Training Visioncasters for God’s Mission


There is a famous legend about an Emperor of China who absolutely loved the game of checkers. At a celebration in his honor he was able to meet the man who invented the game and invited him to join him for the evening. At the end of the night, the Emperor offered the man anything that he wanted from the kingdom, just to name it and it was his. To this the man responded, “Give me a grain of wheat, multiplied and compounded for each square on the checkerboard.” The Emperor was outraged that after his generous offer this man would ask only for grains of wheat. He immediately had the man removed from his court. The foolish Emperor had failed to realize was that the man had just asked for all the grain in China – a wealth that no individual could give. Multiplication is powerful. As a laborer and mobilizer, multiplying the laborers is the most strategic and powerful thing we can give our life to in order to impact a growing population of billions.

“Mentoring others and multiplying your life is a powerful way to invest your life. Some believe they can’t make a difference because they may not have a large platform or ability to be a great communicator, but that is not the best way to impact the world. If you spoke to 100 people a day for 33 years, that would be over a million people that you impacted. However If you mobilized one person every year and taught that person to do the same, doubling every year from 2, 4, 8, and so on; then after 33 years you would have mobilized over 6 billion people. In other words, the potential workers are plentiful, but the mobilizers are few!”

Jesus’ method was training a few, not crowds. Jesus’ ministry mainly took place within one hundred miles from his hometown, but he mobilized and equipped a few others, commissioned them with a charge to disciple all nations and to be his witness to the ends of the earth. Jesus was more of a mobilizer than we realize at times.

The former section was about mobilizing others, but the activity was on the level of “addition.” This fourth section is called “Multiply” because we now want to help you reproduce what you have learned to do through the training of another individual to mobilize.

Mentoring has been the primary method of education in history. Apprenticeships and mentors have allowed skills and education to expand to the world in every realm. Biblically we see many mentoring relationships; whether it is Moses training Aaron, Aaron training Joshua, Elijah training Elisha, Barnabus training Paul, or Paul training Timothy. Many of our campus ministries today are the ripple effect of disciple-making individuals like Bill Bright, Dawson Trotman or Robert Coleman, who focused on reproducing their lives into others.

We have to think about the 3rd and 4th generation.

“You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” (James 4:14) Life is short and college is even shorter. What can you do with these years to ensure that mobilizers continue to impact your campus or church after you move on? Paul charges Timothy to think about the next multiple generations that he could influence by training faithful men in 2 Timothy 2:2, “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.”


Jesus focused his time on a few faithful individuals. In Mark 3:14 we read, “He appointed twelve, so that they would be with Him and that He could send them out to preach.” Being “with them” was the key to training a few well. You can impact many but you can only mentor a few. The payoff however is profound. In light of 2 Timothy 2:2, have you thought through who your “Timothy” might be?

Some Qualities of Spiritual Leaders Spiritual - Do they see God working in their lives? Are they self-feeders? Do they spend time alone with God regularly? Are they eager to learn? Use the F.A.I.T.H. acronym to guide you along as you identify new leaders (Faithful, Available, Initiative, Teachable, Heart for God/People) Who has these qualities? Emotional - Are they secure enough to be honest and transparent? Are they emotionally stable? How do they respond to confrontation? Social - Do they participate without dominating? Are they able to listen? Do they reflect a love for people? Do they care?

In order to complete this section you will need to invite someone into a mentoring relationship. Defining the relationship will help. Be intentional.

EXAMPLE: “I would be willing to help you grow and become a mobilizer if that’s what you really want to do. There are three essential ingredients, though, that a person needs if they are going to become a disciple. They must be Faithful (committed to follow through), Available (willing to be flexible in your schedule where we can meet), and Teachable (willing to learn and apply the things we work on). Are you sure you still want to become a disciple and learn how to make disciples?! Well, I would consider it a privilege to spend time with you and help you to grow and get established. We can team up together to help fulfill this Great Commission that the Lord has given us. Tell you what, why don’t we meet tomorrow morning to just pray together and talk about how we can get started?

OBJECTIVE: Help those you chose to realize they need to become a mobilizer through getting training from someone and you are willing to be that someone!

If you don’t select, then you will never reproduce your life. If you don’t equip, selection means nothing because the individual doesn’t get the necessary tools and training.

Every Story has a Catalyst Character

Do you remember the Terminator movies? The plot centered on the idea that by time traveling back into the past the enemy could attempt to eliminate the catalyst leader for the good guys. The first movie was about trying to kill the mother of the leader and the second about trying to kill the young leader himself. It is actually a very strategic idea to kill the catalyst. The catalyst leader didn’t just join the army – he was training more and more soldiers. The catalyst leader was a multiplier. I’m not sure if Hollywood had Jesus in mind but this is exactly what strategy the enemy took in Biblical history (without the robots or time travel). Satan used Herod to try to kill the newly born Messiah, but God protected him. Then the enemy believed he triumphed again at the cross by having Jesus murdered, but God delivered him from death. Today distraction, feelings of inadequacy, personal sin, or just lack of vision take many out of the story and kill potential catalysts in God’s movement. What part are you going to play in the story?

A good friend of mine, John, used to visit his fraternity house and gather the guys around the composite pictures for each year. He would point to individuals they knew and ask “what are people going to remember about that guy?” Then he would go back to his year and explain, “See that guy right there – I owe everything to him. And so do these 10 guys right here, and those 40 in this next group, and in turn those 80 in that one.” He would trace the spiritual impact of a few of his brothers as it rippled through generations of young men and what resulted in ministry as a result. Then he would turn to the members he gathered and charge them saying, “You see that blank spot on the wall over there. One day there will be a group on men on that wall that your obedience to Jesus will depend on.”

Every good story has a catalyst character. The question is if you were taken out of the story what would be lost? When you graduate or move on, what legacy will you leave in those raising up laborers for the evangelization of the world?

We want to help you multiply as a mobilizer by training another individual to do what you have been doing. We will do this by training another person to share with others what God’s Word says, what God’s World looks like, and how to engage in God’s Work. That’s it. If you can think of your job to equip someone in those three areas, you are ready to multiply.