LifeSpring and the Vision of 12
'Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, teaching them to obey everything
I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always to the very end of the age' Matt.28.19-20.
For many years our vision as a church has included the call to reach out with the love of Jesus. However, a number of years ago, as we reviewed our success rate, particularly with this aspect of our vision, we had to admit we were not doing very well! Not only were we not reaching out very successfully, but we were not discipling those we had reached, very well either! It was during this time of questioning and searching that we were introduced to the vision of G12, and since 2003 we have been transitioning as a church to this particular model of cell church; and although it has not always been easy, it has been very exciting!
The vision of 12 is a model of cell church which has been developed very successfully in Bogota, Columbia, and now in many other parts of the world. We are one of a growing number of churches in the UK who are actively transitioning into this model of cell church. In this structure there are two types of cell; a 'G12' which is a leadership/discipleship cell and has a maximum of 12 members, and an 'open cell' which, as the name suggests, is open to anyone to attend. Cells meet weekly and provide a forum for discipleship, fellowship, care, prayer and encouragement to reach out to our lost friends with the gospel of Jesus Christ. All cells are led by a leader who is also a member of another cell.
The vision of 12 has developed from the more traditional approach to cell church. The basic values are the same, but the main difference is on the emphasis of developing groups of 12 - just like Jesus did! In essence, the vision of 12 is quite simple. The vision is for each cell leader to reproduce 12 cell leaders to lead 12 cells. When the initial cell has produced 12 cells, the leaders of the 12 cells continue to meet with the initial leader as his G12 cell, as well as with their new cell. They then continue to outwork the vision of reproducing a further 12 cells from their new cell. It is a strategy for reaching the lost and for discipleship. It is a strategy for growth.
Some values of the Vision of 12
Colin Dye (Kensington Temple) said, "the key to the success of this vision is not just the strategy but the values that uphold the vision. We cannot think that we will be successful simply by adopting the Bogotá strategy. We must rise to the challenge spiritually, take on new levels of anointing and above all, embrace all the values that lie beneath the surface."
Some of the values integral to the success of the vision of 12 are listed below:-
* Leadership development
* Holy Spirit anointing
* Family and relationships
* Spiritual warfare
The Ladder of Success
The Ladder of Success is the process we are adopting (or the strategy) to fulfill the Great Commission.
* Win - winning a person to Christ.
* Consolidate (strengthen) - caring for the new believer, helping them through the Encounter (a 3 day residential retreat) and adding them to a cell.
* Disciple (train)- following an Encounter and training through the School of Leaders.
* Send (Commission) - starting a cell and repeating the process.
In simple terms, the above explains the vision and structure. However, the Vision of 12 is so much more than a structure - it is a vision and a lifestyle. Love is the foundation. It is love for the Lord and love for the lost that compels us. And with the help of the Holy Spirit, we are believing to see many saved and discipled - bringing much glory to Jesus.