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The Vision Project

The Vision Project process is the hallmark and core of the SOSM (School of Strategic Missions). This is the school we graduated from last winter, and are now staffing. Students spend 4 months full-time in the classroom, learning deeper and more challenging practical concepts for missions than they learned in DTS (Discipleship Training School) and SOE (School of Evangelism). At the same time, as they are absorbing this information, they are also reading a series of practical application books and writing reports on them. On top of that, they are giving much time and prayer to their Vision Project. Coaches help them to walk through the project, beginning with looking at their life history, highs and lows, personal values, gifts and talents. These they combine into a “Who I am” essay, and they distill it into a Life Mission Statement.

Andrea’s Life Mission Statement

Next, they begin to pray and seek God on understanding “What” He has called them to do, both in the immediate season and the bigger picture down the road. We sometimes refer to this as the “big mountain” and the “smaller mountains” on their path. You can imagine that all of this is not an easy process and lots of emotion, realization of areas that still need healing, and any areas that students are not already deeply trusting God come up during this time. Each student has both a vision coach, and a different pastoral care staff to talk and pray with them as they work through these issues. It is amazing to see, both in our own Vision Project process, and now with our students, how gracious God is to speak and lead in big and small ways throughout this time. And it is so exciting to walk with these students and see them get revelations from God about what they were made to do for the Kingdom, and begin to embrace that call! At this point in the process, the students write a “What” essay about the “mountains” God has shown them thus far.

Andrea’s “What” Essay

Next, as the “What” is usually continuing to unfold, they begin to ask God and discover their “Why”. Why would I follow this call? What Kingdom need does it meet? Will it really contribute to Kingdom Advancement if I do this? Why did God put this in me in the first place? Why will I give my life to this call? And, you guessed it, as they research and pray, and God answers these questions, they write an essay covering their “Why”.

Couples do their “Who” and “What” and “Why” separately. This sounds difficult, and at times it really is, but it also gives each spouse the necessary space to both dream their own dreams with God, and to struggle through questions with Him. It also strengthens their faith when they come together just before the “How” and see that God has, of course, given them dreams, words, and calls that dovetail together perfectly!! It’s such a joy to watch and be part of!

Finally, in the last few weeks, students ask God some very detailed questions about “How” they are to carry out all that He has shown them. What are the action steps this vision will entail? What practical considerations have I not thought of yet? What else do I need to know, research, or learn in order to prepare? What strategies do You have for me to do what I am doing, where I am going?…etc.

“Prayerstorming” our “How”

Somewhere within this time, God is always faithful to reveal more specifics about the “Who” and the “Where” each student is called to, and there are often surprises He reveals along the way.

As the school winds to a close, students put ALL of this information into a 10 minute presentation (15 for couples/families) that they present at the very end of the school. We get to see the rewards of all that struggle, and the passion and enthusiasm each student shows as they talk about what they were made for, and lay out the strategy God has given them! The Base Leaders, and school staff then pray over them and commission them to launch out and carry out that vision. (See our presentation here.)

But that’s not the end! Every student/family plans their own outreach to begin carrying out their vision for a minimum of 3 months. Many will not come back after those 3 months, but will continue in their field. Some others will return to “home base” in order to evaluate and tweak their plan, with coaching and support, for greater effectiveness. Then they will head back into their field.

In this Spring 2020 SOSM, which runs from Feb. 9th – May 20th, we have 16 full-time students, plus a few more that are auditing. In this class, we have students planning to launch a range of missional works to such diverse nations as Czech Republic, Italy, Mauritania, Madagascar, Cayman Islands, Germany, Greece, Haiti and more.

Sounds pretty intense, right? It really is. It is also one of the very best decisions we have ever made! We know who we are, what we are called to do, who we are called to, and why!! This gives us an automatic filter as we are presented with opportunities – we know what fits with our vision and moves us toward it, and what doesn’t. We also know more every day of the How, as God continues to both expand and focus our strategy at the same time. I believe that our students will be able to say the same as they move forward!

Interested in SOSM? Check it out here, or contact:


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