I’ve been thinking about vision lately. Maybe it’s because our year end is rapidly approaching, maybe it’s because God is impressing me with the need to give some direction to His people in His church. As I have been thinking and praying on these things, I can’t help but consider some of the thoughts that I have heard and some of the stories as well. Stories of a pastor getting up in front of his congregation and laying out this bodacious plan for the future, so BIG that only God could do it. Then I think of how many times we are challenged to do the same in our congregations. How we judge one another by the vision that we all set forth and how this supposedly reflects on our faith in an awesome God. But maybe it should be written like this OUR AWESOME FAITH in our God. Which is it? Our awesome faith or our simple obedience to an AWESOME GOD? I have come to the conclusion that there are some really amazing Godless churches out there; that if you were to use that dream something so BIG that only God could do it, you would have to assume that God has stamped His approval on these “churches”. The nation of Islam comes to mind. Scientology comes to mind. Disney Land comes to mind…
So then what should we be telling our young bright eyed pastors or seminary students? Don’t have vision? Don’t have dreams and goals and ideas? I don’t think that’s the answer either. I think that the answer lies somewhere between the two. Get with God. Don’t worry about whether He says do something so small people will have to listen and look to see it, or do something so big they can’t help but wonder. However the ultimate vision that our churches need is the Word of God and more of it. Preachers love to quote Proverbs concerning vision. ”Where there is no vision the people perish”. In my study of that Scripture, I have found that the vision that the author is writing about is the Word of GOD. Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no vision, the people perish: But he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” The context gives it away if the word study doesn’t.
I recently heard a pastor say something along the lines of Jesus is all about resurrecting dead things. He said bring your dead things to Jesus. Relationships, finances, jobs etc… this was popcorn Christianity, a thin veneer of what being a Christian is, relegating God to a Santa Clause. When we promise things that God has not, we set Christianity up to look no different that the rest of the bull out there. Sometimes it is God’s will, and even His calling, for us to suffer. Don’t believe it? Read the account of Paul’s life,or look closer to home at some suffering faithful and faithfilled saints. Sometimes God isn’t about impressing anyone with anything; He is found in the small things. So preacher, when you are considering direction or vision, resist the urge to force something God hasn’t led you to, resist the urge to impress, rest in the Lord’s direction and leading. If God is in it, it will come to pass, just keep moving on one step at a time. That said, what should we do? Well I do believe that God gives direction to His pastors for His churches. We should seek His and not our own, we should be satisfied with what He says to us and we should always remember that it is HIS church and not OUR church. Lastly we should always anchor the vision in the Word of God. We should be careful to take our directions from the Vision that He has left us in His Word.
To sum it up in a simple statement, let God lead. That’s it, just let God lead. We aren’t a business, we are a body, His body. Let God lead.