Monday, September 29, 2008

A Need For Vision

Yesterday on the "Wall Street Journal Report with Maria Bartiromo" Thomas Friedman made some comments that rather intrigued me. If you want to watch the clip you can view it here. What I heard in the interview was an argument that we've changed for the worse since 9/11. What I heard Friedman say is that since 9/11 we have been focused on metal detectors and not on what, in the past, has made America great and that's the next big idea.

To twist it into my own words, I would say that we have moved from having a vision for the future that we can enthusiastically work towards and rally around to simply trying to react to the latest threat or crises. I think there might be something to that notion. If Friedman is right, I think this should be concerning for us. I think that's why I was most excited during Barack Obama's acceptance speech when he stated a goal of being completely oil independent in 10 years. Now, I don't know how realistic it is, but it excited me. It is also problematic because it was in the midst of pie in the sky promises made by a politician so the odds of his making good on it may be slim.

For me, that becomes a lesson for the church. When we have a vision for the future, for where God is leading us, we can get excited about it and rally around it as a community. I think that increases the likelihood of the congregation moving forward and making an impact for the sake of God's Kingdom with their ministry. Unfortunately, I think we too often spend our time and energy focusing on reacting to the latest threat, focusing on metal detectors (or is coffee stains on the carpet?).

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