Do What Jesus Did

A couple of months ago, I had the opportunity to help lead one of our congregations in a retreat seeking to discern God’s vision for their future. We had a wonderful time as we pursued what God’s dream might be for the congregation.
We discovered together that vision is the picture of God’s preferred future and is critical for God’s people to discern. For the consequences of our inattention to vision is dire. In the King James Version, Proverbs 29:18 reads “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” The Christian Standard Bible translates the same verse this way: “Without revelation, people run wild.” In other words, when we take our eyes off the picture of God’s preferred future, we replace God’s desires for our own… and we run wild… which ultimately leads to perishing.
With all of this in mind, we broke the big group into smaller groups of 3 and 4 people to discuss what it might look like if the congregation would become the church God desired it to be in the future. A couple of minutes into the small group discussion time, one table called me over to ask me a question: “It’s easy for us to know what we want for the future of the church, but how are we supposed to know what God would want for us?”
I suggested that when we don’t know what to do, we should simply start with Jesus as we meet him in the gospels. As followers of Jesus, we are invited to join Jesus in what he’s doing in our community and world. And what Jesus is doing today and will do tomorrow is always consistent with what Jesus has done in the gospels. In Romans 12:1-2, Paul admonishes the church “to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.”
So I encourage you to ask this all important question: What would our church be like if God were in charge of everything? Kind of ironic, isn’t it? Shouldn’t God be “in charge”? If we take seriously that Jesus is not only savior, but also Lord, then it is time we stop pursuing what we want for our churches and start pursuing God’s dream for us instead. Let’s start with doing what Jesus did, joining him on his mission right where God has planted us.
Pastor Bryce Formwalt is the Director of Mission Growth for the LCMC Texas District. Residing in Georgetown, Pastor Bryce is available to coach congregations on mission. Feel free to contact him with any questions or comments: 512-942-7776 or
© 2018 Bryce J. Formwalt, All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission.
July 2018

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