Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Vision (08/03/06)
TITLE: A Reflection on God's Vision
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Our church has a Mission Statement and a Vision Statement. Our Mission Statement is not unlike that of most Christian churches; we seek to bring Jesus Christ and unbelievers together and we seek to strengthen believers to enable them to share their faith in ways that will bring Jesus and unbelievers together. Now, wouldn’t you think our Vision Statement would offer concrete ways in which to accomplish that twofold goal?
Sadly, that is not the case. Instead, our Vision Statement talks about ways in which we used to care for our members and our community years ago. Our written vision was never truly achieved. It died on the vine because it was never the vision of the congregation. The congregation at large had another vision.
I remember the day we wrote that Vision Statement. We thought ourselves to be a caring congregation, seeking to meet the holistic needs of our members and surrounding community. We offered Sunday morning services, special Wednesday mid-morning and evening services, we offered a preschool, Stephen Ministry and a Parish Nurse Ministry. We definitely had a caring pastor and caring Stephen Ministers, a caring preschool director, and a caring Parish Nurse. And we had a handful of lay leaders who served the church and community enthusiastically.
The congregation felt proud that we were such a caring congregation with exciting new ministries. It stroked their corporate ego. However, most of the congregation itself was perfectly happy to sit back in apathy and let someone else do all the caring. The main thing that most of the membership cared about was their own comfort. They cared about sitting in their own pew on Sunday morning, singing their own favorite songs, and contributing their traditional paltry offering. They cared about being bench warmers who daydreamed during the sermon, went home, and returned the next Sunday morning to do it all over again. They didn’t catch the vision.
God’s vision for His church on earth is that we care for one another. Jesus equates this caring for others to caring for Jesus Himself. Matthew 25:35-36 “I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.” (English Standard Version) Paul reminds us that we are expected to care for others just as God has cared for us. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (ESV)
Despite the number of hypocrites who choose to be bench warmers, God’s people, His remnant, do catch the vision. If you have the vision, don’t lose hope. Keep working in the Kingdom, remain steadfast in your faith and continue to fight the good fight until our precious Lord returns. And remember that the vision is to seek the lost, many of whom sit in church on Sunday morning. Let your light shine!
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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