Summary: Sermon on vision
A Clear Target
About 350 years ago a shipload of travelers landed on the northeast coast of America. The first year they established a town site. The next year they elected a town government. The third year the town government planned to build a road five miles westward into the wilderness.
In the fourth year the people tried to impeach their town government because they thought it was a waste of public funds to build a road five miles westward into a wilderness. Who needed to go there anyway?
Here were people who had the vision to see three thousand miles across an ocean and overcome great hardships to get there. But in just a few years they were not able to see even five miles out of town. They had lost their pioneering vision. With a clear vision of what we can become in Christ, no ocean of difficulty is too great. Without it, we rarely move beyond our current boundaries.
It is a classic statement from the Old Testament and it is found in the book of Proverbs 29:18
“Where there is no vision, the people perish:” Proverbs 29:18 KJV
“If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; But when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed.” Proverbs 29:18 The Message
It is hard to believe that it will be five years ago next Sunday that I stood on this platform for the first time. I had no intention of being the pastor of this church; I was only filling the role of interim pastor until they could find someone. Those were challenging and fun weeks for me. I enjoyed showing up and preaching, leading the staff and working on designing the services. It was fun because I had another life. I had a real job that I went to everyday. I had no responsibilities regarding Newark Church of the Nazarene except to show up and to guide the church and staff through a time of transition.
I will never forget when all of that changed. Six months later when I assumed the role of lead pastor and began making plans to move to the area, I began to look at this church and this community differently. All of a sudden, I felt responsible for casting a vision and leading toward a goal. It took a couple of years for that vision and purpose to evolve into a simple and understandable form. Today we want to spend some time reminding and clarifying who we are, what we believe and where we are going. Let me first and quickly share why vision is important.
George Barna: Vision for ministry is a reflection of what God wants to accomplish through you to build His kingdom.
Without a vision we are like a rock that has been skipped on the top of some lake somewhere and we and we have no way of guiding ourselves. We are at the lake’s mercy as to where we end up, as to how far we go, as to when we turn or stop. We have no control over our own lives.
Helen Keller was asked once “What would be worse than being born blind?” to which she replied “Having sight without a vision.” What a profound statement by a lady who was born into this world deaf, muted and blind.
The word vision means – sight, dream, revelation or enlightenment.
The word perish means – to die or to expire.
1. Vision is the ability to see: Awareness.
It is very important that everyone here has the ability to see the vision of this church. It promotes a sense of awareness about the church, the community and how we fit into it.
5th grade S.S. class was asked to go home and count the stars in the sky as part of their next S.S. lesson. They came back with various numbers. Some said 100, some said 1000, some said a million. Finally the teacher asked a little boy who had said nothing, "How many stars did you count? "He replied, "3". The teacher asked how did you only see 3? He said, "I guess we just have a small backyard."
We don’t want anyone left behind. It is critical that you walk out of here today with your eyes wide open regarding Newark Naz. We want you to be aware so that you can join us in the mission and fulfilling of the call that God has given us.
Vision is the Ability to see what others can’t. --Faith to believe what others will not. --Courage to do what others say can’t be done.
2. Vision is the faith to believe: Attitude
Steve Goodier says " Both the hummingbird and the vulture fly over our nation’s deserts. All vultures see is rotting meat, because that is what they look for. They thrive on that diet. But hummingbirds ignore the smelly flesh of dead animals. Instead, they look for the colorful blossoms of desert plants. The vultures live on what was. They live on the past. They fill themselves with what is dead and gone. But hummingbirds live on what is. They seek new life. They fill themselves with freshness and life. Each bird finds what it is looking for.