Summary: VISION 2012 part 2 – Creating vision within the local chruch. We’re off to a good start, but where do we go from here? God has a word for us found here in His message given to the prophet Isaiah. As we enter 2008 we need to THINK BIG, GET MORE ROPE and DR
• Isaiah 54:2 NIV
Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.
• Isaiah 54:2 MsgB
Clear lots of ground for your tents! Make your tents large. Spread out! Think big! Use plenty of rope, drive the tent pegs deep.
The clock is ticking. Steadily and without fail it continues to move. At this moment less than 37 hours remain until we begin a New Year—2008 is upon us.
This year we established a five year plan for Praise A/G—VISION 2012. 2008 will be the first full year of working together with God to see this vision become a reality. Since the launch of Vision 2012 we have already made great progress. For instance our goal was to end this year averaging 85 in Sunday morning attendance. Through the last month we have averaged 102; over the last three months our average has been 88. Praise the Lord we will start 2008 ahead of where we wanted to be.
Why are these attendance numbers important? Each one represents PEOPLE! Vision 2012 is not about programs, purpose statements or pie charts. Vision 2012 is about people. God wants us to reach more and more people throughout our community so they might be saved and added to the Church—not just to be a part of our local church, but that they might belong to His Church, which is the body of Christ.
We’re off to a good start, but where do we go from here? God has a word for us found here in His message given to the prophet Isaiah. As we enter 2008 we need to THINK BIG, GET MORE ROPE and DRIVE THE STAKES DEEP.
I. THINK BIG!
• Isaiah 54:2 NIV
Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back. . .
• Isaiah 54:2 MsgB
Clear lots of ground for your tents! Make your tents large. Spread out! Think big!
1. If we are ever going to accomplish anything for God, WE MUST CHANGE OUR WAY OF THINKING.
a) Ultimately EVERYTHING we say and do begins within our thoughts.
• Luke 6:45 MsgB
It’s who you are, not what you say and do, that counts. Your true being brims over into true words and deeds.
b) Someone described insanity as “continuing to do the same things but expecting different results.” That’s insane! I can think of another way to describe insanity. When you do things differently without knowing the reasons why, that’s insane too. Personally I’m not sure which is more insane.
2. Get ready for some changes—Why? Changed thinking brings about a new way of doing things.
a) God wants us to think differently—to think big. In turn we will begin to act and talk differently too. Being the church God wants us to be begins with thinking the way God wants us to think. As a church we are going to begin to do some things differently in the New Year.
b) How will you respond to change? You will basically make one of five responses:
1. EMBRACE CHANGE—You will embrace the change because your thinking has been transformed. You understand the reasons that God wants us to do new things and therefore support the change.
2. QUESTION CHANGE—You will seek to understand the change. Your thinking has not changed yet, but you want to be a part of what God is doing. Therefore you participate in the change with an open heart to know the reasons why.
3. GO WITH THE FLOW—You just go along with the flow and simply go along for the ride. (Perhaps you even think to yourself, “Oh this is just another of pastor’s great ideas. It won’t be long before things are back to normal.”) You don’t resist the change, but you are also not involved in the change process to accomplish what God has called us as a church to do.
4. CRITICAL OF CHANGE—You will long for the good old days because you don’t understand the reasons why change is needed. Your lack of understanding makes you hesitant to accept the changes; some may even be critical of the change. Now it may surprise you but I don’t have a problem with people like this provided they deal with their criticism in the right way. If they come to the pastoral staff, the church board and other leadership to share their thoughts and engage in a dialog then they can actually help us make needed adjustments along the way and over time they too will have their thinking changed to embrace the changes that have been made.
5. REBELL AGAINST CHANGE—Unfortunately some of these who don’t understand will be like a pressure cooker building up steam. Their resistance grows into rebellion. Such people will ultimately fight against the changes all the while believing that they are right. They start gossiping and talking negatively within their circles of influence, but are unwilling to engage in a dialog with church leadership. This brings division to the church. The climax of such conflict may result in groups of individuals leaving the church. This is not God’s plan. If through the process of change God directs some people to leave the local church it should be done with a blessing through which unity in the church is maintained.