You may remember that a few weeks ago I posted a brief overview of how an intentional church would be organized. Over the last few weeks my mind has been fixated on this model; learning how to put words and actions to it, as well as how to refine and shape it. I presented some of this to our elders last night, and was able to refine it in my mind even more.
Here’s what I want to do over the next few days. As I work on this for our church leadership, I want to throw it out there for you to digest and to comment on. I think it has implications for businesses (simply insert the overall vision for your organization or business in the place where I talk about God’s vision), for non-profits, and for churches. It could be that you might find something here that could maximize your current business or organization to achieve attainable, and new results. So over the next few days, I’m going to post a little more in-depth explanations of vision, mission, strategy, and branding…
And in case this bores you, I will probably be posting some sporadic stuff in between. And now on to today’s understanding of ‘vision.’
UNDERSTANDING GLOBAL VISION
‘The church’ was designed for God, by God. She exists to fulfill God’s vision and God’s desires. Throughout the history of time there has been one singular, static, perfect vision for the church: the church was and is formed for the sole purpose of attracting people from all backgrounds, races, and circumstances to God and His kingdom.
Destroying the Vision
There is a potential for us to both intentionally and unintentionally destroy God’s global vision for the church. By using the church to prove our rightness or righteousness, we destroy its design. By using the church for our own agendas, desires, and gain we destroy its vision. By not allowing the church to live up to its full potential, we destroy its momentum. And by allowing the church to become an ornament instead of an organism, we destroy it’s credibility.
The first question that we must ask ourselves during our journey to discover our unique mission as a church community is: are we currently destroying God’s vision, or are we partnering with His vision? To answer this question, we should ask ourselves:
- are we, as individual people, attracting people to God and His kingdom or are we distracting people from God and His kingdom?
- are we, as a leadership, attracting people to God and His kingdom or are we distracting people from God and His kingdom?
- are we, as a church community, attracting people to God and His kingdom or are we distracting people from God and His kingdom?
Regaining the Vision
If we as individuals, a leadership, and a church community do not have a raw desire and passion for God’s vision, then we must learn to regain the vision. We absolutely cannot begin to ‘missionize and strategize’ unless we have that raw desire to attract people from all backgrounds, races, and circumstances to God and His kingdom. If we missionize and strategize without this desire, we are merely aligning ourselves to become a popular, large, or trendy church…a church which will consistently serve its own agendas and interests rather that the will and desires of God.
Would we be content with a church of 50 members, if that church were completely passionate on attracting people to God and His kingdom? If our answer is no, then we must begin to regain the vision. If our answer is yes, then we can begin to missionize and strategize about how our individual church community can partner with God’s global vision of the church.