Andy Stanley said it famously: “Vision leaks.” We passionately cast vision from the Sunday morning stage, and every ounce of so-called clarity has leaked out before people pull out of the parking lot. For years, I’ve interpreted his statement mostly through the lens of how easy it is for the people in the seats to lose sight of the bigger calling. Lately, Andy’s statement has been hitting me between the eyes. Maybe the issue isn’t with them. Maybe the real issue is with me.
Hundreds and hundreds of pieces of information fly at us. Every email, text, tweet, post, and push notification vies for our limited attention span. Meetings, to-do lists, needs, and crises scream for center-stage. Our minds race faster than our bodies as our day whizzes from one item to the next. To say we’re distracted is an understatement of epic proportions. This resonates for me, and I’m theoretically giving my full-time attention to the things of God. How can the average church attender have any hope of living a vision-centric life?
One Simple Vision
We may think our compelling vision is crystal clear. Why can’t these people see it? Just one weekend, try sitting through your worship service as an average person. Ask yourself, “What does my church want me to do based on what they said today?” You may be surprised. This last weekend I was encouraged to meet my minister, take a class on the church’s vision, contact the Student Minister, join a women’s Bible study, bring diapers for a local ministry, meet some missionaries, take a class on finances, come to a missions potluck, and attend a training on how to reach my neighbors. Whew! What will they want me to do next week?
Bearers of the Vision
The incredible people of our Community Life Team at Oak Hills Church have been having a lot of conversations about what it means to be Bearers of the Vision. This means doing less. It means speaking clearly. It means repetition and simplicity. It means ruthlessly eliminating the extras. But it’s more than that. It’s living the vision in word, deed, prayer, and presence in every setting of life. It’s saying, living, breathing, and embodying one thing and one thing only: Love God and Love Your Neighbor.
Maybe – just maybe – the vision won’t leak if it’s who I am rather than just what I speak or profess.