Part of a pastor's role is to cast vision, to lead the congregation to new places, and fearlessly speak on God's behalf.

But how can we really know what God wants? Of course, we know in general ways—he wants all people to be restored to him and he wants us, as his people and his church, to be part of that effort, making disciples of Jesus.

But what does he think of our new discipleship programming plans?

Or our hopes to build an orphanage in Guatemala, or renovate the fellowship hall?

Or our new initiative to encourage hospitality?

Early in my ministry, I had a moment of clarity. During a personal retreat, I was deep in Scripture and prayer and had a strong sense of where God was leading our church. It was such a beautiful vision and I took it back to the church, bubbling with confidence and energy. But my enthusiasm was met with blank stares and confusion. They needed explanation. So, in my urgency to see the vision fulfilled, I used language like "This is God's will ...

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