VISION...is it necessary?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by 12strings, Aug 31, 2012.

  1. 12strings

    12strings
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    The group of pastors I meet with each month has proposed this for our next topic...So I thought I'd get a head start and see what you all thought.

    TOPIC: Vision (church vision or pastoral vision)

    -Biblically, Does a church or pastor need a vision?
    -Is this a vision that all churches/pastors share - found in the Bible?
    -Should a church/pastor have a unique vision for his own church distinct from what other churches would have?
    -John Piper's title is "Pastor for Preaching & Vision"; should each church have a pastor who focuses on vision?

    In contrast to John Piper's obvious support for the idea of pastors leading with vision, consider this quote from Bonhoeffer:

    "God Hates visionary dreaming; it makes the dreamer proud and pretentious. The man who fashions a visionary ideal of community demands that it be realized by God, by others, and by himself...when things do not go his way, he calls the effort a failure. When his ideal picture is destroyed, he sees the community going to smash. So he becomes, first an accuser of his brethren, then an accuser of god, and finally the despairing accuser of himself.

    WHAT SAY YOU?
     
  2. Revmitchell

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    I would say this is a false and broad brush. If someone acts that way there is a character issue not a vision issue. There are plenty of pastors who lead with a God given vision for the church in their context who do nothing described above. It is not guaranteed and not common.
     
  3. padredurand

    padredurand
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    Where there is no vision, the people perish... Proverbs 29:18

    There is a big difference between dreaming big dreams and discerning God's will for a local church. Dreaming conjures up having the biggest parking lot, most entertaining 'worship' and anything else that could be used as a measure of success. God didn't call us to be successful. He called us to be faithful.
     
  4. humblethinker

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    In some ways this recalls to my mind what seems to me to have been "The Prayer of Jabez" fad. There are other fads that have come and gone, the IBLP is one that comes to mind. One that also seems to be a fad is the 'prayer walking'... I don't mean to deny any truth in these movements but it seems that we think these ideas are the 'missing answers' that will remedy us of our felt shortcomings. At least in this sense I think Bonhoeffer's sentiments are spot on. It seems that 'gimmickry' would definately qualify for what Bonhoeffer seems to be describing here. I have just gotten more skeptical of gimmicks and new fads that are purported to be the 'missing ingredients' to successful living. It seems like things like these are 'sold' as though they will solve problems that should not be 'solved' but rather should are tensions that need to be managed. So, I'd be interested in hearing what they come up with.

    When I think of a person of great vision I think of Nehemiah. Of course, the vision of rebuilding the walls would not last forever... so, is 'vision' to be used to bring about solutions to current problems?
     
  5. Mexdeaf

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    I think vision is vital. That being said, I do not believe every vision of "bigger, better, grander things" is of God. The vision should be not of what we can do for God but rather of what God can do (or wants to do) through us. There is a difference.

    Vision should spring from a humble heart of gratitude for the place in which God has placed us and a willingness to personally be "bent, stapled and mutilated" - in other words, changed and formed - into His image so that we can be more usable in His kingdom.
     
  6. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    Let's talk nuts and bolts here.

    When we talk about a vision for, say, my church, what does it entail?

    Is it an assessment of potential?
    Is it a set of goals for the next year, two years, five years, etc.?

    It is an action plan for growing the church?
    What are the elements that should be in such a plan?

    Let's say you as a pastor, or church leader, want to double the size of your church.
    What are you willing to do to get there?
    What are you NOT willing to do to rack up the numbers?
     
  7. mckestev

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    I think that there is a difference between vision and goals. Goals are about what we want to accomplish; vision is about what we want to become. As a pastor I am casting a vision of what our church would look life we are obedient to God. All Christians and churches are supposed to obey Jesus, but because the cultures look different from one city to another there will be a different vision for each church.
     
  8. Aaron

    Aaron
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    Well said.
     
  9. Aaron

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    but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. Proverbs 29:18

    John Newton summed it up: "...was blind but now I see..."

    I don't think this is that of which is spoken in the O.P.
     
  10. USN2Pulpit

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    Perhaps there is room both for vision and following the law, but in the very least, it seems as though the two are connected.
     
  11. 12strings

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    To ressurect this a bit more...

    What about Tom's question here?

    Could a pastor legitimately have a godly vision to double the size of his church? Or to baptize 30 or 50 people in the next year?

    Or should he instead focus on being faithful to preaching, teaching, evangelizing, discipling, shepherding...and Let God take care of the results?

    Or is there some middle road?
     
  12. Mexdeaf

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    Door number two.
     

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