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200-Year Plan – How to construct a plan – 2

ADDENDUM as of 2/5/09: While I am still excited about the materials I discuss in this post, it is with great sadness that I feel compelled to note I have discovered there are reasons for caution with respect to the sources referenced herein. With respect to Vision Forum Ministries, I call your attention to the series of articles at Ministry Watchman and Jen’s Gems. And with respect to Geoff Botkin, see Who is Geoffrey Botkin? at the Under Much Grace blog.

[Continued discussion of Vision Forum Ministries' program titled The 200 Year Plan: A Practicum on Multi-Generational Faithfulness.]

I find it difficult to think even five years ahead. So how can I begin thinking 200 years into the future of my family? One secret: just begin! Start writing!

As you will recall, in my last foundational post on this subject, I produced a basic structure for my plan: a series of key dates. Geoffrey Botkin, whose plan I’ve taken as a model, begins in 1980, at the time of his marriage. I have chosen the Year 2000–the year in which our eldest daughter was married.

From what I can gather, Botkin believes that the cultural mandate of Genesis 1:28 (“Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it”) requires Christians to aim for leadership in every area of cultural endeavor. He seeks, not merely to raise up leaders in the church, but in society as a whole. As he puts it, he is looking to raise up, among his descendants, “ambassadors of Christ, warriors, reformers, and spokesmen for the Gospel who can stand in the gates and not be ashamed.” [NOTE: When he speaks of "standing in the gates," Botkin is alluding to the practice, common in ancient Middle Eastern cities, of holding court--indeed, conducting all civic business--in the area of the city gates. "City gates" refers, then, to the civil government. And Botkin is saying he wants his children to lead in governmental affairs.]

With this understanding in mind, then, after listing his basic structuring dates, Botkin devotes a number of columns in his spreadsheet to the various areas on which he wants his family, especially, to focus.

And so he lists his interests, one interest per column.

Among his column headings:

  • Legislative reform
     
  • Public policy reform
     
  • Media projects
     
  • Educational initiatives
     
  • Humanitarian projects
     
  • Publications
     
  • Art and culture
     
  • Music

and

  • Scientific Research

But I am afraid I have gotten ahead of myself a bit.

At the top of Botkin’s spreadsheet–even above his column headings–Botkin lists the broad purposes and values and dreams he believes God would want his family–indeed, I would say, anyone–to pursue no matter what else they may do in particular. Examples: “Love neighbors (Mt. 22:39)”; “Seek peace (Rom. 12:18), justice (Mt. 23:23), maturity (Heb. 6:1)”; and so forth.

Then, on what we might call his 200th Year row–the Year 2180 for Botkin, the Year 2200 for my family–Botkin creates what he calls his “Vision Row” or “Ephesians 5 Row” (referring to Ephesians 5:15-17, in particular: “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (NASB)).

Here Botkin writes summary statements of his big dreams for each of the specific focal areas he wants his family to pursue. And when I refer to “big” dreams, I mean they are huge! Indeed, they are so large, they take my breath away. I find it hard to imagine that one man could have such far-ranging and audacious goals . . . in the political sphere, in media, in education, in science, and more.

But here is a goal I feel comfortable repeating. Just to give you an idea.

Since, among other things, Botkin is a church-planting pastor, under a column dedicated to church planting, his 200th Year goal involves the establishment of 40 “regional leading churches” . . . in New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Papua New Guinea, Seoul, and more.

So now I find myself being encouraged to ask God on what areas He might want our family to focus and what audacious goals He would want us to pray and work toward.

Confession: I am just beginning this process. I want to share with you, as I did in my last post, how you might want to structure your plan, but I cannot give you more than the barest, very beginning, outline of the kind of content I expect might appear.

I intend to work out more details over the next couple of weeks to the best of my ability with God’s help . . . and then, during our next family governance meeting, scheduled for Thanksgiving week, I will be asking my family to come alongside me in this project and see what we can come up with together.

I think I can offer some suggestions. I can coach. But I do not sense it is my position, unilaterally, to “determine” the direction our family should take and then to tell the members of our family what that direction will be.

So this is “where I am” at the moment.

I’ll be interested to see where I (and we!) wind up!

Here’s the very beginning of what I’ve come up with so far as the very beginning of a proposed 200-year plan. What might our “ends” look like (so we can work back toward our “beginnings”–”Start with the end in view.”)?


    . . . Fear and love the LORD above all else (Dt. 10:12; 11:13; Lk. 10:27), and trust in Him (Ps. 115:9-11) Love neighbors (Mt. 22:39) Do justice, love kindness, walk humbly with the LORD (Mic. 6:8)
  Year . . . General Education Publishing Media
2200 . . . Parent-child interactive model of education perceived as “best” option by 10% of population in U.S., Canada, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and India Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consetetur sadipscing elitr, sed diam nonumy eirmod tempor invidunt ut labore et dolore magna aliquyam erat Duis autem vel eum iriure dolor in hendrerit in vulputate velit esse molestie consequat, vel illum dolore eu feugiat nulla facilisis at vero
2190 . . .
2180 . . .
. . . . . .  

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