2020+ Vision: Writing the Next Chapter
September 21, 2017
Dear St. Lukers,
I’ve been reading various books on Vision over the last few months in preparation for this sermon series. Be Mean About the Vision: preserving and protecting what matters by Shawn Lovejoy speaks about the intentionality and focus a vision gives a congregation. In his chapter entitled “Our Greatest Responsibility” he reminds us that each member of a congregation is the steward of the vision.
When most of us think of the word stewardship we usually think about money. But the word “steward” simply means manager, as opposed to owner. Remember: we don’t actually own anything. God owns it all. God entrusts everything we have to us for us to manage for his purposes. He expects us to manage everything well and use it to accomplish the vision God has for us. That vision and the people God has entrusted to us to accomplish it, is our greatest stewardship responsibility.
Ultimately every church’s vision is the same. It’s a mandate straight from Jesus Christ that we, His followers, are called to be ruthlessly focused toward accomplishing. The work of the disciples first and foremost was and still is to reach people in the name of Christ. It’s based on the great commission given by Jesus Christ to his disciples in Matthew 28:
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
Our Purpose or mission statement says St. Luke’s is Building the Kingdom by Building Disciples. This 2020+ Vision is going to tell us HOW we will accomplish that purpose and mission. How will we build disciples who are deeply connected to God and care for one another and how will they go into their everyday working and servant lives to Build the Kingdom of God?
Understanding how this mission has already started to be fulfilled. We are asking questions to begin to understand how St. Luke’s has already been successful in partnering with God to reveal those Kingdom moments to expand ministry areas in the future.
Kingdom of God moments are those experiences when you see “all is as it should be.” When you’ve seen your experiences, and your heart and purpose line up with the world around you and you stand back and say “This is what God intended all along.” You’ve experienced those moments in your life I’m sure in your families or with your friends.
We think you’ve probably experienced it while involved in a ministry at or through St. Luke’s. A worship service, an event where the neighborhood was working together, maybe a mission or service moment. Maybe you’ve been at that holy Kingdom table during communion, or during a small group, and felt the spirit of God breaking through differences to make us one. Maybe it was during a Shalom training, or writing letters to prisoners, or crocheting for a cancer patient, or singing for worship? What was it? What did you feel like? What were you involved in when the Spirit captured your senses and whispered in your ear “this is the Kingdom of God?” That’s the question for this Sunday and we are going to give you time in worship to share your story live. We will have cards if you want to write it down, but we also want to hear your stories to become the message of vision and hope. God is at work and you have a story to share. We hope to see you Sunday and hear the work of the Holy Spirit among us.
Grace and Peace,