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Vision versus the people

October 23, 2008

We’ve heard a lot in the Army world over the last few years about the importance of vision and having clear plans and goals for the future. I enjoy that style of thinking, and their seem to be a lot of examples in the Bible.

Still, it can become stultifying. It’s very easy to sacrifice the people we claim to serve for the sake of the vision. I have seen many church leaders use ‘the vision’ as an excuse to perpetrate all sorts of despicability on their people. Yet, we’re told, if we don’t have a clear vision for the future our churches are headed for certain death. Without vision, the people perish.

David Hayward believes that not having a vision or a goal doesn’t mean we’re not doing anything. I like this thinking too. I’d hate to be in a church where I’m a cog in someone’s five-year plan, rather than a disciple of Christ trying to grow in grace with my brothers and sisters.

I have to clarify that this is erroneous thinking. Like my daughter, I have no plans for her life. I do father her in such a way that she may have the wherewithal to be a healthy, wise and confident woman. THAT will be her contribution to the world! Take care of the roots and the tree will bear fruit. And it will bear fruit in accordance with its unique kind. I pastor a community that I try to keep free of vision, goal-setting and agendas. That’s my work for the most part. Many people now have grown an acute distaste for agendas on their lives. One such woman visited me earlier today and says that she can smell someone’s plan for her life way down the road and avoids it like the plague because she sees it as soul-destroying. I think that is radically rebellious but radically healthy.

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