One of our Leadership Council members made a great observation in a meeting the other day as we talked about Bethany Church’s upcoming annual business meeting. We were weighing the difference between reporting what has happened in the past year versus reporting on what we anticipate for the coming year. He said,
“Well, when I drive, I do better looking out the windshield with just an occasional glance in the rear-view mirror, rather than the other way around.”
I think we’d all agree!
Looking forward. We call it vision. It’s what we see, and if we’re going to get anywhere we do better focusing on the road ahead rather than the road behind. But what does this have to do with church? And how can we “see” something that isn’t physically visible?
A vision for our church means we agree upon a picture of what we believe the church can and should look like in the future. But most leaders agree that vision isn’t birthed in committee, it’s a gift of God given to a leader, and shared as a people. At Bethany, we’re stating our vision as follows:
OUR VISION: An international and intergenerational, life-giving body of Christ-followers, worshiping in unity, growing in grace, and loving our neighborhoods in ways that clearly proclaim the good news. Go ahead and read that statement again, and then close your eyes, imagining what that would look like.
Could you see it? Could you see older and younger together, joyfully singing praises? Did you hear the blend of Chinese, English and Spanish, spoken together, out in the neighborhood serving the community in practical ways? Did you see children acting in dramas, and young adults giving testimonies? Did you see what was in the parking lot? Did you see men and women relating to each other in Christian love?
We could spend a lot of time looking back at where we’ve been, some of which has been absolutely amazing! We could spend our time gazing at where we are right now, which is crucial to make sure we don’t miss what God is doing right under our noses.
But if we’re to get any momentum into the future God has for us we need to look straight into God’s future for us. What do you think…can you see it? Are you along for the ride?
Brian Wiebe-Lead Pastor