It has been a month since my last blog entry. I felt as if I had to step away from this blog so I could concentrate on my book manuscript. I am happy to say that I have completed my first draft and I am in the process of revision. I feel a certain sense of accomplishment having completed my first draft and I am excited to get back to sharing my thoughts with all of you.
Today I want to talk about something that has been on my heart for almost a year now. For those who do not know I am the pastor at a small Presbyterian church in Las Animas, CO. I have been their pastor for the past ten years. About eight months ago God placed on my heart a conviction to begin seeking a vision for the church in the decade.
At first I struggled with the thought of looking that far into the future of our church. If I have learned anything from my surgery experiences is that you take things one day at a time. Having that mentality was, precisely, what God wanted to challenge me with. In my calling of this vision God has spoken to me a clear and concise way. He has placed a burden on my heart and I am seeking to fulfill His call on my life.
As I began this process of "visioneering" I ran into a road block. What exactly is a "vision"? I suppose you could define it as something people see with their eyes. Or, it could be something people perceive in their mind's eye. Or, it could defined as the ability to see. All of these definitions are correct and can apply to many circumstances. Yet, they didn't help me with my calling.
The challenge that God has given to me is to formulate a vision where our church is headed and how do we get to where we are suppose to be. As I said before I have spent long hours reading, studying, and praying. I have cried out to God in my times of frustration and I have wept at the realization of God's love for me. My time of seeking a vision for my church has been a time of great healing for me.
I have learned about God's desire to see His church move boldly into the decade to come. I have learned that, despite what statistics say, God's people are growing and maturing. I have also learned that without vision the people will perish. (Proverbs 29:18). My time of reflecting and listening has brought me closer to God than I have been for quite some time. One of the most important lessons I have learned is that God had not sent me on a journey for only the vision of the church but for a vision of my life as well.
I will be presenting my study to the church at the beginning of next year. I am excited to begin the process of refining this vision with the different groups and committees within our church. It excites me to think that we are taking God's will so seriously.
What about you? Do have a vision for your life in the next ten years? How about the next five years, or one year? Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:34 "So then, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own. ”I am not sure, however, this is a scriptural mandate to forsake any hopes, dreams, or plans, you might have for tomorrow. To me the act of looking and planning for the future is a giant step in the practice of our faith. God wants us to look ahead, not in anger but in faith. Our ability to trust God with our future plans is the building blocks of our faith.
I pray that each of us might take the time on our journey home to pray and listen for the plans that God has for you. It might be painful at first. Visions are usually that way. God wants to come into our life through the working of the Holy Spirit. He desires for His Spirit to mold us and make us into followers of the Christ.
I am overjoyed and pumped up for the church's vision to begin but now is not the time. Yet, when God says "GO" I will off and running. Truthfully, I feel like a greyhound dog waiting for the gate to be opened so I can chase that fake rabbit around the track. So church, be ready for a vision for our future!
Until Next Time!!!