By the time you read this you have almost certainly heard that change is afoot at Fishers United Methodist Church! Our Church Vision process has identified several significant changes we will begin to implement in September – including a new church Mission Statement: To Make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the world. This new mission statement will guide us in making changes in the areas of Worship and Discipleship Pathways. Other phases of our Vision team process will come in the ensuing months as we seek to be effective in our mission to Make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World. If you want to know more, you can find information HERE.
Vision – it’s such a lofty word; but it has become almost trite in trendy conversation in the business world of the last 25 years. Does Vision really matter or is it just a buzz-word? Look at a page from history and you tell me…..
About 425 years ago a shipload of travelers landed on the northeast coast of America. The first year they cut into the wilderness and established a town site. The next year they elected a town government. The third year the town government planned to build a road five miles westward into the wilderness. In the fourth year the people tried to impeach their town government because they thought it was a waste of public funds to build a road five miles westward into a wilderness. Who needed to go there anyway?
- - Here were people who had the vision to see three thousand miles across an ocean and overcome great hardships to get there. But in a few short years they were not able to see even five miles out of town!
Does it happen today? – can it happen to us in our lives? – to us as Fishers United Methodist Church? If we don’t keep our eyes clearly focused on who Christ calls us to be, we risk focusing on what we have accomplished; where we have come through our own efforts as we have risked much for a vision we once embraced. And if we lose our focus we settle in and we stagnate; being satisfied with the comfort of the familiar and our personal preferences; and we fail to see there is still more of Christ’s Vision for us than we have understood. We have not finished the task and accomplished the Vision He has set before us as His Church.
Vision does matter! What we see is what we get. It takes strength and courage to take an honest look at ourselves. It’s natural to prefer what makes us feel good – including how we feel about what we are doing and enjoying as we “do” church. But neither the Church of Jesus Christ as a whole, nor Fishers United Methodist Church belongs to us. It is NOT about us! We are God’s Church – created for God’s purpose! To make decisions to satisfy our preferences takes our focus off of God and puts it on ourselves. To do that, robs the church of its purpose and God-given power.
We are standing at the edge of our “village” looking out into the unknown wilderness. God’s vision for us lies beyond what we can see – beyond the “5 mile road we have cut.” But he calls us to go further and he will guide us on our journey. We can’t see the destination [truth be told, it would likely scare us to much to go]. But if we can’t see our destination we can at least go trusting the One who charts our course and calls us to follow!
How’s your vision today? There are people all around us – all ages, attitudes, and lifestyles – who do not yet know the love and freedom that comes in receiving Christ. They are wandering in the “wilderness not even five miles out of town.” Do you see them? Do they matter? Are they still the reason we exist?
Proverbs 29:18 tells us “where there is no vision the people perish.” Friends, as I look deeper at this I believe this is true not only for those wandering “outside of town” but it is also true for the “townsfolk” ourselves. It’s our choice. With a clear vision of what we can become in Christ, no ocean of difficulty is too great; no trek into the wilderness too arduous. Without that clear vision we rarely move beyond our current boundaries. How’s your vision today? Join me in the journey toward God’s call!
For The Only Cause That Matters,