Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ministry Vision

In our big group meetings we have been having people share their vision for our ministry.  It's a time for individuals to paint a picture of what our community of believers could do and be with God's spirit within us.  In my mind it is kind of a goal setting exercise.  I read my vision a few weeks ago and I wanted to share it with you here.  Below are my notes as well so that you can get a feel for what my point is.

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Intro:

- Note the things that stand out to you and make them your goals for the semester/year.
- On top of that think through these things and figure out how to make them happen.
- In my mind vision setting is about getting a picture in your head of what things could look like and trying to reproduce it.

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There is no doubt that God has been changing each of us throughout our lives so far, but my vision for our ministry is of the completed transformation.

This is what we would look like if we truly took up our crosses and followed him daily:

We would understand what it means to die to ourselves and how to make it happen.  Then we would do it.  God would be able to live within us in the way he intended.  He would have total control over our lives.  Just imagine never resisting him, but more so than that, imagine never even attempting to make a decision without first looking to him.  We would no longer be independent, but rather dependent on God and nothing else.

We would also become a community that passionately cares for people.  All people.  Individually and collectively, we would be the ones that people know to come to.  People would feel comfortable confiding things in us because we not only listen and keep things in confidence, but we try to help in whatever way we can and share their burden.  We would not only hold people when they cry, but cry with them because their pain becomes our own.  We would care for others habitually and love them so much that we literally forget about ourselves.

Through consistant time reading and dwelling on scripture, talking with and relating to others, and praying, we would become strong in our knowledge and understanding of the Lord and his word, but we would also be disciplined and controlled in our actions.  Submission to him in every situation would be our first priority.

We would learn more about God every day; something we did on purpose.  Instead of being obsessed with material things or people that don't last we would be obsessed with he who lasts forever.  Anything else: we would only use to glorify him.

We would be forgiving and understanding.  Our first reaction would always be love and never hate or accusation.  We would only think the best of others instead of the worst.

We would be so devoted to God's work that nothing else could distract us.  Just like a great athlete so intently wants to win that they let nothing hinder their training, we would desire pleasing him more than having fun, spending time with friends, sleeping, eating, or even breathing.  Yes, we would consider dying and pleasing him better than living and pretending to.  Through all of this we would never develop a sense of pride any more than a hammer does when used to hit a nail.  All the glory goes to the builder.

We would always look for peace rather than a fight.  When an argument arises we would try to resolve it quickly so that it doesn't linger and cause more damage than it's worth.

We would live such devoted lives to Jesus that people would be forced to love or hate us.  Not because we tell them to choose, but because our actions expose them for who they are and because they have no control over us anymore.  Since we have relinquished everything to God, others have nothing to take from us and no way to inflict pain on us.  This would create a barrier or curiosity.

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Conclusion:

I hope that this inspires you to think about the possibilities that God can bring into your life.  Don't ever limit what he can do by lack of belief.  Our God is big and he can do things beyond your imagination if you truly want him to.

Pray

- Prepare our hearts so that we can empty ourselves completely.
- Fill us with your spirit and give us a vision of what we can be when coupled with your power.
- Teach us how to allow your vision to come to life within us.

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