Saturday, September 21, 2013

'Tis the Season

As noted in the previous blog, " 'Tis the season for church budgets."  While some churches do get along fine without one, the general consensus is that one is as necessary as the Bible.  Maybe even more necessary some would say.   Certainly, its value increases as it is seen as a financial guideline for going forward instead of a piece of holy writ that must be taken literally.  Unfortunately, it can become a point of contention among different groups who have their own agendas to push.  Pushing God's agenda, or vision, is always a better thing.

Figuring out God's vision never seems to be an easy thing for the church.  Whenever some expert comes into the church to give direction to a visioning process, the end result is often what might be called "vision by consensus."  Armed with statistics about past performance, projections about future growth, and a listing of needs which might be met, leaders gather and determine the vision of God for the community of faith.  "Vision by consensus."   The whole process seems miles, maybe even light years, away from God's record of putting His vision out there for His people in holy scripture.  It often ends up being more about us than about God.

The problem with "vision by consensus" is that it is usually too manageable.  It is something within our ability to get done.  When God casts forth His vision, it always requires a huge amount of faith for His vision is greater than our resources and energies.  Moving toward His vision will always require a new kind of radical dependency on Him because a vision from God is always going to be beyond our means.  Unlike "vision by consensus" God's vision will not be possible without a radical faith that embraces God as the only One who can make it happen.

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