"It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ." Ephesians 4:11-13
These few verses form the vision statement that the Apostle Paul had for the church in Ephesus. This church was to be God-powered, gift centered, and Gospel focused. That is a vision for a healthy church.
Vision is crucial for a local church. So, what is it
"Vision is the art of seeing the invisible." — Jonathan Swift
"Where there is no vision the people perish." — Proverbs 29:18
"Vision is a clear picture of a prefered future." - George Barna
Vision is the windshield of an organization. More than that it is the headlights that lead the way through the darkness ahead. Even more, it soon becomes the internal GPS that guides you through unfamiliar territory to get you where you want to go.
This week-end we are celebrating our 15th Anniversary at FredWes. It will be a grand occasion. We will honor our founding Pastor, Gerald Rodgers, who original vision launched the church and built it to a healthy functioning body. We will also honor our second pastor, Joe Horrell, who followed in the big footprints of Pastor Gerald and pumped some fresh energy and life into the body. Also, we will recognize key lay people who share the vision and carried the load.
We will look back and celebrate God's goodness and faithfulness. We will quantify the victories and praise God for transformed lives. We will share memories and celebrate relationships and friendships that have shaped us. All of these wonderul, blessed and healthy joys are the product of the original vision crafted by Pastor Gerald and implemented by those founding members of Fredericksburg Wesleyan Church.
Fifteen years ago there was little more than a leader and a vision. Today, there is a church with two congregations, FredWes and the Spanish congregation - The Family of God.
Vision is sweet and powerful, even when it is rearview vision! It is important to stop and reflect where a church and been and get a clear picture of where we are before we launch into a renewed vision.
So, this morning I pay tribute to my predecessors, Pastor Gerald and Pastor Joe, and to the courageous people who bought the vision and paid for with their finances, energy and prayers.