Monday, February 13, 2012

The Morning After: Our Vision

I shared last Thursday that Sunday was going to be the day we shared the vision of our church. What are we going to focus on in the next five years. Where are we going?

Now that Sunday has come and gone, I am extremely grateful for all the Lord is doing and is going to do at Cornerstone. I am so excited. Even though we had the worst storm this year, so far, we had a good number of people there, and a lot of people that stayed for the annual meeting afterward. I am so thankful for each of them and the role they are playing in shaping our church.

I do not plan in this blog post to share everything that I shared on Sunday. For that, you are going to need to listen to my message or read my notes online. What I wanted to share in this post are the opening comments that I made about vision. It was Robert Kennedy that is famous for saying, "Some people see things the way they are and ask why; I see things the way they could be and ask why not?" I think so often we live in our comfortable world and do not look into the future to ask, "God, why couldn't you do this or that?"

One thing that I tried to articulate is that a vision statement could change over time. Our mission does not change. It states our overall purpose. But our vision is what we are going to focus on in the future for this season of life. Our vision in five years might (hopefully will) be different than it is today. Now, that is easier to understand intellectually than it is to understand practically. Why? Because we all struggle with change. We are comfortable with the way things are. But I truly believe that a church is either changing or it is dying.

As well, any vision that we have must be dependent upon the Lord. We are not trying to create something on our own. We are not trying to build our own enterprise. The elders and I have been seeking the Lord for months on these priorities and we are walking forward with boldness, yet with caution knowing the Lord is in charge of all these things. He is the real Senior Pastor of this church (1 Peter 5:1-4). James warns us not to make plans as if God is not in charge of them (James 4:13-17). That is why as this thing unfolds, I pray it never becomes boasting about our things, our buildings, our programs, but how awesome the Lord is in using us in His plan to reach this world.

One last thing. It is my belief that most of our vision of what God could do is too small. Paul tells us that God can do abundantly beyond all that we can ask or think (Eph. 3:20-21). Too many churches and organizations set goals too low and try to accomplish them too quickly. It has been well said that most people over-estimate what they can accomplish in one year and they under-estimate what they can accomplish in ten. I never want to be the place that sets goals based upon what we can do. Those goals will be shallow and not dependent upon the Lord. I want to be the place that must be dependent upon the Lord for all these things.

Vision. Do you have it for your church or ministry? Do you know what God would want you to do for the future? To get the full detail of the Five Priorities I listed for our church, please either listen to the message or read my notes online. As well, if you are interested, you can read our Annual Report which states many goals that we have for this coming year.

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