This post at Mark H.'s blog a while ago got in my head and wouldn't get out. I got thinking about it again because of this post at Rob's blog. So here is the whole thing:
I have been appreciating some of the recent “leadership” literature emphasizing that leaders are not made nor born as much as they are situationally called into existence.
I've been telling my community for years that the clearer the sense of vision a person/community has for the future the less likely that vision is from God. That is not the way God generally leads. He leads us to the place where "we don't know" and "can't see." It is not God's way to give us specifics - he seems to take us to places where trust grows, (or is more likely to grow). He leads us to faith not certainty.
I believe that the church is so caught up in the vision thing because it is easy. A clear vision rally’s people and excites. Trust is too hard.
Our modern use of vision is often little more then marketing bullshit. We try to craft a vision that is big enough for people do buy into because we have little idea want God's vision is. Because vision sells but has no substance. We don't trust God's leading into the ambiguous, so we create visions that sound "Christian" and sell like it is God's. We kid ourselves into believing that we have heard God’s voice when all we’re after is little more then self-preservation. And we wonder why Christians are so weak, human-sized vision in a God-sized metanarrative produces self-centered religion. The preservation of the church should never concern us, that’s God’s deal.
God does not give a five year plan, with aggressive but attainable action items. I and my community must decrease. We are being invited to empty ourselves, to love and to lose. Even so may we lose quickly.