Wherever you go in organizations today, you will find prominently displayed, vision, mission and purpose statements. Some have even taken it a step further and they have strategic goals and strategic plans. The influence is even greater today than it was before when it comes to the church with such terminologies and buzz words captivating our minds. It has become necessary, or so it seems, especially that many church congregations have gone on a fast tract of erecting multi-million dollar facilities seeing that as the ‘new way’ of growing God’s church.
There is a certain amount of prestige that goes with the large church building, the fancy pews, the fine draperies, large band, just to name a few. It gives a false allusion however that the bigger the building, and the larger the congregation that God’s Spirit dwells there more than if one were to settle for a smaller building with fewer seats for persons to sit in. Either way, I believe all of the additions are good especially that God wants nothing but the best for us.
But as I look through my spiritual lenses, I am convinced that God has given to us a mission, and a mandate to fulfill. And since we are by nature, creative people, being the offspring of the Creator Himself, God wants us to maximize our creative capabilities, and to use our brains in determining how best to fulfill His mission in the world. Vision, mission and goals when rooted within the context of scripture can be helpful in motivating people to not only serve, but to serve with excellence.
Looking Through My Spiritual Lenses – A Growing Misuse
But here is my struggle and the conclusion that I’ve come to as I look once again through my spiritual lenses and through the word of God that many today, in particular those with influence use vision, mission, strategic buzz words referred to as strategic goals and strategic plans, simply to assert authority and a level of power more than they really do have. The scripture quoted ever so often is found in Proverbs 29:18 that says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish; but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”
Lest I am mis-understood, nothing is wrong with the ideas of vision, mission etc. But the problem I have is when the word of God is misused, and taken out of its context to support or lend God’s authority to their position, when many times God really has nothing to do with an agenda that turns out to be man’s agenda and not God’s agenda.
When it comes to vision, someone once said, “The mere possession of a vision is not that same as living it, nor can we encourage others with it if we do not, ourselves understand and follow its truths. The pattern of the Great Spirit is over us all, but if we follow our own spirit from within, our pattern becomes clearer. For centuries, other have sought their vision. They prepare themselves, so that if the Creator desires them to know their life’s purpose, then a vision would be revealed. To be blessed with visions is not enough, we must live them.”
Looking Through My Spiritual Lenses – What Does It Mean?
Within the context of the verse, the word vision has to do with the word of God. The primary interpretation, it means, where there is no word of God, where there is no message of life, the people perish and they are cast off! Where there are no souls being won over into the kingdom of God, where backsliders are not coming back to their first love, (God and His church) and where there is no revelation from God, people die a spiritual death! It means where there is no fear of God and the judgement of God for sin and the resulting consequences are not made known, oh yea, people are doomed to face condemnation from God and subsequently death.
The message is clear I believe, that messages from God must be consistently preached if we are going to overcome the human tendency to do as we please and when we please without any consideration that God is looking at us and giving a chance for us to repent.
My final though is that we must take this as a warning, first for preachers to make sure that messages are being delivered from God as He has spoken it and from a Christians perspective that we are always delving into the word of God to hear what God has to say to each one of us. In the final analysis, it is a very important concept, “where there is no vision, people perish…”