Raise The Sails: Casting the Vision
Virtually every business, and every church for that matter, has produced vision and mission statements. They create a vision by visualizing what their ideal business/church will look like and then implement a specific plan to make the vision a reality. Vision and mission statements are not a bad thing to have, but unless the church actually uses them as tools, they tend to be just warm and fuzzy statements without any real value. Our vision is the bridge between the present and the future. How do we give life to our vision of “helping the whole world find and follow Jesus?”
Something To Talk About:
- Vision: Jesus was a vision caster. For instance, early in His ministry, He challenged two Galilean fishermen to leave their nets and be “fishing for people” (Luke 5:10). Jesus spoke so compellingly that Simon Peter and Andrew immediately followed Him. To those two men and to multitudes of others, Jesus cast a vision of what life in the Kingdom of God could be like. Jesus talked about how relationships should work. He challenged people to make good choices. He told His followers to go and make disciples in every people group. He laid out for them how some things in the future would unfold. Sometimes people didn’t immediately understand the vision Jesus cast before them. He talked about high ideals and such radical transformation that people still respond: “That’s not possible.” The truth is, of course, that what Jesus said wasn’t pie-in-the-sky stuff that will never happen. Jesus was realistic about the way things were. However, He also knew that, through the transforming and energizing power of the Holy Spirit, things could be different, and He painted a vision of that for His listeners. While He was here on earth, Jesus sought to lead people toward the realization of that vision. The vision struck such a responsive chord in people that it did not fade then or now. Through the centuries, millions have found Jesus’ vision believable and have committed their lives to it.
- Do you think it is important to have a vision for the church? For the individual? Why or why not?
- What gifts/skills do you have that will contribute to achieving our vision?
- How can we overcome our fears and reluctance to get engaged?
- How do you feel about the vision of working on our approach to helping people grow spiritually (discipleship)?
- Serving other believers is a privilege, not a chore. Agree or disagree and why? Are you serving in some capacity at Northstar today? If not, what are the obstacles that are keeping you from finding a place of service? Is there anything about serving in the church you find hard?
- Pray and ask God to show you where you should be engaged in the vision of helping the whole world find and follow Jesus.
- What goes into a successful vision in your mind?
- What do you believe that God is telling you to do as a result of what you heard and discussed in small groups this week?
- Determine one concrete step you can take this week to contribute to the vision of Jesus?
Take one thing home with you:
And vision needs to be real. What I mean is that a church is real in its love for God and real in our love for others. I see a church that depends on the leadership and guidance of the Holy Spirit. A church that connects, inspires, and motivates people to become more spiritually mature. A church that connects people in doing life together.
Our vision is to be relevant: By that I mean a church that welcomes, accepts, and loves all people knowing God has great plans for every person. A church that effectively communicates the life changing message of Jesus in a way that captures the heart and invites the decision to start a relationship with the risen Savior.
Our vision is to be relentless: A church committed to continually doing whatever it takes to impact the community and world. A church that never tires of seeking the lost and building disciples.