A God Corrected Vision

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“Where there is no vision, the people will perish,” Proverbs reminds us. Vision is one of the five human senses, but is also one of the guiding forces in the lives of believers and congregations. Without vision and insight, people would easily drift aimlessly with little purpose. There are times when vision appears less perfect. Often, when vision is limited or impaired, individuals or churches limit themselves to familiar areas and practices.

Many suffer from near sightedness and far sightedness. Others develop astigmatisms and cataracts that obstruct and distort viewed objects. For individuals, vision challenges can often be corrected or improved by prescriptive eyewear or surgery. With congregations, it is usually more difficult to detect loss of vision. Therefore, the process of discerning a church’s vision acuity is typically lengthy and viewed as an arduous task. Is it not ironic that both individuals and congregations periodically need to have their vision checked? Over a period of time, we all need new God Corrected Vision.

Vision is one of the guiding forces in the lives of believers and congregations. When vision is limited or impaired, individuals or churches limit themselves to familiar areas and practices.

Loss of focus or visual acuity can cause challenges when viewing things. Diminished vision also causes congregations to miss demographic or paradigm shifts in their communities. Churches viewing their setting and the world through weak focused eyes grow tired and weary and frequently fail to recognize cultural and environmental changes in their midst, thus missing ministry opportunities. Also, limited vision can adversely influence ministry, programming, growth, and financial resources.

Unfortunately, fear and complacency are two of the major causes of poor vision in congregations. At various points in the life of a congregation, the lens through which the community is viewed needs to be re-focused or corrected. God will correct or re-focus our vision if we seek and discern God’s will for us. Periodic vision examinations are essential to identify problems so they can be addressed.

Common characteristics of thriving ministries are that they possess both visionary leadership and a focused vision. The vision is clear. The vision is also preached, promoted, and placed into practice. Vision in growing congregations serves as a guide for the membership and ministries of the church and is well known by all.

Perhaps it is time for congregations to have periodic vision checks. A God corrected vision will ensure that congregations focus on life transforming ministry. Corrected vision provides congregations with a new lease on ministry. Churches with little vision tend to struggle over time to maintain viable ministry. With new vision comes discovery of new mission fields and ministry opportunities. It is true that where there is no vision, the people perish. It is also true that where there is a Godly vision, the people flourish.

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About Author

Melvin Amerson is Senior Area Representative and Resource Specialist with the Texas Methodist Foundation (TMF)and author of Stewardship in African American Churches and co-author of Fruit for Celebrating the Offering (both from Discipleship Resources). He is also a board member of the Ecumenical Stewardship Center.


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