vision, to be or not to be

Recently in conversation with a church leader we were
discussing vision. Asking what the vision for the church was, the reply was a church that made disciples that made disciples. Placing this on the back burner of my thoughts, I remarked that the bible said where there is no vision the people scatter. This, I was told was rather cliché and that he didn’t believe in setting five- or ten-year plans. End of discussion.

I went away musing, that there seemed to be a lack of wisdom
and understanding of what vision is and its purpose in the scheme of things.

Firstly, I considered that a basic biblical mandate that is clearly laid out
in scripture as something we must do is not a vision, it is a command. Commands are something that we must be obedient to, they are structures and procedures that we can safely build on, they are more often than not, foundational. It does not mean that we can not build a vision around this concept though.

Secondly, I considered that when the bible talks about vision, it is not talking about setting a five- or ten-year goal. It is usually a prophetic vision, insight or wisdom, or a revelation of what God is calling you to do, either as a corporate body or as an individual (which eventually becomes a team, no loose cannons in the kingdom).

Thirdly, a vision for a church is something that everyone can get involved in. It is a place where a corporate body uses its corporate skills to boldly proclaim the gospel in word and deed to bring glory to God and expand the kingdom.

Fourthly, the word structure of a vision has to do a number of things. It
has to reveal who you are as a people and what you believe in. What you are basing your belief on and how it will affect your life. It has to be something that when those involved with it, read it, can say, “this is where I can get involved”. It has to be something that inspires and moves the heart (only a God given vision will do that long term). When the heart is moved and people can see an opening to get involved, they inevitably will.

An example:

A Jesus focused, bible based community, that makes disciples through word and deed by the proclamation of the gospel Jesus Christ.

It was sad to see that there was a lack of understanding of what a vision was, how it connects us with God through a God given purpose (i.e. calling). No discernment of what it is designed to do for us, the congregation and for the leader of that congregation. A vision will bind a leader and a congregation together in unity of purpose that will glorify God through the proclamation of the gospel in word and deed and this is what we are called to do. Simple.

Published by Dickon Harding

Mad keen surfer, fly model aero planes and generally try to live life well and with compassion for others.

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