There seems to be a lot of talk about “vision” in the Church these days. Every leader is graded on his or her vision, and every church on how well that vision is communicated and carried out to, and by, the people. While a vision is beneficial in that it can keep a group unified in its efforts, it is often forgotten that a church’s vision is simply a means to an end - and that end is glorifying the Father.
If you visit HPC you’ll notice that we don’t have any “vision banners” hanging anywhere, nor do we have any promotional material with a vision statement printed on it; this is for two reasons:
We’re not a corporation, we’re the Church, and our unifying factor is the Spirit of God, not a plaque on the wall;
The revelation of God in Christ doesn’t need any re-wording in order for it to be user-friendly.
I remember when we were first getting started and a few friends of mine who are also serving in the ministry would aggressively ask “Yeah Zac, but what’s your vision?” because that’s what we have come to believe is the standard by which we know a church is a “good” church. I couldn’t put my finger on it at the time, but something didn’t seem right about me or any other leader saying “this” or “that” is the vision our church is built on, and we will live and die by it.
As the Lord continued the good work He began in us, I came to realize that the only vision I had for the people of His Providence was to hear from God, and the only mission—to do just that. At HPC we believe that God still speaks. And we believe that it would be far greater to continue hearing from Him in all matters, than to write something generic down to make sure that it covers all our ministries…just to say we have a vision.
Proverbs 29:18 says “Where there is no revelation (vision), the people cast off restraint (perish); but blessed is he who keeps the law.”
The “vision” in this verse is not one leader’s slogan that makes a church grow, it is the revelation of God. Ironically, it becomes easy to allow the convenience of a “vision” to become a substitute for this authentic and organic revelation—the thing we really need. While we believe the canon was closed with the Bible and that we no longer receive inerrant and infallible revelation, we also believe that God is still speaking today regarding His will for His people. Thus our mission in glorifying Him is not best carried out by signing on to a vision, but rather by committing to hear His voice in all that we do.
~ Pastor Zac