Everywhere you look, pastors are rolling out their “vision messages." “We’ll launch this ministry.” “Expand that program.” “Enlarge this other thing.” “Attract this many more people…” I want us to become “A”, to have “B”, to enjoy “C”, to be known for “D”.
A puny vision is focused on ourselves.
To have a vision clear and compelling enough to capture the hearts of courageous world-changers, it can’t be focused on us.
The locus of vision is the impact we’re trusting God to make in society because of the influence of His Kingdom.
The first question is this: Who has your congregation been assembled to bless, heal, liberate, rescue, strengthen or lift as God encounters their lives?
A friend’s congregation has several working in law enforcement... so they bring God’s Kingdom to prison guards and Sheriffs. Another’s congregation is elderly... so they’ve adopted a senior center where they bring the Gospel of Christ almost every day. Others have young families... so they regularly serve at a preschool.
The second question: When God’s Kingdom comes, what wrongs will be made right, what oppression will be relieved, what bonds will be broken in their lives?
For the correctional officers, it’s appreciation, kindness, value and hope. For residents and staff at the care center, it's connection, love, companionship and meaning. For preschool parents, it’s practical assistance, a listening ear, kindness and concern.
It’s often said: people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.
Churches across America are discovering how true this is. People respond to genuine love with surprise, gratitude, curiosity and finally openness... an openness to the One who motivates people to love and serve with no strings attached.
My CRM Team observes this transformation in hundreds of lives as congregations traverse the Missional Pathway. The Pathway is the “how”. A big, bold, community-impacting vision is the “why”.