Summary: The mission of the local church is to enable as many people as possible to know, to love, and to serve God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength.
A pastor thought God gave Him an idea, and he presented it in the monthly deacons meeting. After giving a passionate plea that would bring tears to a Broadway audience and really “selling” the idea to the deacon board, they voted down the pastors proposed changes 12-1. The chairman of deacons looked at the pastor and said, “Well pastor, the vote is 12 to 1. Looks like you’ve been out voted.
It also looks like time is up for this meeting, so will you please close in prayer.”
The pastor, not wanting to give up yet on what he felt God was leading him to do jumped at the opportunity to close in prayer.
As he prayed, he lifted his hands up to heaven and prayed, “Loooorrrdddd - I know my brothers here do not have the same vision You have given me. Please help them to see that this is not MY vision, but YOOOOUUUUURRRR vision!”
At that exact moment, a lightning bolt followed by a loud clap of thunder burst through the window in the meeting room, striking the table, splitting it in two and knocking all the deacons to the floor.
When the dust settled, the pastor looked at the chairman of deacons and said – so brother, what do you think about that?
The chairman of deacons got up, dusted himself off, sighed and said, “Well, I guess that’s 12 votes to 2, then...” (Mondaymorninginsight.com)
Verse 18 teaches the need for a ministry based on the revelation of God. "Where there is no vision..." no divine guidance… no revelation.
The Bible makes it clear that each of us, as individuals as well as a local body has a reason to exist.
As a follower of Jesus Christ your life mission is this:
You are to know, to love and to serve God with all your heart, all of your mind, all of your soul and all of your strength, according to:
Deu 6:5 NIV - 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
Mat 22:37-39 NIV - 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'
The mission of the local church is to enable as many people as possible to know, to love, and to serve God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength. We are not to be a social club or a hangout, when it’s convenient or there’s nothing better to do.
According to our Constitution: "EBC exists to bring glory and honor to God by developing devoted followers of Christ who truly love God, love each other and love people who are lost. Here at EBC we are to give ourselves to making and growing followers of Christ who share Jesus’ love and sacrifice with our community and world.
Where does the vision come from?
The vision MUST first come out of the written Word or revelation of God. God’s vision for how to fulfill His revelation must be based on His Word or it is NOT from Him. True vision is not something your pastor or any other person just dreams up… It’s not like “Hey I have a great idea! Let’s start having monthly fellowships!” I’m not talking about the fellowships or things we do for the children/adults…
We also need to understand that the vision for a local church is much more focused and detailed than the revealed mission of “the church” (Global).
The mission of the church is general. The vision for EBC should be a more specific and personalized way of fulfilling the global mission of the church. (Global mission vs local vision)
God will communicate His vision to EBC based on our gifts, our abilities, our desires, etc. God customizes the vision to fit who and where we are.
Psalm 138:8a NLT - 8 The LORD will work out his plans for my life…”
God will work out His plan for my life… for your life.
God's vision for us will be strategic, inspiring, exciting, and challenging.
Exodus 3:11 NIV - 11 But Moses said to God, "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?" Moses didn’t see himself as a leader or someone capable of such a tremendous responsibility as freeing the Israelites from Egyptian slavery but God saw different… Moses forgot that he had been brought up in the finest Egyptian schools and had been taught the ways of the Egyptians… There was no one more qualified for the job than Moses. God used who Moses was and where he was to accomplish a great work. God was fulfilling the very words of Psalm 138: 8a…