I have been in this church business for quite awhile now and had been told repeatedly how important having a vision is. I had been told it should be clear. I had been persuaded that the leader with a true vision will be able to see it so clearly like looking at poster that God had placed on the wall of the heart. I have struggled with this perception of vision for sometime. Don't get me wrong, God has given me a huge vision for LifePoint. It's simply not as clear as I would have hoped. The problem with having to clear a vision is that one starts to manipulate circumstances, structure and worse yet, people to make what they have into what they envision. Inevitably it only winds up hurting people and discouraging the leader. Here's why.
Vision is not a picture but a puzzle
God is the keeper of the vision. He only gives it to us piece by piece. When we presume to know what the picture is we tend to force the pieces where they don't belong. We take on structure that we aren't ready for or place people in positions that aren't right for them. What we end up with is something that neither resembles our vision or God's. Presuming to know the outcome is dangerous and results in a lot of excuses for our failures.
Vision is a puzzle not a picture
I haven't been given the box top either. That's how I generally would do a puzzle. Lay out the pieces and refer to the picture on the box. But without the picture and without all the pieces of the puzzle all I can do is take what God provides and carefully and gently watch as they fit together. When we don't presume to know what the finished puzzle looks like we are guided by what is not forced instead of what has to be.
The future and vision of any church is a puzzle
God gives us the pieces at His own pace and as a community we discover the picture it is creating together. Today I can declare, I don't know what the future looks like for LifePoint but I'm looking forward to discovering it like everyone else. God always chooses the perfect picture so I know the one He has for us will be nothing short of amazing.