Casting vision is a key role every pastor must fill. Yet sometimes corporate attitudes and unhealthy cultures can get in the way. I’ve discovered five attitudes that will stifle even the best cast vision. See if you agree.
- Consumer Christianity reflected in the attitude, What’s in it for me?
- Healthy churches realize they can’t consume their way into discipleship. Following Jesus is not all about us. Great churches rally around a unified cause centered in Jesus and move forward for the good of the whole and the glory of God even it means some people won’t get their preferred way. Good leaders will teach that flexibility and a deferential spirit are crucial ingredients for prevailing churches.
- Losing sight that the church gathers on Sundays to scatter the rest of the week.
- Leaders and churches must not lose sight that we live in a troubled world desperately in need of the Gospel. Attending church was never meant to be an end in itself.
- Risk aversion.
- Minimizing risk and maximizing safety can becomes a trait for risk averse leaders. J Oswald Chambers who authored the devotional My Utmost for His Highest wrote, “The frontiers of the kingdom of God were never advanced by men and women of caution.” Great churches can’t play it safe, huddle and cuddle, strive for safety and security, nor guarantee comfort and convenience. While not throwing caution to the wind, great leaders and churches must take bold steps of faith
- Programs and processes that trump passion and people.
- It’s easy to assume that great plans and strategies will automatically and easily reach people. They are important, but without a driving passion for God and a love for people, they are, well, only plans.
- The barrenness of busyness.
- Busy pastors often struggle with this one. I know I do with what seems to be a limitless to-do list. However, busyness can make us miss God. And it does not always translate into productivity. As Bill Hybels has famously said,”Doing the work of Christ was killing the work of Christ in me.” When that happens, our hearts become calloused and cold, we lose our leadership edge, and vision gets stifled.
What have you experienced that can stifle a God-directed vision?