"If people can't see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; but when they attend to what He reveals, they are most blessed," (Proverbs 29:18, The Message).
Ever experienced vision drift? In life? In family? In personal development? In ministry? We have. Perhaps our experience will encourage you to seek the Lord for a fresh upgrade in your own life.
Vision drift snuck up on us! For many years, we've witnessed God’s favor and blessing in our lives and in our church—it’s been a wild ride. In November 2009, we moved into a new building at the intersection of I-94 and US-131 (two of the busiest interstate highways in Michigan) and things took off. We saw the vision being fulfilled before our eyes; however, as we ran at a rapid rate of speed to keep up with everything, we started to experience vision drift.
As we approached the twenty-year mark as a church, we realized we needed Jesus to upgrade and refresh the vision He had for our lives and our church. So, we began to seek the Lord for His guidance and refinements. It's been a fun, challenging and soul-searching exercise!
In this process, we've endeavored to be brutally honest. We've had to hold things loosely and allow the Lord to change and rearrange anything and everything, as He desired. We've purposefully set aside our own personal preferences in order to follow the things He’s put on our hearts. We've intentionally gleaned wisdom and insights from other church leaders who are further down the trail. We've done our best to listen to His voice and stay true to what He’s called us to do—even if that meant losing people who could not get on board with His leading. At the end of the day, we understand that we must answer to the Head of the Church and we are doing our best to follow His lead for this next leg of the journey.
Thankfully, Jesus said the Holy Spirit would show us things to come, and indeed He has and is! (John 16:13) The Lord has been helping us crystallize and redefine three things: our vision, our do’s and our code. (A big thanks to Elevation Church—their code has inspired us to develop our own!) Perhaps as we share these things, you will be encouraged in your own life and ministry as you pursue His purpose for you and your life!
ONE VISION: At VFC, our new vision statement is short, sweet and defines us well: “We exist so people get it.”
This is a good vision statement for us as Christians, as well. As a believer, I exist to help people get it! As a church, we exist to help people get it! Get what? Get saved. Get victory. Get filled. Get healed. Get connected. Get a grip. Get real. Get over it. Get blessed. Get it and so much more.
We live in a culture where a lot of people don’t get it; they don’t get the God-stuff. They don’t get Jesus, salvation, redemption, the Cross or church. They don’t get the Bible. They don’t get that God is good. They don’t get that Jesus wants them blessed to be a blessing. They need believers and churches that will help them get it—that’s why we exist.
THREE DOS: At VFC, our new “to do” list includes these three do’s that every VFCer should have embedded into their lives: Love, Serve, Give. Of course, we believe these things should be a part of the spiritual DNA of all Christians. Here’s how we see it.
#1 – Love: We get that the greatest thing is love. Jesus told us to love God, love others and love ourselves. We love the Lord by doing His Word and living by faith. We set aside our personal preferences to take up God's preferences. We love Him and obey His Word. We love others, our neighbors, our leaders and other believers/churches with our words and actions. We love ourselves (because without a healthy view of our own worth, we cannot love others) by taking every opportunity for personal growth in God and His Word. We love His Word and we eat it up! We love.
#2 – Serve: We get that if we want to be great in God’s kingdom, we must be the servants of all. Our God-given gifts and divine purpose connect as we serve the Lord through serving others and serving the vision of this House. Pew potatoes and bench-warmers have no place in God’s kingdom. Everyone can and should be employed serving the Lord in one way or another. We are not consumers or spectators; instead, we make sacrifices to serve the Lord and others. We serve.
#3 – Give: We get that freely we have received; so, freely we give. We give our mouth and our money. We use our mouth by giving everyone we know an opportunity to hear the good news about Jesus Christ. Therefore, we share the gospel with others. We tell people about Jesus and we invite them to church where they will have an opportunity to hear the gospel. We use our money to give our tithes and offerings to the Lord. Jesus said that where our treasure is, that’s where our heart is. We don’t expect others to pay our way; instead, we are generous and we put our money where our heart is. We are faithful messengers, good stewards and extravagant in our generosity. We give.
How about you? Facing vision drift? Are you ready for an upgrade? A refreshed vision and guidance on the things you are to do? Let’s pray…
Say It: “Father, I have experienced a bit of vision drift in my own life. I am ready for an upgrade in my own life and my involvement in my local church. I ask You to refresh the vision You want me to follow and give me Your guidance on the things I need to do. Thank You for a fresh upgrade in my personal life and in my involvement in my local church! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”