In Genesis God told a man named Abram (the man God would later rename “Abraham”) to "go to the land I will show you." And Abram went. He packed up his family, his cattle and sheep, all of his possessions and he went. In those moments, it was less about the destination and more about the act of journeying. God promised there would be a destination, but that destination wasn’t clear at the beginning.
Hebrews 11:8 explains that it was “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.”
The nature of the journey took on a substance marked by faith, obedience and action – even though Abe didn’t have perfect clarity on the final destination.
When talking about organizational vision – like we are for our church community - some expect a clear and articulate plan that illustrates what the destination will look like. In answering the “where are we headed?” question, the expected answer is, “There!” And a plan can be developed to move from here to the specific point over there.
A problem arises when no one actually knows if the devised plan will get us to the desired destination – or even if the destination that was desired in the past is still the best one to be aiming for.
As we move forward as a church community we truly desire to dream and plan in such a way that the combined activity of our community, our ministry service, and our outpouring of love all comes together to honour God - while providing space for people to grow and develop as followers of Jesus.
In Vision2016 we begin with a horizon in view rather than a specific point. We are not talking about going from “here” to “there” but orienting our community in a certain direction – a direction towards Jesus and the in-breaking kingdom of God.
We have not developed a vision answering the question “Where are we headed?” Instead, we have focused on “What are we hoping for?” We are looking for the substance of the journey rather than a focused destination. And we are trusting – just like Abe – that God’s got our destination in hand. Our responsibility is to focus on the journey.
With this in mind, Vision2016 articulates three core values that serve as compass points to lead us forward toward our desired horizon: justice, beauty and relationship. These values remain in view and in play as we rally behind our identity statement: “Living stories of Love, as we follow the One who is love” (1 John 4:16). This journey together will be the experienced reality of a community seeking to live faithfully in step with where Jesus leads us. The exciting thing about this is that each community member influences our experienced reality – our daily destination – through her or his own story of love being woven into the larger community.
Over the next four weeks we are going to be unpacking Vision2016 during our Sunday morning gatherings. The first three weeks will look at our values, the fourth week will highlight our identity statement:
September 11th: Justice
September 18th: Beauty
September 25th: Relationship
October 2nd: Living Stories of Love
We invite you to join with us as we dream. We invite you to join us as we journey.