“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.” – James 4:13-16
Northstar Church is a few years removed from our 20th anniversary. During our first 17 years, God has been steadily building His church. But what’s next? Where do we go from here? That question is never far from my thoughts. I regularly pray that we would continue to thrive and be even more vibrant for Christ. But how do we get better? There are pastors and church leaders all over the world looking for the silver bullet, the magic formula, the secret sauce that is going to take the church to the next level in terms of health and growth, discipleship and evangelization. We are no different. We are keeping our eyes on Jesus as we prepare for our future.
There are the inevitable times when we are not sure what to do. There are times when our understanding says “This doesn’t make sense. God, I feel like You are leading me in this direction, but I really don’t understand. I don’t know how I’m going to pay for this, or I don’t know how this is going to work. I think this is risky. Are you sure about all this?” This is where real faith becomes necessary? We need to realize that we can do all things through Christ and not on our own. Jesus is the provider of the energy, the power, the knowledge and creativity for the completion of our vision and dreams. The vision God gives, the dreams God gives are bigger than ourselves.
But we also know the importance of vision. An old Japanese proverb says, “Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.” Vision not repeated is just a one-time dream. We strive to pull our vision down from the clouds and put it onto your and my calendar. And that is exactly what we are trying to do. The vision prevents the urgent from crowding out the important.
Each of us have a role to play in fulfilling our vision. The vision is not related or controlled by the Lead Pastor or the staff. I can’t be the only one talking about the vision; I don’t want to be alone in this. Because when it comes to casting vision, the church leadership is looking for you to embrace, own, contextualize, and communicate the vision of helping the whole world find and follow Jesus in your spheres of influence. You may not have developed the vision, but you will help make or break whether we fulfill that vision.
- How important is it to have a clear vision of Jesus in good times? Why? Bad times? Why?
- What do you think are the benefits of the vision to Northstar?
- What did I do today to cast vision for the Church? What could I be doing?
- Pray and ask God to help you start where you are, use what you have and do what you can do to help the whole world find and follow Jesus.