<![if !vml]><![endif]> Community Vision International: Watching Jesus multiply little loaves and fishes!
Richard J. Reves
In 2001, three visionaries from three cultures with
$300 launched a little
Community Vision International (CVI2) was conceived out of four burdens:
<![if !supportLists]>(1) <![endif]>to offer a legal home to experienced Christian workers whose agency would soon cease;
<![if !supportLists]>(2) <![endif]>to facilitate Christian visionaries who sacrifice, take risks and suffer to become the persons whom God purposed them to be;
<![if !supportLists]>(3) <![endif]>to express decades of intercultural and sub-cultural learning and experience; and
<![if !supportLists]>(4) <![endif]>to facilitate an innovative missional network suited to the 21st century.
Loving God’s Word and seasoned by suffering, we founders also felt called to obey and follow Jesus:
<![if !supportLists]> <![endif]>His focus on God’s great Kingdom before religious causes, entities and initiatives;
<![if !supportLists]> <![endif]>His Great Commands in conjunction with His Great Commission;
<![if !supportLists]> <![endif]>His teaching that we be lowly servants instead of high-minded lords;
<![if !supportLists]> <![endif]>His low-cost service model instead of a high-income fundraising focus;
<![if !supportLists]> <![endif]>His enabling of His people to serve according to their designs rather than to others’ molds;
<![if !supportLists]> <![endif]>His facilitating and serving of others rather than expecting others to facilitate and serve Him;
<![if !supportLists]> <![endif]>His example of service within natural, connecting and low-cost networks, not through complex, bounded and expensive bureaucratic institutions, etc.
We therefore launched CVI2 as a “virtual mission” to see God’s kingdom incarnated within God-given visionary-community relationships, advancing powerfully through human networks. To pursue this vision, CVI2 purposed to enable visionaries to transform communities, using available resources and transferable technologies, skills and tools. To fulfill this mission, CVI2 was organized with an inverted organizational structure, and without plans to invest funds, buy property or own buildings. Instead, CVI2 disburses 95% of its receipts to its associates in the field, withholding only 2.5% for administration and 2.5% for operations. We do this by operating out of our homes and other contributed space, using contributed equipment, and by outsourcing our services to CVI2 associates who serve as independent contractors.
CVI2’s independent contractor associates are typically community transformation professionals. Associates feel burdened about the holistic needs of disadvantaged communities, and focus specifically on the inadequately-addressed needs of social groups where God is at work. Within such communities, we associates seek to relate responsively as servant coaches, mentors, trainers and consultants.
CVI2 associates follow long-range strategies. We work to see social groups and networks transformed from within by enabling visionaries to equip indigenous transformation workers and groups, as needed.
CVI2 associates’ service outcomes take many forms: new visionaries and workers to transform loved communities; value added to other agencies’ global community transformation efforts; newly-formed structures (e.g., prayer, coaching, training, communication, networking, resourcing) to enable visionaries and workers; newly-launched reproductive, disciple-making communities; 100s of new, accessible and effective community transformation resources; transformed socio-cultural units, etc.
God is now transforming needy communities through those we enable…
In Africa—coordinating care of 12 million AIDs orphans; training Burundi’s, Kenya’s and Rwanda’s Christian leaders to help three million abandoned widows to be self-sustaining; training to multiply discipleship communities; arranging USA-African school partnerships; managing a grade school and Bible club in Madagascar; and developing training materials.
In Asia—relieving Indonesia’s Tsunami victims, homeless and especially orphans; connecting Malaysian and Indonesian workers; training Bataks, Bengalis, Cambodians, Chinese, Indonesians, Japanese, Kazakhs, Malaysians, Marathi, Mongols, Nepali, Pakistanis, Russians Uzbeks and other people groups, all to multiply holistic discipleship communities.
In North America—mentoring youth; empowering the disadvantaged; training parents; coaching Christians to live purposefully towards their potential; training leaders to develop discipling communities; helping fledgling initiatives to succeed; and facilitating CVI2 associates, partners and operations.
EXAMPLES (names & locations withheld)
Several CVI2 visionary associates
help non-CVI2 visionaries to focus
their lives within God’s design. One such non-CVI2 visionary who did doctoral studies, consulted to numerous school
projects, and developed curricula and training models, testified: “In 2005, (a
CVI2 associate) again challenged me to participate in a Focused Living Course that
he was teaching. As you might expect, I was once again skeptical. I was serving
as a Pastor and Headmaster of a
A CVI2 associate in
A CVI2 associate who lives near a
Only six years ago, a visionary came searching for an agency, a ministry name, and some guidance. CVI2 and its directors came alongside to help. Last year, this visionary’s registered business “directly touched the lives of over 4,000 men, women, and children.” The business taught fathering skills to men, prepared male prisoners for life outside, taught single moms how to raise their boys to become good men, and mentored fatherless boys. Service venues included seminars, retreats, classes, trade shows, a convention, workshops, mentoring program, many speaking opportunities, and book and CD distributions.
“Since our (CVI2 associates) role is often that of outside consultants who cannot require reports, outcomes remain difficult to measure. Nevertheless, we do receive some testimonials, such as this one: ‘Since mid-2004, over 250 community workers have been trained in (restricted countries). As a result, insiders estimate that over 3,000 discipling communities have been started among the poor with around 15,000 participants. Last November, one trainer reported over 70 new discipleship communities with 100s of participants; in three months, those numbers grew to over 150 communities with 900+ participants. In the past six months, two other trainers reported that they launched 50 more communities with around 300 new participants.’ The needs that move entity leaders to invite us, the freedom, hope and kingdom advancement that come through our training, and how to better work with God ahead are now known.”
website: www.cvi2.org email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Published in “Spiritual Dynamics” July 2007 www.globalmissiology.org