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Vision, Set, Go

Vision, Set, Go

True vision, especially in missions, is rooted in deep humility as it recognizes the true scope of God’s plan for the world.

Mike Rhoades | Feb 12, 2016

Ministry can be disorienting. We get a vision from God, our heart starts pounding, our minds are racing. We start seeing the faces of people whose lives would be significantly impacted if this vision could become a reality. So what do we do? We start planning, we develop budgets, pull in key influencers, problem solve and hustle to make this incredible vision from God come to life. These are exciting moments. It’s in these moments that we as leaders feel closest to God. When it comes to vision from God, we’re the ones raising our hands, jumping up and down saying, “Pick me, pick me. You say there’s extra credit? There’s a special project? I’ll do it, pick me!” Getting a vision from God is good. Without vision, the church never becomes the church. Without vision, the people of the church don’t work together to bring hope to the hopeless, healing to the hurting. Without vision, we don’t preach the hope of a risen Savior, the joy of the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Vision is one of God’s greatest gifts to the Church, to His people. But with great wealth, with great vision, comes great responsibility. In John 15, Jesus says, “I am the vine and you are the branches…” It’s a beautiful metaphor about the vision of God and a sobering reminder that we are not the creators of vision but rather the curators of Godly vision. As we step out in ministry, it’s not our job to dictate where people need to go in their faith, it’s our job to drink deeply from the source, to saturate our souls with God’s vision so that we can pass it along to others. In John 15 Jesus goes on to say, and I’m paraphrasing, “in me, connected to me you will do tremendous things but, apart from me your greatest achievements will amount to nothing.” Here’s the challenge… Vision without God is just a dream. We can pound our chest and invoke the status of our God given leadership all we want but people have a say in all this. I wonder how often we limit, miss, or even abuse ministry because we ran ahead of God. God starts to download a vision in our brain and we are off and running before the download is done. Ready, Set, Go...or...Vision, Set, Go. Those of us in the missions community struggle with this as much as anyone. The needs that capture a missionaries heart can be big and feel immediate. In missions, one of the biggest mistakes a person can make is to believe that because God gave them a vision to “Go and Preach,” that they are the best or even the only person to execute the vision. We don’t say it outloud but if we are not careful we spend months planning around our vision to go and serve only to arrive on location in the posture of a savior rather than a servant. It’s really easy to do. Needs are real but the long-term impact of a savior complex ends up hurting the local community and dividing the church. It’s running ahead of God’s vision. Godly vision will empower and uplift. True vision, especially in missions, is rooted in deep humility as it recognizes the true scope of God’s plan for the world. I fully believe God has given you a vision. But I’m challenging you to start letting go, stop trying to control, and start listening. A Godly leader finds their influence when they allow themselves to be led well by God. Fight for vision that empowers others around you. Resist the urge to take the easy route. God promises, in Him, vision and mission have access to real power. Let’s be visionaries!

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