Which brings me back to the questions I started with.
Is it okay if a pastor’s calling is to help others fulfill their calling?
But, without a vision, won’t the people perish? No.
Aside from the fact that this second question comes from a faulty, badly edited interpretation of Proverbs 29:18 (for more, read this article), here’s the truth behind having a vision for the church you pastor.
When people tell us our church can’t be great without a great vision, they’re right.
The good news is, every church already has a vision. And a commission. And a commandment.
It’s in the New Testament.
A Common Vision
It’s okay if the only vision your church has is to fulfill the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. They’ve been working just fine for 2,000 years and counting.
It’s also okay if, in addition to that, God gives some pastors a big, meta-narrative, project-oriented vision for everyone to get behind. But it’s not necesssary.
It turns out God has given me a vision for the church I pastor. It just happens to be the same as the vision he’s given every local church.
Love God, love others and share the amazing story of salvation through Jesus.
That simple, profound vision may not be unique. But Jesus didn’t call us to be unique, he called us to be faithful.
Equipping Others to Fulfill Their Vision
I don’t need to be a vision-casting pastor. Christ’s vision for the church has already been cast.
Now I have the profound joy of embracing my calling – to be an equipping pastor.
It’s amazing to hear how God is calling the people I pastor. And it’s a profound pastoral joy to help train and resource them to see their vision fulfilled.
And when those seemingly disconnected visions come together in a new, God-inspired way that I could never have imagined? Well that’s when you know God is in charge, not me.
I wonder what would happen if the massive and unecessary burden of having to find, cast and promote a unique vision for the church was lifted from pastors’ shoulders. Maybe we would feel free to become the equippers we’re meant to be.
We just need to know it’s okay to do church that way.
Pastor, it’s okay if your calling is to help others fulfill their calling.
That’s what pastors do.
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