Make no little plans

March 24th, 2017 Posted by News No Comment yet

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Daniel Burnham was a Chicago based architect at the turn of the 20th Century. As an architect myself I was immediately interested when I heard him quoted on Monday. When I heard exactly the same quote from an unconnected source on Tuesday, I took note.

Daniel Burnham famously said, ‘Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work…’*

You may well be asking, “What has this got to do with Life Groups in Zambia?”

Good question!

I have a habit of introducing Dignity as a ‘small’ charity. Lately God has challenged me on this and I believe he is calling us to make, ‘big plans, aiming high in hope and work.’

Group Growth Diagram 2011 2016

Where we are

The first count of 2017 shows:

– There are now 450 Life Groups with an estimated membership of 9,000 people.
– The Zambian leadership has 20 team members and 21 ‘apprentices’ learning the role.
– We estimate that 16,708 volunteer hours were given in Zambia, Namibia and Tanzania and 460 volunteer hours were given in the UK.
– Our total spend in 2016 was £90,846^.

We are many things, but one thing I can no longer say is that we are ‘small’!


Where we hope to be

Group Growth Diagram 2018
By the end of 2018, we plan to be equipping 1,000 Life Groups across a number of nations. This will mean an estimated membership of 20,000 people sharing the Gospel with their communities, friends and families and working for the good of their community.

It will mean alcoholics set free from addiction, families reconciled, water supplies brought to villages, roads mended, the hungry being fed, orphans being cared for and supported through school and many brought into a living relationship with Jesus.

Writing that here is both daunting and exciting. We wouldn’t say it if we didn’t believe it was possible or that God was calling us to do it.

Our plans include:

– The Deeper campaign, encouraging each existing Life Group to reproduce itself
– Pioneering, planting the idea of Life Groups in new areas
– Writing materials, share our knowledge in culturally appropriate ways
– Translating these into the relevant languages, making them accessible to as many people as possible
– Digital publication, improving access to our materials so they can travel further than we can

Not everything can or will happen all at once but it is our intention is to push forward and equip as many people as we can to ‘shine…like stars in the sky as [they] hold firmly to the word of life.’ (Philippians 2:15-16)

For this to happen, we need you to stand with us.

2016 11 Team from Mombassa Kenya

KEEP PRAYING. We believe your prayer is integral to God opening doors, preparing hearts and showing us the way. Pray with us using our 2017 Year of Prayer.

GET INVOLVED. There are lots of ways you can give your time ranging from volunteering in the UK office to joining us in Zambia. Whether you’re a digital publisher, evangelist, website builder, communicator, intercessor, strategist, speaker, encourager or proof reader we can use your skills. Tell us what you are passionate about and we will find the best way to use your skills in the bigger picture of equipping others to share the good news of Jesus! Call us on 0161 434 8841.

GIVE. We have the vision and we’re praying for provision. We think we need an additional £12,000 in addition to what we expect to come in throughout the year. Can you set up a regular gift? Can you match fund our summer challenge events? No matter the size of your gift, it is valuable to us and will help us achieve the big plans we are aiming for. Different ways to give.

Thank you!

God bless,
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* Burnham (1907) quoted in: Charles Moore (1921) Daniel H. Burnham, Architect, Planner of Cities. Volume 2. Chapter XXV “Closing in 1911-1912;” p. 147
^ figures awaiting independent examination.

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