Why your church needs a God-sized vision

July 28, 2020

If I could go back and start our church again, knowing what I know now, there are many things I would do differently. However, taking the time that we did to discover God’s vision for our church would not be one of them.

It is critical for every church — new or existing — to have a God-sized vision of what He wants to uniquely do through them. However, the reality is that most churches have not communicated a vision for what God wants to do in their church.

In a Christianity Today article, George Barna shared what he discovered about vision in the local church:

“When we asked these pastors, ‘Can you articulate God’s vision for the ministry of your church?’ we found that roughly 90 percent of them could articulate a basic definition of ministry. But only 2 percent could articulate the vision for their church. I’m not saying the other 98 percent of pastors are not capable of articulating vision; I’m saying that to this point they haven’t. Given the centrality and the significance of vision, that’s one reason so many pastors are ineffective; they don’t know where they’re going.”

Barna’s quote underscores the fact that we have a shortage of vision in the American church.

God is a visionary God, and He has a vision for every local church. My passion is to help planters discover and implement the vision that God has for their church. No one is more visionary than God. He wrote the book of Revelation to give the global church a vision of where He is leading us. Revelation chapters 21 and 22 are two of my favorite chapters in the Bible because they represent God’s ultimate vision for the church globally and for me personally.

God has placed your church in your community at this moment in history to do something unique and beautiful for His glory.

The Great Commission of Jesus in Matthew 28 gives me a mission to obey, but the vision of God at the end of the Bible gives me a future to strive for.

Yes, God has a vision for His global church. But what about your local church? Does God have specific future plans for your church here and now? Does He have a vision for the church you serve in? In Esther 4:14, Mordecai said it best: “Who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

God had a unique vision for Esther and her people in that unique time in history and I believe He also has a unique vision for the people of your church as well. In Acts 17:26, Paul said, “God began by making one person, and from him came all the different people who live everywhere in the world. God decided exactly when and where they must live” (NCV).

Paul also used the analogy of the human body in 1 Corinthians 12:18 when he said, “But in fact, God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.”

The Bible teaches that God has determined that everyone in your church would be born in this unique moment in history, live in their unique place, and be part of your unique local church for a very specific purpose. God has placed your church in your community at this moment in history to do something unique and beautiful for His glory.

Wouldn’t it be a shame if we, as the leaders of His church, do not take the time to discover what that purpose is?

Each local church should have a unique vision within God’s grand vision for the global church because God has placed each local church in their community for such a time as this.


by Chris Hankins 
/  Lead Pastor  / The Point Church, Raleigh/Durham, N.C.

4 kinds of pastors whose churches need revitalizing

Revitalization is one of those things pastors Google when no one else is looking. As I travel across the state, I meet pastors who minister in a variety of contexts — rural, urban, small, large, plants and even replants. Some of these pastors know their church is in need of...

5 ways pastors should respond to setbacks in ministry

Things don’t always turn out the way we desire. Oftentimes, we find ourselves asking questions about why something happened, or why we didn’t see it coming. We wonder why God allowed it or have difficulty seeing how God’s plan is being accomplished through it. Phrases such as...

How families can adopt a family discipleship plan

Many parents have made 2021 the year of discipleship for their family. They have taken the challenge and implemented the “Family Discipleship Plan” in their homes. Moms and dads have made this a priority because they know they have been given the wonderful privilege of being the...

Why leading your child to Christ is a process, not just a prayer

I remember praying a prayer at age 5. As a Cubby in the Awana program at our church, I was slightly intimidated by the leader who took me into the darkened chapel and asked me if I wanted to go to heaven to be with Jesus. I didn’t know what that meant. I may have asked a few...

3 steps to being missional in your community

The COVID-19 pandemic, along with heightened racial and political tensions, have sparked massive conflicts throughout our state and nation in the last year and a half. However, in the midst of the chaos, families have a unique opportunity to be missional in their homes and...

God’s presence provides comfort in times of transition

“It isn’t the changes that do you in, it’s the transitions!” These words by the late William Bridges, who was a leading authority on organizational leadership, have been ringing in my mind throughout the last year. When our country went into lockdown due to the pandemic, it was an...

Students: An untapped resource for serving in your church

I’ve heard it said that students are the church of tomorrow, but I really struggle with that — I believe students are the church of today and the future church leaders of tomorrow. Students need adults who love Jesus, love them and take the time to disciple them. They need...

12 ways to involve every church member in VBS

Often churches consider Vacation Bible School (VBS) to be exclusively a children’s ministry event. And yet, VBS is one of the most effective evangelistic emphases many churches offer their community each year. According to "It’s Worth It" by Landry Holmes of Lifeway Publishing,...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay connected by signing up for the N.C. Baptist monthly newsletter.

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!