Summary: Vision determines viatality and direction.
SERIES: “THE GROWTH FACTORS”
TITLE: “THE EXPECTATION FACTOR”
INTRODUCTION: A. Lynn Anderson:
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.
1. Last week, we started the series, “The Growth Factors”
2. This second message is called, “The Expectation Factor”
a. What do you expect that God will do at FCC – Washington?
b. Do you have a “vision” for what God wants to do through this congregation?
B. What is vision?
1. Dann Spader: “Vision is that compelling conviction which determines where you
are headed. It is that tangible expression of purpose which ignites your passion for
2. George Barna: “Vision for ministry is a reflection of what God wants to
accomplish through you to build His Kingdom.”
C. Why is it important?
1. Thousands of churches struggle from week to week with no vision and no dream
for the future.
--They just plod along.
2. Too many congregations major in mediocrity and specialize in status-quo.
3. When there is a lack of vision within a congregation, it makes what should be the
exciting work of the kingdom of God seem mundane
4. Helen Keller was once asked, “What would be worse than being born blind?” She
answered, “Having sight without a vision.”
B. When I was first interviewed for the position of Sr. Minister here at FCC, I was
basically told by the board that this congregation needed someone who would take the
initiative to lead this church in a different direction
1. As I researched the congregation and its ministry in Washington, I found that this
congregation had been in a certain box for too long
2. FCC had been doing the same things the same way for the same reasons for so
long, that nobody knew how to get out of that box and go into new territory.
C. It all boils down to the fact that we have lost our vision of what God wants to do
--Dangers of lack of vision:
1. Fosters a “What’s in it for me?” mentality
a. Can become an “entertain me” mind-set
b. This attitude produces apathy where there should be a contagious and dynamic
zeal for kingdom work
2. Fuels bitter feuds over needed change
a. Produces painful conflict over even the smallest changes
b. When there is a lack of vision, individuals usually evaluate change according to
personal preference rather than powerful purpose.
3. Promotes unwise decisions that affect programs
a. Vision provides a way to determine whether programs are beneficial to the
purposes of the church
b. Changes to programs can then be explained to affected parties based on
faithfulness to the vision
4. Produces inaccurate evaluation
a. It’s impossible to evaluate progress without knowing where you’re going
b. Vision provides the bench-mark for evaluating whether or not we made progress
in accomplishing the purposes of the church
5. Promotes the loss of leadership
a. Without vision, those in leadership tend to become bored and unchallenged
b. Sometimes good leadership drifts away because there was a lack of vision
--No one will stay with a task if they believe their labor is not connected to a
vision that moves the purposes of the church according tot he will of God
D. Let’s look at the biblical idea of vision and what we need to learn so that we can
become effective in the work of the kingdom.
by the prophet Joel: ‘In the last days, God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit on all
people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I
will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. I will show wonders
in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of