This past Thursday, we held our first Central Missouri Acts 29 Quarterly in Columbia. My friend Jonathan McIntosh of The Journey in St. Louis came and addressed the group on the topic of "Leading the Vision." The audio can be found here. Below is the synopsis of what he had to say. Jonathan first talked about "getting the vision." It all starts with the leader. For the leader to formulate a vision, it involves looking in three directions. First, it involves looking in and asking the question, "Who am I?" How did God make me? What is He calling me to do? Second, it involves looking up and asking, "What is God passionate about?" What does God want to do in the world? Third, it involves looking out and asking, "What is God up to in the world?" Where is God moving? How can we see Him already working?
Next, "getting the vision" involves wrestling with the context. God's calling for us involves ministering to a specific place or within a certain people group. Jonathan mentioned a common error of trying to plant a church like one we've visited that doesn't necessarily fit, in any way, our context. Additionally, do we love the people in our area? If so, we'll consider how to reach them and minister to them. Where are we? Our context is critical. This step involves cultural exegesis.
This vision then is brought into focus by leaders around us. The leader again wrestles with who he is, he then studies his area to see what is needed, and finally, he, by God's grace, sees leaders raised up around him to bring the vision to fruition. Jonathan pointed out how in the life of The Journey, God has brought people to fill slots to meet needs that were in Darrin Patrick's mind and heart long ago. As we continue to process how to reach our context, God will begin to bring people to us that will help us realize the vision. We can't do it alone.
Jonathan then turned to discuss "casting the vision." Once we determine what God wants us to do, how do we share it with others? What he had to say here was particularly helpful. He explained how determining where someone fits in the DISC profile shapes how we cast vision to them. The acronym stands for the following four characteristics: dominance, influence, conscientiousness, and steadiness. Here are the explanations from DiscProfile.com.
Dominance: People who score high in the intensity of the 'D' styles factor are very active in dealing with problems and challenges, while low D scores are people who want to do more research before committing to a decision. High "D" people are described as demanding, forceful, egocentric, strong willed, driving, determined, ambitious, aggressive, and pioneering. Low D scores describe those who are conservative, low keyed, cooperative, calculating, undemanding, cautious, mild, agreeable, modest and peaceful.
Influence (Inducement in Marston's time): People with High I scores influence others through talking and activity and tend to be emotional. They are described as convincing, magnetic, political, enthusiastic, persuasive, warm, demonstrative, trusting, and optimistic. Those with Low I scores influence more by data and facts, and not with feelings. They are described as reflective, factual, calculating, skeptical, logical, suspicious, matter of fact, pessimistic, and critical.
Steadiness (Submission in Marston's time): People with High S styles scores want a steady pace, security, and don't like sudden change. Low S intensity scores are those who like change and variety. High S persons are calm, relaxed, patient, possessive, predictable, deliberate, stable, consistent, and tend to be unemotional and poker faced. People with Low S scores are described as restless, demonstrative, impatient, eager, or even impulsive.
Conscientiousness (Compliance in Marston's time): Persons with High C styles adhere to rules, regulations, and structure. They like to do quality work and do it right the first time. High C people are careful, cautious, exacting, neat, systematic, diplomatic, accurate, tactful. Those with Low C scores challenge the rules and want independence and are described as self-willed, stubborn, opinionated, unsystematic, arbitrary, and careless with details.
- D - "What is the goal?"
- I - "Where is the passion?"
- S - "Where do I fit?"
- C - "What is the plan?"
Interesting, but understandably, he stated that we typically frustrate the people opposite of us in the diagram. Ds typically frustrate Ss. People characterized by influence commonly frustrate those known for conscientiousness.
Jonathan also shared a second way to think about casting vision. At The Journey, he fits the artist stereotype, while Darrin fits the athlete one. Our challenge, he said, is to cast vision with each group differently. Artists, he argued, say, "Inspire me." Athletes, rather, say, "Challenge me."
Our first A29 event at Karis was great. Jonathan had some helpful things to say. We had over 15 guys present. I then took Jonathan on a tour of our fall location in the Missouri Theatre. He shares our excitement about our move. Thanks, Jonathan. Thanks, Darrin and The Journey for being such a blessing to us!