Vision, after the first generation of a congregation, expresses where a congregation discerns it will be seven years from now in response to God’s leadership.
No congregation with their own gifts, skills, and preferences can accurately project where it will be almost a decade from now. There are too many unknowns. The world can present us with too many interruptions. For example, few people saw the worldwide economic crisis that was building and exploded onto the scene in 2007 and 2008. Many who should have seen it were in denial.
Yet, it is important for congregations to visualize God’s empowering vision for seven years into the future. Why? Congregations need a vision that is unseen rather than one that is seen. It relates to Gideon’s gang from Judges chapter 7. If congregations see and fulfill vision by their own abilities, it is likely to be their vision and not God’s empowering vision.
God has a vision for each congregation they cannot see, and if they could they might be afraid of it and believe there is no way they could reach it. Only the Joshua’s and Caleb’s in their midst might be able at first to see the beauty and possibility of God’s empowering vision.
Discerning seven years into the future and allowing God to pull the congregation into that future, creates enough of an impossibility factor that congregations know they must depend on God for the fulfillment of vision.
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