Vision of the Church

The scripture says, "Where there is no vision, the people perish, Proverbs 19:18.It is my responsibility as pastor to impart to you the vision God has given to me for this church. God has a plan and purpose for us as a body of believers, a vision, and as we bring that vision to reality, we'll be acomplishing the will of God for us as a local church and as individuals as we participate.

In the past 20 years, I have seen many people come and go from church, and it has been my observation that the majority fell away because they had no vision, or a very small one at best. God's highest purpose for you is much more than to fill a pew every time the church doors are open. His plan for your life involves more than just attending church and listening attentively to the minister preach good sermons. God wants you to be involved in the church!

In order for you to understand the vision of the church, you must first understand what the church is. Let me tell you what it isn't, the church isn't a building or facility, its not these walls, chairs and carpet. Its not an organization or fraternal order with high ideals and lofty concerns for the betterment of society. No sir, she is so much more than that! The church is a living organism, a body is what the Apostle Paul called it, that is made up of people who are born again, growing and maturing into the very image of Jesus Christ, who is the head. Yes, the church is the visible expression of Christ on the earth, finishing the ministry that Jesus began some 2000 years ago. That my friend, is what the church is! (See Eph.4:11-13, Rom.8:29, Acts 1:1)

Now that we know who and what the church is, we can better understand the vision. Lets take a closer look at our text verse, Proverbs 29:18. It says that without a vision, people perish, so in order for us not to perish, we need to have a vision, right? The Hebrew word for vision used in this passage is "chazown" and it means sight, a dream, revelation or oracle. So, according to our text, God wants us to have sight, a revelation of something. What do you suppose that is? God wants us to have sight of, a revelation of His will for our lives! Isn't that why we are here, not to escape the fires of hell, but to find out what God would have us to do then do it? Isn't that what our hearts ask Him, "God what is it that you want me to do?" Isn't that what our innermost desire is?

Our text verse continues to say that if we do not have sight or revelation, we perish. Does that mean we burn? No, thank God, it doesn't. The Hebrew word is "para" and it means to loosen, to expose, dismiss. Its translated in other passages as "to go back" and "uncover", other translations bear this out. Listen to these different translations of this passage:

The Living Bible:"Where there is ignorance of God, the people run wild"

New American Standard:"Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained"

New International Version:"Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint"

Amplified Version:"Where there is no vision [no redemptive revelations of God], the people perish"

"The people run wild", "the people are unrestrained", "the people cast off restraints", "the people perish". This doesn't sound much like the people of God and what they are supposed to be doing does it? Hardly. God wants us to be fruitful and to multiply (John 15:16), He wants us to be representing Christ here on earth (IICor.5:20). Without this vision, though, the people of God cast "off his restraints" and "go back" to their old ways. Thank God we have a vision though.

In a nutshell, here is the vision: That we as a body of believers are called of God, each one of us a minister, one who serves, (Eph.4:12), ministering to God, (Acts 13:2), to each other, (Gal.5:13), and to a lost world, (IICor.5:20). With Christ as our Head, empowering us by His Spirit, we enforce the victory He obtained at Calvary and bring to manifestation the Kingdom of God here, in our lives and thus, our cities.

This vision will reach into many areas: children, youth, singles, and adults of all ages. This vision will not only be for Jay, but for the surrounding area, reaching to the four corners of the earth. Our methods of ministry may change from time to time, but the motive will always be the same: to touch lives with saving Grace, to heal hearts and bodies, to restore lives that have been torn, broken and abused. By the Power that effectually works in us, we will release those that are bound and captive to the enemy of our souls and bring them to the liberty that we know and experience in Christ.

Allow me to pray with you today: Father, in the Name of Jesus I pray, the Holy Spirit would take this message and cause it to take root in the hearts of your people, that your Word, from which this vision has come from, would begin to grow and bring forth fruit in the lives of your people. I remove the veil that is over any heart so that the light of the Gospel can shine in, bringing illumination and revelation of your will to them. I thank you now, that the Holy Spirit is brooding and hovering over each individual here, causing new life to spring forth from your Word in their hearts. Amen. (Preached at Jay Family Worship Center, June, 1999)

"The people you serve today, you will lead tomorrow."