What is Your Vision?


“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”  Jeremiah 29:11


The Bible is filled with stories of God directing people through visions and dreams.  There is Abram, Moses, Jacob, David, Isaiah, Joseph, Jesus, Peter, Paul and even Mary, just to name a few.  These “visionaries” were people of action. They listened deeply to the spirit at work in their lives and trusted God’s message.  And, although the message may have seemed frightening, they dared to speak it out loud and act on it.  They didn’t wait for a community vote or take a year to build an action plan. They simply put one foot in front of the other, trusting that God would guide them.


Have you noticed in the Bible that during times of spiritual revival visioning was abundant and likewise during spiritual decline there was an absence of visions?

I wonder about our time -- have our visionary eyes lost their focus?

Can we hear God speaking to us today in the same fashion that God spoke to Mary and Joseph, the shepherds and the wise men?  Is there a vision in our midst waiting to be born into this season of new possibilities?


I have a hunch that if each of us talked to a random sampling of attendees in our local churches and asked them, “What do you think God’s vision is for this church?,” they would point to a common vision.


I believe firmly that God continues to speak through each one of us, giving us pieces of the bigger vision for our communities.  If we just took a few hours to listen to each other as we speak that vision, I think that we would be amazed with a palpable sense of the Holy. We might even hear the angels sing!


But, the vision is just a first step. Like those visionaries we read about in the Bible, the next step is to act on our visions.  In order to do this, we need to ask some key questions:


*  Do we trust that God goes before us preparing the way even in valleys of fear and uncertainty?


*  Do we have a plan that will help us take those first steps as well as a team of people to walk with us?


The New Start Initiative Team offers a simple, yet powerful, visioning process to help churches listen deeply to God’s vision for their communities, as well as providing assistance in developing doable action plans. If God is calling your church to birth a new faith community the New Start Initiative Team is ready to help you take those next steps.


Beth Estock
Beth Estock was the Director of New Faith Communities for the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference until 2012.