Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Without a People the Vision Perishes

I've grown weary of the word, "vision," I'm almost afraid to use it. Generally, if we hear it from a pulpit, it's usually just the preface to a building campaign or some gradiose ministry scheme that usually has some other name than Christ's attached to it. OK, maybe I'm a touch jaded and callous, but I have to tell you, I've grown tired of the institutional, the organizational, and the impositional in the name of God Almighty.

Nonetheless, Christians need a vision, for life without hope is the soil of bitterness, nothing good grows in it. We don't need a Pied Piper, maybe not even John Piper, but we do need to see Christ in us, the hope of glory. We need a vision birthed in the dark of a tomb but risen to the glory of the throne of God. Not a vision of something of this world that will burn with this world: not something that within a generation or two will operate on principles the opposite of those it was started with just in order to keep it going. We do need a vision bigger than ourselves, but we have to see it in ourselves. It's Christ in us.

Jesus never built a hospital, an orphanage, a school, or an auditorium that would put Broadway to shame. He scarcely had a following when it was all said and done. Did it bother him? He was the only person ever to live for whom being full of himself was a good thing. I'd like to be full of him too. These last couple of years have been difficult and dark ones for me, vision killing years--maybe for you too. There is a hope rising though, finally, and it doesn't include a building, it won't make a splash, it doesn't even need a people! It does, however, need a Person.


  1. You're way ahead of the crowd, SLW.

  2. Or way behind it! ;-) Either way, I'm not in it, that's for sure.

  3. I have taken a little time to mentally and spiritually digest your post. After allowing your words to set, or better yet sink in, I have to say you have said alot more here then meets the ears. After stepping out of the pastorate 1 1/2 years ago in an attempt to move closer to our families we, my wife and I, have experienced the most darkest and most difficult time in our lives. We too are now finally in a position to say that the light of Christ is appearing on the horizon and the storms in this wilderness are passing. We haven't moved yet but we can say now that He has moved us into a position better prepared and equiped for the plans he has for us. The only vision I desire to see is one of Jesus. This is the vision I desire everyone to see. Sooner rather then later.

    Blessings brother,

    P.S. your welcome to visit my blog jfthomas.typepad.com Not a large following or many other readers other then my wife (for editing purposes). Just humble posts seeking to be inspired of the Holy.

  4. Jim,
    Welcome to the Sound. Sad to hear of your difficult journey, but glad to hear of the glorious one now beginning.

    I always appreciate visits from A/G pastors, and thank you for the invite to your site. God's very best to you.

  5. Hi Pastor Winters, it's greetings from Shanghai...again :)

    Really you don't need any more building, what you have had given us so much warmth and love. Till today, we have never stopped talking about the church. The kids constantly talk about the great time at the great church...and yes, it's the people who made all the difference. Miss you all, lots!

  6. Thank you, Shirley, for your kind words. It was such a pleasure to have your family fellowshipping with us while you were in America. Perhaps someday we'll have the chance to do so again, if not I'll meet you in the air!


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