Vision: Working your Way Back
As part of the opening session for Impact 365, Rev. David Lindrooth spoke about how we can become a church that makes a profound difference in the world.
He discussed the process in three parts: clarifying our vision, combining it with prudence (our ability to think, strategize, and gain the necessary information) and then working in partnership with providence. He explained that this process “prepares the way of the Lord.” By this kind of partnership we achieve amazing results that would not be otherwise attainable, causing “miracles to happen in our own lives and in the life of the church.”
First, David explained, we need vision. As an example of the importance of vision, David recollected a time when he and some other New Church leaders felt their time and energy were taken up with troubleshooting issues, leaving little time for forward positive action. After talking to a business expert who repeatedly asked them, “But what do you DO?” these church leaders realized that lack of clarity in the church vision was yielding chaos and poor results. They more acutely saw the need for a clear vision, purpose and goal.
As important as vision is, David explained, we also need prudence, and we need to gain the necessary information. To illustrate this point, David gave an example of a time he’d had a vision for how to change a small, old, historical church in Stockholm Sweden. As a young, newly ordained American minister, David thought he’d come in and “get the place hopping.” He wanted to rip up the hard old pews, do a billboard campaign, and modernize the music. The long-time church members, however, had been worshiping that way for years. Although their response was kind and forgiving, David realized he had tried to implement his vision without first gathering the necessary information. He hadn’t spent time listening to or paying attention to the dreams of the others in the congregation.
David added that when a church unites vision and prudence with a willingness to hear the Lord’s call, great blessings occur. He referred to the story of Jacob in Genesis, quoting the Lord’s promise to Jacob: “In you and in your seed, all the families of the earth will be blessed.” David used this quote to remind us that the goal is to create a church that seeks to serve and bless all the families of the earth. David concluded with the message that “the Lord has put us in a place of challenge, but He has also given us tools to move forward and bring blessings to all the nations.”
Written by Sasha Silverman