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Investing in Small-Church Futures

A vision is owned only to the degree that it corresponds with people's unspoken sense of purpose.
—John Koessler

Several years ago, I purchased ten shares of ibm stock at $116 per share. It seemed like a great opportunity. We were in the middle of a bull market, and the price of the stock had fallen from an alltime high of $175.

Over the next few years, however, I watched in dismay as the price of my shares inched lower and lower. Soon their value had been cut by more than half. So when I heard that Louis V. Gerstner, the former chief of RJR Nabisco, had become ceo of Big Blue, I was keenly interested in his vision for the company.

Imagine my surprise when Gerstner stated, "The last thing that ibm needs right now is a vision."

When asked to explain, he said, "A vision is often what somebody turns to when it gets hard doing what's required, namely, good, solid blocking and tackling. Remember, the Wizard of Oz was a vision."

As pastor of a congregation of seventy-five, I have sometimes wondered ...

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