Where there is no vision, the people perish. Proverbs 29:18 (KJV).

The story is told about two Inuit who were out ice fishing. The one had his line in a hole that was about the size of a small manhole and the other had cut a hole that was about the size and shape of a whale!

Now that’s vision. Being ready for anything is where it begins. The man with the whale size hole had something bigger in mind than small fry.

But even as I think of the Inuit with vision I wonder what the other Inuit fisherman must have been thinking. There he was at his little hole and every now and again he probably looked over and wondered if he should cut his hole bigger. I’m sure that’s what I would have done. For vision is contagious, and even when it looks foolish it often has a profound effect on others.

There’s nothing that excites and motivates people like a vision to accomplish something special. And sadly, there’s nothing worse than a person with no vision or a church that lacks vision.

Helen Keller, the blind and deaf poet, recognized this fact when she wrote that, “the greatest tragedy to befall a person is to have sight but lack vision.” Her words remind me of Proverbs 29:18 where we read, “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (KJV). The word “perish” can be translated, “run wild,” or “get out of hand.” Unless we have a vision with definite plans and goals, things can go awry.

When the church has no vision there’s stagnation or retardation. Every church needs vision, for without it, it can’t survive. In the absence of vision a church will be pushed by its problems, prodded by minority voices, and pulled from pillar to post by the competing winds of tradition and innovation. Without vision a church will slowly die by degrees – faltering and stumbling instead of running with perseverance (cf. Hebrews 12:1).

But when a church has vision it’s like a “blazing campfire around which the people of God gather. It provides light, energy, warmth and unity” Kevin Dyer.

Developing a vision isn’t easy. There are all manner of challenges. But don’t let that deter you. Don’t be afraid, don’t fear disgrace, forget past reproach, keep going forward, act practically and progressively, pay attention to God’s plans, expect the unexpected, and continue to think big even though Satan will do everything in his power to thwart you.

In the words of Joshua 1:7, “Be strong and very courageous.” For the Lord will lead those who pursue Him and is found by those who seek Him.

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