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20/20 Foresight

The importance of developing authentic vision for your church.

Major-league pitcher Steve Trout, to show off, recently attempted to throw a strike while blindfolded. He succeeded. The novelty of that exhibition, however, simply points out how unusual is such an accomplishment without being able to see.

Whether throwing baseballs, driving a car, or reading a map, we need well-focused vision. And in leading a church, vision of a different kind is equally vital.

Virtually all thriving churches have at least one visionary, a person who sees the possibilities, knows where the church can go, and excites others about getting there.

Wooddale Church, in the Minneapolis suburb of Eden Prairie, has its share of visionaries, including Leith Anderson and Austin Chapman.

Leith Anderson has, since 1977, been senior pastor at Wooddale. During his pastorate the church has relocated, changed its name, and nearly doubled in size.

Austin Chapman is president of The Northland Company, a financial services company, and is a key lay leader at Wooddale. He has served as church ...

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