“Have a vision that can call you through the pain of transformation.”

blindness 1Eyesight.

It’s something we take for granted…

Until we find we’re losing it, or have gone blind altogether.

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology 7,000,000 people go blind every year.

That’s seven million.

Imagine being unable to see.

In my work with pastors, churches, and systems across the US, I learned that many have a vision problem.

As society presses Christianity to the edges, many raised in Church in a very different era find themselves destabilized—unsteadied by the rapid secular ascent. Ministers are not immune. The chaplaincy model seems profoundly inadequate as parishioners die off and young and middle-aged adults evacuate the Church. Neighbors seem more disinterested than ever in our religious offerings…

vision 1“What the heck am I doing?” pastors ask.

Now, that’s the question.

The vision question.

What are you doing? What’s the reason you’re breathing? Why is your church in this community? What’s the difference you want to see it make?

It’s not arrogant to ask—and answer—this question. It’s essential!

“Have a vision that can call you through the pain of transformation.”

soldiers 1One reason there is so little courage in American churches is there’s so little vision.

If there’s no compelling reason to invest deeply, passionately, even dangerously—the courageous won’t stay. They’ll go find a cause to champion, a wrong to right, an injustice to surmount, a greater good to get done—and go after that.

Somehow between the church that Jesus founded and the mess we have today, pastors have assumed their job is to soothe, comfort, encourage, and appease religious folks.

Not so.

Pastor, your job is to make mature Christ-like disciples of Jesus.

People who change the world—beginning with their hometowns and neighborhoods and workplaces and schools–like Jesus commissioned us to.

CS Lewis Courage 1The quote: “Have a vision that can call you through the pain of transformation.” I learned at a character development training God used to change my life more than a decade ago. It acknowledges that transformation—change—induces pain.

Always does.

You’ll choose to embrace that pain in pursuit of a vision so good, so important, so noble as to call you forward into that pain and through that pain to what waits on the other side.

Vision’s fulfillment.

Power of Vision 1.doc

KRK 1/21/2015