I believe in the importance of vision and leadership. Still, I’ve grown almost allergic to the statements that seem to be so common about having and casting a vision. It’s why I love this quote by John Ortberg in Ready, Steady, Grow, a book by Ray Evans. Ortberg says:
Vision is fundamental to the health of your church, but it’s probably not the kind of vision you’re thinking about.
Someone gets gripped by a vision that will not let them go. But it is not a vision of what they’re going to do. It is not a vision of a preferred future. It is not a vision of human activity. It is a vision of what already is. It is a vision of God, and how good he is, and how wonderful it is to be alive and a friend of such a Being.
Out of such a vision flow desires to do good things for such a God. Sometimes these activities may lead to results… And then other people may gather, and some decide they’d like to be involved…[But] people begin to pay more attention to what they are doing than to the reality of God.
At this point the mission replaces the vision as the dominant feature in people’s consciousness… people are living under the tyranny of Producing Impressive Results.
The number-one ‘vision problem’ with churches today is not (as is widely held) leaders who ‘lack a vision’. The real problem is when our primary focus shifts from who God is (a vision alone that can lead to ‘the peace of Christ reigning in our hearts’) to what we are doing.
Great quote. The number one problem with vision in our churches is that we lack a vision of God. Until we have that, almost nothing else matters.