Summary: discovering and fulfilling the vision God gives you.
This sermon series was inspired by the book “visioneering” by Andy Stanley. Parts of this sermon are taken directly from the material in his book.
20 Essential Building Blocks for Vision – Part 3
March 30, 2003
The past 2 weeks we have been talking about vision and the building blocks that are essential for vision. These are essential not only for building vision, but also for maintaining vision, as we will see today.
Together over the past 2 weeks we have begun to realize the sacrifice and risk involved in following the vision that God gives to us. What have learned what it means to give up the actual good for the potential best. We have discovered that to carry out the vision, it is necessary to leave the comfortable and familiar to embrace the uncomfortable and unfamiliar.
Together we have learned that vision is more like parachuting than ice skating. You don’t “sort of” parachute. You’re either in the plane, or in the air. Even from the very first time, you realize that you either do it or you don’t. A first time ice skater on the other hand takes to the ice cautiously, and never more than an arm’s length from the railing.
Visions never become reality until someone is ready to make the jump. Launching a vision always requires wholehearted commitment.
Goliath never would have been defeated had David not stepped out from the ranks of the Israelites to challenge the giant.
Peter would have never known the thrill of coming to Jesus on the water had he not swung both legs over the side of the boat and stepped out into deep water.
And we will never experience the fulfillment of accomplishing the vision that God has given to us, if we are not willing to take the risk and sacrifice that is required.
When we left off with Nehemiah last week, he had cast the vision to the people, they bought in to the vision and the work of rebuilding was ready to begin.
Jobs were assigned and each one began working on their section of the wall.
Vision is never accomplished single handedly. Nehemiah knew that he could not rebuild the wall by himself. As he was casting the vision, he was praying that the people would catch the vision and work alongside him.
In the same way, I can not accomplish the vision that God has given me for True Life Community Church on my own. I am counting on you and others to catch the vision and come alongside me to help build.
Just as it is not easy for us to make the sacrifices required, it was not easy for the people in Jerusalem either. This was an agricultural society. If you weren’t working, you weren’t eating. I’m sure they were busy with more things to do than they could fit into their schedule. Adding this project to their daily routine meant putting other things on hold.
To make things even more complicated, many of the people had moved out of the city into the areas surrounding Jerusalem. Rebuilding the wall meant leaving their homes, farms, families and businesses to travel in to town to work. Eventually they were asked to leave their homes altogether and move into the city to make the work more efficient. And they did so willingly. The vision of what could be and should be compelled them to make the necessary sacrifice.
The reason that many Christians and many churches today do not see God’s vision for them accomplished is because they are not willing to sacrifice or take risks. I envision TLC Church as a different kind of church. A church where the leaders and members do whatever it takes to reach their community for Christ. Where we follow God even when it doesn’t seem to make sense. Where we sacrifice our preferences even though it’s not comfortable or convenient.
Nehemiah had sacrificed a lot to get to this place. He had left a palace job and traveled hundreds of miles hoping that a group of people he had never met would join him in a project that had little chance of success. There was one thing that no one could say about Nehemiah, and that was that he was not committed.
Building Block #9 – Don’t expect others to take greater risks or make greater sacrifices than you have.
You will have to be committed to the vision that God has given you and you will have to step out on faith and risk being ridiculed. As you make sacrifices to accomplish the vision, your potential to lead others will greatly increase. But if you retreat, you will always wonder what might have been.
As the pastor of this church, I am committed to the vision that God has given me. Laurel and I will continue to risk everything and make whatever sacrifices are necessary, to pursue the vision of True Life Community Church.