Tuesday, July 12, 2016


Someone asked me about vision and the church. Sometimes folks expect you to come in and climb to the top of the mountain and shout a vision. That is certainly one method of leading.

I subscribe to the Rick Warren school of vision. Here is what he wrote in his book on the purpose driven church:

Very little of Saddleback’s ministry was preplanned. I didn’t have any long-range strategy before I started the church. I simply knew God had called me to plant a new church built on the five New Testament purposes, and I had a bag of ideas I wanted to try out. Each innovation we’ve developed was just a response to the circumstances in which we found ourselves. I didn’t plan them in advance. Most people think of “vision” as the ability to see the future. But in today’s rapidly changing world, vision is also the ability to accurately assess current changes and take advantage of them. Vision is being alert to opportunities.

You don't change the direction of a child's life by telling them some overarching principle and insisting that they follow it.  You shape the direction of the life of a child by continually speaking graciously into the fabric of their lives, when and where it is needed.

Vision is about sensing what needs help, and providing the needed care and direction.  It is applying your strengths to the things that you can help.  And you just keep doing it over and over and over.  Little by little, great ships are turned.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Jeff, I think only those who know you well and have been under your leadership at WCC will understand that, compared to what you've shared in this post, your entire ministry was about having a vision.
But you established the opposite definition of the traditional "Church's Vision" we hear about today. Some new and some experienced pastors seek to form and cast a vision that is church wide and is owned by the church.

But what you did was inspire a vision within individuals rather than the body. Once individuals began to embrace a vision within themselves, the church body simply supported individuals on mission, and often working together in groups. This is what made the mission work at WCC the absolute hallmark of your ministry. Missions in the hearts of individuals will live on and on at WCC.

God bless you.