I have vision problems.
Matt Cohen’s story of planting and growing a church in Philly was compelling, thought-provoking, and full of Scriptural Truth, yet I walked away with a nagging uneasiness about the message.
It wasn’t an issue with the speaker. It was with me.
My gut reaction was to say, How am I supposed to plant churches? I’m not young, dynamic and full of energy. I feel wild and crazy if I can stay up until 11pm. And I certainly don’t have the social skills to go out and recruit people for a brand new church.
You see, I think the vision to plant churches is great...as long as it doesn’t involve me...it’s just not my “thing.” Oh sure, I’ll volunteer for all kinds of ministries that are comfortable for me. Ones that use my skill sets and make me feel safe. But not, you know, ones where I don’t belong or excel at.
As I reviewed my notes from the sermon in the midst of this stream of thought, I saw one of the speaker’s points that I had written down. As the new church hit difficulty, the pastor was forced to come to the end of himself and realize how “unprayerful” he was.
This is my vision problem. This is what I wasn’t seeing. It’s not about me or what I want or what I can do or what makes me feel good. It’s not about my social skills or my energy level or lack thereof. I’ve learned much over the past few years about my identity in Christ and my purpose in His kingdom, but it is so easy to unwittingly fall back into self-centered blindness.
Only when I drop the “me” from the frame can I truly release myself into what Jesus wants for me and what I can do for Him and what skills He wants me to use in what place at what time to further His agenda.
I can’t say I fully understand the church planting concept yet, and I sure don’t know yet what my place is in this endeavor. But I do know that I need to be in prayer for this vision of our church, and purposefully be asking what Christ wants me to do with it. So I’m praying, His will, not mine, be done.
What are some ways you are working though “vision problems?”