Vision and fear…

I still feel very “green” in my position here at the BSU.  This is my first experience leading a ministry like this, and I am learning a lot … and being stretched in a lot of ways too.

One way that I’m  growing is in the area of Vision.   (not talking eyesight here … although I did have to get glasses this week) But vision for the future.  As a leader of an organization, I cannot effectively lead if I don’t have an idea of where we are going.  It’s been a blessing up to this point to feel God leading me/us in a certain direction for this school year, which has been (and I hope will continue to be) a good transition into this new position and ministry.  However, looking forward, I know that God wants us to have a bigger picture for the ministry of the BSU at SEMO, and a bigger picture for the potential impact that it could have for His Kingdom.  Now, I’ve never considered myself a “big picture guy” … I’ve always been pretty content to be a background team player who can work to implement someone else’s big picture … however, that’s not the role that God currently has me in.  So, I’ve been doing  a lot of studying and reading and a lot of praying and just asking God to lead me and to show me the direction and the vision that he has for my life and for our ministry … and toward the end of last semester, and over our Winter Break, I really began to feel like God was giving me a vision for what the ministry could look like in the years to come.  (here’s where the second part of the title of this post comes in)

Along with that vision comes a big deal of fear for me.  Now, I realize that this could definitely be spiritual warfare.  Any time that God puts a plan in motion, I believe satan will do whatever he can to try to thwart that plan from happening.  It’s just that God’s vision is so much bigger than me … and it is so much bigger than anything that I can or ever could accomplish on my own, and I fear failing, I fear all the unknowns, I fear that others will think that I’m loony … all of which are unfounded fears when I consider that God “…is able to do immeasurably more than all we could ask or imagine…”

Over the last several weeks I’ve shared my vision with only a couple of people, who have been very encouraging and supportive, and even more encouraging is that the ideas and vision have come up in conversations with other ministers and leaders in the community which gives me even more encouragement that God is moving me in the right direction.  I guess when it comes down to it, I’m really just fearful of jumping in and having faith that this is really where God is leading me.

I had a conversation with a friend this week who was telling me about a resource he was using to study the story of Noah … and one of the things that it said was that not only was this a foreign concept to Noah … it had never rained … he may have had some concept of a boat if he had been near a lake or sea, but it would have been a very rudimentary knowledge … he would have had no concept about how to go about building a boat the size of the ark.  We’re familiar with the story (read here if you’re not) God gave Noah the instructions on how to build the ark and Noah went about doing it.  One interesting thing to note is that there was no instruction given to Noah about adding something or some way to steer or “command” the boat … there was no rudder, no steering wheel … and after God “shut them in” it seems that only He (God) was the one in control of where the ark went, where it landed and the ultimate success of the mission given to Noah.  Noah just needed to commit and surrender to the vision.  This isn’t the picture of our lives most of the time.  In our circumstances … WE want control … WE want to have hold of the steering wheel, and we sure wouldn’t want to set sail on a boat with no rudder!

I find that it is easy for me to sit with people and to counsel them in different areas of life and to encourage them to pursue things when it seems as if God is in it … but it is a  little bit more difficult when I need to give myself the same advice to actually step out in faith, to commit and surrender the the vision, and to trust that even if I fail … God won’t.

Andy Stanley says that vision is: “a clear mental picture of what could be, fueled by the conviction that it should be.”

I’m trying to learn to be that leader.  One who is fueled by the conviction of what our ministry should be.

Any thoughts on vision?  Fear?  Vision and fear?


Here’s to better vision … and new glasses 🙂

One Response to “Vision and fear…”
  1. davidstonefp says:

    Eric, you ARE that leader…and good looking in the new glasses!!

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