I am the worst blogger ever! I really want to do this every day and consistently get caught up with other things. Sheeesh.
I had one of those epiphanies today that leaves you thinking about how stupid you were to have not ‘thought of that before.’ It involves vision. I need to give a quick history lesson, here.
Around my thirtieth birthday my brother Stephen and I were having a rather heated argument about some subject that turned out to be so important that all I remember about it was the argument! He informed me that I constantly talked about having consistent, bible-based ethics and philosophies but that my life and real belief system didn’t always match up with that. He was right. I began a phase of my spiritual journey, that continues to this day, albeit less frenetically. I wrote down as many of the things that I believed as I could think of and then methodically, over the next few years, verified or countered them. Since then, my aim has been to keep a certain integrity in my belief system; a wholeness and consistency. Today I had one of those inconsistencies come to light.
I believe that what you do doesn’t matter unless it is tied to who you are. That is, that any ethical or morale good that you do is false if it doesn’t come from a heart that is focused on the right reasons. In other words, on a heart level, it is more important who you are than what you do. Now stop, I am not a dualist. I believe wholeheartedly that who you are affects what you do and that if there is an inconsistency within your behavior and beliefs that there is a problem. So, that being said, I will come to my point.
Vision. If a churches vision, or a personal vision, is based on doing before being it ceases to be a vision and becomes a to-do list or a manual of methodology. I was looking over the vision documents I have produced for The Well and found that there was way too much methodology in them. The vision four our little community has to be based on who and what we are and are becoming, not what we do. If we believe and are sold out to that vision, it will be evident in our actions. Methods can change, ideas lose merit, circumstances dictate so much of what we can do. But our identity, that should be steady and solid. Who are we called to be in Christ? That’s what counts.
Many, many churches are selling out to a methodologies and models and not spending enough time learning who God would have them be; not spending enough time securing the hearts of their communities and acting out on who they are created to be. Vision, if it’s real, involves a set of concepts that outline the basic identity of a church, not how we are going to achieve our goals, or even our mission statement, but who we are hoping to become. That’s a vision. I should have seen it years ago.