On June 5th, we will be gathering for our Impact Event. This will be an inspiring night, filled with great food and even greater conversations about our future as a church. What will we see? What will be the details of that vision? While looking at the idea of having a vision for the future I came across Rick Warren's vision for Saddleback Church in CA. I am not including it here as something to copy, but as something to inspire us. You may or may not like his church's style, but look at this God-sized vision. As you read Warren's vision, keep in mind that he said these words to 200 people in a high school auditorium.
The Saddleback Vision - From Pastor Rick’s first sermon, March 30,1980
It is the dream of a place where the hurting, the depressed, the frustrated, and the confused can find love, acceptance, help, hope, forgiveness, guidance, and encouragement. It is the dream of sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with the hundreds of thousands of residents in south Orange County. It is the dream of welcoming 20,000 members into the fellowship of our church family-loving, learning, laughing, and living in harmony together. It is the dream of developing people to spiritual maturity through Bible studies, small groups, seminars, retreats, and a Bible school for our members. It is the dream of equipping every believer for a significant ministry by helping them discover the gifts and talents God gave them. It is the dream of sending out hundreds of career missionaries and church workers all around the world, and empowering every member for a personal life mission in the world. It is the dream of sending our members by the thousands on short-term mission projects to every continent. It is the dream of starting at least one new daughter church every year. It is the dream of at least fifty acres of land, on which will be built a regional church for south Orange County-with beautiful, yet simple, facilities including a worship center seating thousands, a counseling and prayer center, classrooms for Bible studies and training lay ministers, and a recreation area. All of this will be designed to minister to the local person-spiritually, emotionally physically, and socially-and set in a peaceful, inspiring garden landscape.
I stand before you today and state in confident assurance that these dreams will become reality. Why? Because they are inspired by God.
Today, that vision for Saddleback is a reality. It is a reality because Rick Warren saw what God was going to do. That is the place where every vision or direction for any church begins - with God's will. It needs to be God sized. We don't control how many people believe in God's Good News about Jesus (God changes hearts), and yet we do control how we respond to Gods' call to bring His Love to others.
As we move forward in this vision process, our vision will be different from Saddleback's vision and yet the same Lord is directing us as well. Our God is more powerful than we can ever imagine and we do all that we do in His strength. Let's be encouraged by Paul's words to the church in Ephesus (and to us). May these words be our hope for our lives and the lives of all who do not yet know Jesus: “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:16-21 NIV
See you on June 5th - 6-9pm!