Theologizing on Michael Hyatt’s mini-essay in the “What Matters Now” project – “Vision”

“Vision is the lifeblood of any organization. In a down economy things get very tactical. We are just trying to survive. Decisions become pragmatic and after a while this wears of people. They don’t know why their efforts matter. They cannot connect their actions to a larger story. Their work becomes a matter of just going through the motions. When times are tough, vision is the first causality.”

Jesus cast a great vision for people, which he called the Kingdom of God. It was within this vision people were spurred on to follow Jesus, join the Church after Pentecost and even die for the vision in the years following. The vision Jesus cast is a powerful vision and one which still moves people today to do amazing and powerful things. It is by locating themselves in that vision people find purpose and meaning. Vision is powerful and yet, vision is the first thing to go when the times are tough.

Look at the New Testament, as the Christian communities began to face tribulation and tough times, there was a loss of vision. This is why Paul is so brilliant. He addresses the problems and questions each community had about what it means to be Christian, but at the same time these problems did not consume Paul. Paul keeps calling people back to the Vision.

When people were talking about what gifts of the Spirit were best, Paul said look we are focusing on the wrong thing and we are loosing vision. The Vision is we are all ONE BODY.

When a slave runs away and seeks out Paul to ask the owner on behalf of the slave for freedom, Paul says, you are focusing on the wrong thing. The Vision is Christians are to TREAT ONE ANOTHER LIKE GOD TREATS US.

Today, the American Church is in a bit of a decline. Some in the UMC are focusing on attempting to get more members, to get more money, in order to pay pensions and health insurance. I feel, in this “down economy” of the American church, many people are focusing on the wrong thing, namely membership and money. We have forgotten that everyone is already a member of the Body. We do not need to make anyone a member, they already are. The Vision is to make disciples. The Vision is to find where e can serve not how the church serves us.

I think the first step to pull the American Church out of this “down economy” is to ask God to resurrect the Vision of Jesus.

This is my prayer.