Why is it that some churches seem to be growing and thriving and others are declining and on the brink of closure? Why is it that some Christians seem to be excited about living the Christian life while others seem ambivalent in their relationship with the Lord and disinterested in their life reflecting the character of Christ? The answer has to do with vision and anointing.
A vision statement is a projected “view of the future” as the organization would eventually like to see itself. Many corporations have a “vision statement” that they strive to emulate. General Electric’s vision statement is “We bring good things to life.” The “vision statement” for Ford Motor Company is “To become the world’s leading consumer company for automotive products and services.” Each church and each believer in particular should have a “vision statement” that drives and motivates them in their Christian life. The vision statement for the Liberty Baptist Church for example is “to be an inclusive church in that we will reach out to people of all cultures, race and age with the Gospel of Jesus Christ through proactive evangelism.”
I believe the Apostle Paul’s vision statement could be as follows, “I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision: But shewed first unto them….that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.” (Acts 26:19-20) Today Paul is considered perhaps the greatest missionary of all time. He wrote half of the New Testament. Millions have come to faith in Christ through the reading of Paul’s epistles as given to him by the Holy Spirit. Paul was driven each day he arose to carry out the vision of reaching the world for Christ. Paul expected great things from God and attempted great things for God because he was faithful to the vision that God had put in his heart.
The key to effective outreach through our churches and Christian witness where we expect great things from God and attempt great things for God is vision and then the anointing of the Holy Spirit to bring the vision to fruition. After Jesus was baptized and began His earthly ministry at the age of 30 Jesus says, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel….” (Lk. 4:18) Paul would write in Ephesians 5:18 “And be not drunk with wine where in is excess, but be filled with the spirit.” If we are to have a vision and anointing of being used of God as the apostle Paul was and as Jesus was there are some things we must have straight in our heart. Of course number one we must know Christ as our Savior. We must receive Christ by faith. Then after salvation God intends for us to take the Gospel message to the world beginning right here at home.
Let me give you seven things that should drive you every day that you get up. These seven things should be an integral part of your vision and that which you seek God’s anointing to accomplish.
1) Have a vision for world evangelization. God has given each of us who know His Son as Savior the responsibility to make disciples. Spread the good news. Take the gospel to our community, “But you shall receive power after the Holy Spirit is come upon you and you shall be witnesses….” (Acts 1:8). 2) We must have a vision of purity and holiness in our lives if we are to be effective witnesses. “I beseech you therefore brethren by the mercies of God that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God which is your reasonable service.” (Romans 12:1) 3) A vision of personal witnessing: “How shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14) 4) A vision of Local church ministry: I believe the local church is Gods instrument for world evangelization. We see throughout the book of Acts (Acts 15:41) that Paul and Silas went throughout all Asia and Europe planting local churches. Get involved in the local church using your gifts and talents. 5) A vision of personal stewardship “Moreover it is required in stewards that a man be found faithful.” (I Cor. 4:2) Commit your time and your resources for the purpose of Gods work. 6) A vision of spiritual growth. “Rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving”. (Colossians 2:7) 7) A vision that values all human life born and unborn irrespective of culture, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status. “For God so loved the world….” (John 3:16)
Pastor Randy Mason
Liberty Baptist Church