20/20 Vision


There’s a place in the Bible where Solomon makes a keen observation about human beings. He writes, “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18). As one of the greatest kings of Israel—and one of the wisest men who ever lived—Solomon knew what he was talking about. Vision is important. In fact, it’s critical. Without it, people perish. What’s that mean?   

He’s not saying that people will die. The Hebrew verb for perish doesn’t mean “to destroy.” It means literally “to let loose.” In other words, without vision you get chaos. Without vision you get a big mess.   

Eugene Peterson captured that idea in the Message translation: “If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble over one another.” That’s it. Solomon was a king and knew the perils of a vision-less kingdom. But this proverb goes beyond that. The application can be personal and corporate.   

A vision-less life will trip you up. And so will a vision-less church. If you just drift from one failed idea to the next, you’ll be confused, angry, and exhausted. And so will your church. You’ll have a mess on your hands. 

But read the rest of the verse… “But when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed.” Hear that? Pay attention to what God has said and you can’t miss what God wants for you and your church. We don’t get to make up our own vision. We get it from God—from His word. Mess or bless. Which one sounds more appealing? 

A new year is well under way and I imagine leaders are using the 20/20 vision theme to introduce fresh energy to their business, organization, or church. Are you able to see a sharp, clear vision ahead of you as you move deeper into 2020? 

Recently, the leadership of GraceLife Church met to talk about our vision for this year. We surveyed where God has brought us, the people He has entrusted to us, and asked the question: “What is God up to at GraceLife—where is He taking us this year?”

We use 3 simple metrics to clarify and filter what we believe God has called us to do. Gather, grow, and go. If a ministry opportunity or suggestion doesn’t help us move in that direction, we toss it. We don’t want to be the church with 500 ministries. Our aim is simple: We want to reach outsiders with the hope of the Gospel. We want to GO! But we won’t be able to GO with success unless we GROW deep and strong. 

Jesus said “no” to a lot of demands and requests others put on him. At the end of his earthly ministry he prayed “I’ve accomplished everything My Father gave me to do.” That means every opportunity Jesus declined was not from His Father. Talk about divine selectivity! At best, those demands were distractions. At worst, hijacks to his true mission. Maybe this will help you: not only is it okay to say “no” to lesser pursuits. It’s critical. Say “yes” to something better, something more urgent. Say yes to your vision! 

At GraceLife, we’re saying “yes” to growing together this year! That means we’re prioritizing discipleship. We’re saying yes to deepening our relationship with God. We’re saying yes to creating space in our life to commune with God. We’re saying yes to beholding Christ and being changed by what we see. And the best news? Anyone can get in on this! 

Jesus is accessible. He’ll let anybody follow Him. He’ll open His Word to anyone seeking Him. Will you join us in this vision? Will you say yes to studying the Bible? Will you be intentional with confessing sin, praying, and walking in the light with others? 

That’s what it means to grow. If we want to honor our motto: Insiders who exist for outsiders, we’ll have to protect this vision. Grow deep, stand tall, reach wide. A tree with shallow roots won’t withstand a storm. 

A boat with a light ballast can capsize fast. 

A hospital with an exhausted staff will neglect patients. 

   Let’s grow together and continue to help outsiders find Jesus. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it! Consider these questions:

  • Will you commit to gather with your church weekly? 
  • Will you attend a community or fellowship group? 
  • Will you explore being part of a men’s or women’s discipleship group? 
  • Will you prioritize reading God’s Word? 
  • Will you find a ministry to serve in at your Church? 
  • Will you pursue membership with your covenant community? 
  • Will you give cheerfully, regularly and sacrificially to help shoulder the financial needs of your Church?

That’s God’s vision for us in 2020! I hope it’s a vision you can get behind! Let’s pursue it together by God’s grace.   

Click here for a closer look at Gracelife’s 20/20 vision.