Christian Fellowship Church's Sermons

Increasing Our Vision

Increasing Our Influence

March 10, 2019
Phil Schaefer
Habakkuk 2:1-4

Description

Habakkuk 2:1-4

Why do we have these artists painting on stage? We gave them words and said use these words to paint a picture of vision. Use these words to reflect a dream. These pictures show how a vision, in the beginning, is undeveloped - a dream.

I want to read what was given to me by a newer, younger member of our church. I think it is prophetic: “We have done the work to prepare the property and the plans. Now we prepare as the church, which is us. We know the church isn’t a building. The church is the Body of Christ. It’s people. So now, we step into preparing ourselves for what God is preparing for us. The launching pad is underway. Now we prepare what will be launched from there. And that’s us. This is the time to dream. To dream of what God will do with us next, from this new building. Dreaming is not always logical. It’s not always straightforward. God hasn’t given us the full & complete vision of what we will do next. I could dictate a vision to you but that is very one-sided. We all need to press into hearing from God in this next phase of preparation. He won’t give just one of us the vision & plan for our future. He will share it with all of us in parts and we will come together to see it from a complete picture.
This phase of dreaming is abstract. It requires the engagement of a different part of your brain, a different depth of your heart, the fullness of your soul. What do you dream that you will do once we step into the new building? What could we become? Who can we reach? Who will find a home with us in Christ? How many? These types of dreams also require hope. Hope in God. Dare we hope for these things? Dare we believe God could use us in these ways? This action of dreaming will stretch you. It will require you to question & challenge what you believe about God and His abilities; what place you have in His plans. This is a time to stretch our creative thinking and imagine what more we can do as a church – for our time and the generations to come. Come, let’s dream together.”

This morning we launch ‘Increasing Our Influence’

Helen Keller said: "The only thing worse than no sight is to have sight but no vision."

  • Vision is a dream and an action.
  • A vision is the difference between filling bags with dirt and building a dike in order to save a town.
  • A vision is the difference between having a seat to sit in on Sunday mornings and gathering to reflect the Kingdom of God on earth.
  • A vision is the difference between going to church to get a spiritual fix and believing you can shape a city.

Vision forms in the hearts of those who know we have not arrived; who know there is more in God to enter. Vision says: Get in there!

Vision comes into existence through praying & preparation. More than speaking vision into existence, you pray & plan it into existence. Our prayer is to see and act on opportunities. Our prayer is for God to give us the people who have the faith and the passion, the resources, the skills, the influence, to bring a vision into existence. It is praying that God gives us favor with financiers and city planners; architects and engineers; designers and doers.

God ordained vision appears to be impossible. That is how you know it must be God. God does not ask us to do something we can do. He asks us to do something we cannot do. He asks us to do something He wants to do.

In a God-given vision, there are always more questions than answers; there are always obstacles and barriers; there is always a lack of resources; there is always a sense that this could be an epic failure; there is always a sense that we cannot let this thing go. And there is a sense of destiny - this gut-level, unquenchable desire to push on.

It is easy to trust God when you have the resources in your hand. It is easy to trust God when you have the means to do what you want to do. That’s not truly trusting God.

God has already given us the blueprint for this church. He basically said make plans for expansion of every side. He basically said to give what you have, and I will give you more. Don’t hold back.

What is the definition of success? We would say it is when we have reached a goal. But the Biblical definition of success is being found faithful to what God has placed before you.

Vision demands risk and sacrifice; to leave what is comfortable & familiar; to embrace the uncomfortable & unfamiliar; to be battling against fear, uncertainty, unbelief, and failure.

Here is a picture of a preferable future: ‘To be a dynamic hub of Christ-centered & Spirit-led thought, action, creativity, & community devoted to embracing and transforming our world with the message of the grace of God in Jesus Christ.’

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