THE SHEPHERD’S CORNER
Growing up I did not hear words like vision and mission that much, but now I hear them a lot. The mantra from every management and leadership guru is every effective organization must have its vision and mission, and that includes churches. It is of course fine to have vision and mission statements, but when it comes to church, I do think we may have gone too far. I have seen pressure placed upon pastors to come up with vision and mission statements; should they fail, they will be frowned upon as pastors with no vision.
The truth of the matter is it is God who provides us with a clear vision for us, His church. We should not come up with another one; it is after all His church, not ours. And His vision is simple: He wants us, Christians, to live as Christians. It is also He who provides us with the mission of His church, which is to make disciples, or to influence people around us in such a way that they will have the chance to become Christians, or disciples of Jesus. That is all.
Our part is firstly to accept this vision and mission and is secondly to keep this vision and mission alive in our church. And we keep this vision and mission alive by loving God. In his book, The Great Omission, Dallas Willard writes, “The love of God, and only the love of God, secures the vision of God.” In other words, it is only by loving God, shall we be able to keep the vision and mission of God.
So, what should be our New Year’s resolution? Well, it is none other than to love our God and to love our neighbors, the same as last year, and the years before. By loving God and our neighbors, we will stay in the vision and mission of God; we will live as Christians and we will influence others to be Christians. We need not worry over the details because He will fill in the blanks.