As the leader of the church you are appointed to, you are responsible for casting a God-sized vision for your local congregation. Listed below are several practices to help you cast a God-sized vision.
- Remember, it is not your vision it is God’s vision.
God’s vision and dream for your church is much bigger than any dream you can have for your church. If left to our dreams, we inevitably choose to remain in the boat where it is safe. God and Jesus Christ are calling us out of the boat, into the deep, to radically transform the community and the world around. Therefore, the vision you cast for your church must be prayed about, and prayed about some more. Have faith that God will be with you, helping you to achieve the vision ha has for your church.
- Identify what issues in your community need to be transformed.
If you have no idea what needs to be transformed in your community, then how will you ever recognize the God-sized vision he places in front of you? Do you have children who are going home from school without food to eat? Is there a drug problem in your community? Are their racial tensions that are creating a culture of divisiveness within your community? While tools like MissionInsite can help identify these areas, the only real way to identify them is to get out of your office and into your community (we’ll spend some more time with this in a later post). God’s vision is ultimately for “every knee to bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” (Phil. 2:10-11), but he is going to achieve that through you realizing his vision and affecting real change in your community.
- Be intentional about casting God’s vision for your congregation.
Unlike the CEO’s of major corporations, you have 20-30 minutes each and every week with your shareholders to cast God’s vision for the church you pastor. Use this time well. Cast God’s vision for your church each week in your sermon. You don’t have to come out and explicitly say it every week, but put clues and hints about the vision in your sermons. People are listening; this is an excellent time each week to cast God’s vision for the church.
- Equip lay leadership to work towards achieving God’s vision.
You, by yourself, cannot achieve God’s vision for your church. Even Jesus’ said to the disciples, “you will do greater things than even me” (John 14:12). You cannot do this alone. Help you laity discern their spiritual gifts. Empower them to use those gifts to achieve God’s vision for your church. Many of the people sitting in your pews want to do something; unfortunately, they either haven’t been asked or they don’t feel empowered to do it. You have the power to eliminate both of those issues. Give them a chance to work on God’s vision, because many of them will still be there after you have gone to another church, and the vision cannot die when you leave.
You discern God’s vision for your church. You are responsible for casting that vision. It’s more than a poster on a wall; it is a culture and attitude that your entire congregation must adopt. Next time, we will discuss how to create a culture of accountability to worship attendance. Until then, may the grace of God sustain you.