YOUR VISION IS TOO SMALL
What do I mean by “vision?” The mission of all followers of Jesus is to make disciples who make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20). The vision for your local church is the how, where, and who of this commission. How are you going to make disciples? Where are you going to go? Who are you going to reach? Your church was placed on earth to make disciples. That is why you exist. If we all had the exact same vision for the how, where, and who we were going to make disciples of, then we might as well be one big church. But, the fact is, God has given each church a unique vision to carry out the mission he has given us all. Far too often, churches settle for a vision that is too small.
Entrepreneurs think big. Honestly, that’s also what makes us (entrepreneurs) fail sometimes. We think all our ideas are going to be the next big thing, when in reality, our dreams are often bigger than the marketplace can handle. However, these big dreams allow businesses to be born and succeed.
Entrepreneurs want to be part of something big, not something that is going to only affect those around the block. Now, those around the block might be the starting point to implement the vision, but shouldn’t be the end point. If you want entrepreneurs to be engaged on the mission in the context God has given your church, think big, not small.
Soma Communities told me they wanted to see 3,000 missional communities in the Seattle area. That’s 1 for every 1,000 people. That vision started with me getting after it, trained, and excited for multiplication. If they merely told me that they wanted me to go and start a missional community in my neighborhood, that would have been great and all, but the first thing I’d be thinking is: “Is that it? Is that where I stop?” Honestly, as an entrepreneur, to have that be the end goal, wouldn’t be exciting enough.
God is our example for casting vision. He told Abraham: “Your offspring will be numbered as the stars. The whole earth will be blessed through your family.” This is a big vision. God also said that we were to be his witnesses, not only to our neighbors and cities, but to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). Think of this vision laid out by God in Genesis and Acts. It includes the people next door to you, but is also much bigger that that. God’s vision is simultaneously as small as a family and as big as the world.
So, when we hear this, we get excited. Not because we can do it on our own, but because we know that God can and he has given us the Spirit to empower us for the mission. This is a vision beyond our powers and requires us to rely on the Spirit. So, while others may balk at a large vision, the entrepreneur will be your ally in calling people to fulfilling the seemingly impossible. We need entrepreneurs calling us to push the envelope, to think beyond our neighborhood and consider the world. They will become a litmus test: if your vision is too small and doesn’t require risk, innovation, or creative thinking, they will pick up on this.
YOUR VISION IS TOO GENERIC
Having a large vision is one thing, but if it is a generic vision, it will likely die. God’s vision for Abraham was big, but it was also specific. He told Abraham: “Go to the land I will show you.” At times, God is not always specific with us, but that’s okay. He’s God. But, what I do find interesting is how God treated Paul on the mission field. Paul listened to Jesus when he said, “you’ll be my witness even to the ends of the earth” (big vision) and then listened to the Spirit as he continued to instruct Paul where to go and where not go. It is amazing to watch how specific the Spirit was with Paul as he listened and relied on God (Acts 16).
What we’ll see in churches is that their vision is: “We want to glorify God in all the earth.” Well, thanks? It is a big vision, but I can frankly do that without being connected to your specific church.