a big vision, people are inspired and enticed.
This is also something I knew but needed to be reminded. In fact, when I joined Dynamic Church Planting International (DCPI) as a staff member in 1998, it was largely because of an expanded vision of training leaders to plant a million churches. It inspired me so much, I wanted to help. I thought, “That’s a vision I can commit myself to and sacrifice for.” And for 18 years, that’s what I did.
Big visions for God are inspiring for those who love the Lord and want to see His Kingdom advance! 100 million disciples is an inspiring, God-honoring vision!
“Make no small plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood.” –Daniel Burnham
Often when we start to dream about a vision like 100 million disciples, we begin to think of what kind of strategy it will take to fulfill the vision. We get stymied by the question of “how” and it limits our vision if we aren’t careful. But as Michael Hyatt wrote, “The what is way more important than the how. Until you get clear on the what, the how won’t show up.” So, don’t ask me all the “how’s” yet for our ministry—they’ll come in time.
With the Dynamic Church Planting International ministry, the vision of a million churches seemed impossible at first, especially when we only had 5 trainees in our early trainings. But gradually we discovered the strategies which produced thousands of trainees. In my final full year with DCPI (2015), we trained 25,000 church planters in one year’s time!
One of my favorite passages about vision is from the rarely quoted book of Habakkuk:
“Then the LORD told me: ‘I will give you my message in the form of a vision. Write it clearly enough to be read at a glance. At the time I have decided, my words will come true. You can trust what I say about the future. It may take a long time, but keep on waiting—it will happen! ‘I, the LORD, refuse to accept anyone who is proud. Only those who live by faith are acceptable to me.’” (Habakkuk 2:2-4 CEV)
Note that God told Habakkuk to:
Write the vision clearly.
Keep waiting, even though “it may take a long time”
That’s the way it is with big God-sized visions like 100 million disciples. We want things instantly, but it doesn’t usually work that way. There is a big gap between writing the vision and the fulfillment. In that gap we continue to live by faith, as explained in point 1 above.
3. God is already working in remarkable ways through DJJ.
The third point my friend made was that God is already working in wonderful ways through the new ministry of Discipleship Journeys with Jesus.
People are often amazed at what we’ve accomplished in just our first two years. And in addition, “God is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine…” (Ephesians 3:20)
One example of our progress is the translations of our discipleship materials that are being produced—we’re being translated into 5 languages so far at just our second anniversary (which is today as I write this on 9/21/18). These languages are Spanish, Portuguese, Hindi, Chichewa, and Chinese.
Recently we found that people from 37 nations have signed up so far to be discipled through the discipleship journey lessons we are providing! They are: Australia, Belize, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Ethiopia, Finland, Ghana, Guyana, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Romania, Singapore, South Africa, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States, Venezuela and Zambia!
Yeah God! To Him be all the glory for our progress!
This vision of 100 million disciples is ridiculous…were it not for the great God we serve. It is not a vision that anyone can achieve, except God. Some might wonder if such a huge vision produces stress but in fact it is so big, it reduces stress, because I know that I cannot do it, God has to do it.
I’m sure some will say, “Your vision is “Pie-in-the-sky?” But I say: No: It’s God-in-the-sky! We’re not reaching for the stars? No, we’re reaching for God.
May I ask you to take three steps in response to this vision of 100 million disciples?
1. Become a disciple and disciple others.
You can use the 52 FREE journeys to go from A to Z in following Christ. So please sign up for the materials. We’ve made it easy, just go to www.djjministry.org and click where it says, “START YOUR JOURNEY HERE.”
2. You can support this ministry financially.
In order to provide the discipleship lessons, it does indeed take a lot of financial resources. So, we’re trusting Jesus’ instruction to “Give and it will be given unto you.” (Luke 6:38) Perhaps you’re part of the means by which God will supply us with the resources to provide discipleship to others? Do donate to DJJ please click HERE.
3. Join our staff of volunteer, part-time and full-time leaders needed to reach 100 million disciples.
There’s a list of roles that need to be fulfilled on our website—just click HERE.
If you’re not sure you are indeed a Christian, please go HERE to learn how to be saved now.
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