A Big Vision!
by Matt Hunt
Vision. It’s one of those buzz words of church and business leadership. Gurus call for vision statements that present a clear picture of the future that compels and drives decisions and direction in the present. Now I am not against vision. We have our vision statement at CrossLife, a wonderful picture of what the church would look like in the future if we follow God’s purpose and mission we have also recognised. Some people suggest a good vision is a “big” vision, generally centred on lots of people, big impact on society and size of a church community. But recently I have been challenged about how we define “big vision”. Consider these passages from the Psalms,
“Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord.” (Psalm 22:30)
“I will perpetuate your memory through all generations, therefore the nations will praise you for ever and ever: (Psalm 45:17)
“Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will praise you forever; from generation to generation we will proclaim your praise.” (Psalm 79:13)
“Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the Lord.” (Psalm 102:18)
The word ‘generation’ turns up 154 times in the English language NIV. Sometimes we limit our vision to the people we see. The Scriptures challenge us to have a vision for people that aren’t here yet (note Psalm 102:18)! Paul embraced this vision when he described his ministry to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:2 in this way,
“And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.”
Paul worked with Timothy not merely for Timothy and his generation, but he also had the next generation … and the next … and the next! The bigness of our vision (church vision, and our own personal vision!!) may be more determined by how many generations we envision, not merely how many people. This multiplying process has been the centre of the growth of the church and God’s kingdom over generations for 2000 years. The Holy Spirit’s challenge to us is to enlarge our vision (and our practise) to embrace generations to come by passing on the torch to the next generation so that they can pass it on to the next in such a way that the third can pass it on to the fourth: and not just the content and understanding of Jesus and the gospel – but the process of multiplication too.
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