This afternoon I took the opportunity to do some Pastoral Visiting. As one of my visits finished a little earlier than planned and it was too early for my next, I sat on sea front and enjoyed the view.
I found myself looking at and thinking about the horizon. We can see it as a line, marking the point where the sea and the sky meet in our line of vision. Or, we can see it as the marker of between what is known and what is unknown.
Everything that is before the horizon I can see, understand and rationalize. But what lays beyond the line of the horizon? I can only guess, unless my vision is expanded.
The writer of Proverbs says;
Where there is no vision, the people perish
(Proverbs 29 vs. 18 – KJV)
I have heard it said, in some Churches, that it is the leader’s role to bring God’s vision and that will then set the direction that the Church moves in. I believe this approach is fundamentally wrong.
I firmly believe that God’s vision for a Church is already within that Church fellowship. There have been good, faithful Christian folk who have worked and prayed for the life of the fellowship long before the leader arrived. There are good, faithful Christian folk who will be working and praying for that fellowship long after that leader has moved on.
I believe it is the leaders role to help the congregation to work out the vision for the fellowship and to help them to move forward with God’s vision for that Church.
At Pier Avenue we have just launched our Values Document. It is not a “solo” piece of work by me. I was really excited that the leaders, their “other halves” and our Regional Minister were involved with it.
It isn’t finished yet
It is now in the hands of the congregation. We are working through some studies, preparing feedback and looking at ways in which we can, together, expand our horizons for the coming years