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Kingdom vision will inspire better giving

Furthermore, the survey asked, “What do you think the Churches of Christ should do to increase stewardship?” The overwhelming response by more than 1,000 shepherds, deacons, preachers and women Bible class teachers was: “Increase effective stewardship teachings.” For there to be an increase in stewardship teaching, there must be vision. In part, this vision may include equipping teachers, training new teachers, creating teaching materials, increasing attendance, raising monies to fund programs, and building facilities, as well as supporting and promoting Christian education.  
After a vision is fashioned, goals should be established to outline a long-term strategic plan of action. A vision to create a dynamic teaching program, for example, most likely will not happen in one year. A vision may take 10, 25 or 50 years. Many times, we may overestimate what can be done in a year and underestimate what can be accomplished over several years. Therefore, members should be presented attainable goals each year that challenge growth. Multiply this growth by 25 years, and one can see the “big picture.”
Faith will determine the size of the vision and goals. Big vision equals great cost. Every church has a price to pay for growth: time, talent and treasure. When a church is willing to pay the price, growth will flourish.
How can we implement kingdom vision?
Habakkuk 2:2 says, “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it” (NKJV). Drawing from this verse, allow me to suggest three steps a church can take to implement kingdom vision.
Step One: Write the vision. Leadership should listen to the dreams of the members and develop a shared vision that will inspire and encourage the local church. Looking to the future requires the church to think beyond current needs and to dream of what can be done. This vision needs to be documented.  
Step Two: Make it plain on tablets. After the vision is documented, then it should be made known to all members. Church leadership should consistently cast a shared vision of the future by communicating the direction with all members. Members must buy into the vision.  
Step Three: Run. The church needs to run with the vision. A plan of action needs to be made to reach the vision. By implementing a plan, the vision is now poised to become a reality. Once members get behind the vision, the giving of time, talents and treasures will increase to make the vision become reality.  
With God, the impossible becomes possible. For the sake of Christ’s kingdom and his glory, God’s children should dream big! In closing, I share four questions that dramatically changed my life by guiding me to create godly vision. These questions were presented to me in one of my seminary classes, which attributed the credit to Dr. Clyde Narramore.
1. What would I try to do if I thought I might succeed?
2. What goals would I set if I knew I could not fail?
3. What price am I willing to pay?
4. What sacrifices am I willing to make?
Prayerfully answering these questions will create kingdom vision. To honor the King, may we all dream big for his kingdom. “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory” (Ephesians 3:20-21, NKJV).

BEN BRUCE serves as the director of annual giving at Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, Tenn. He also serves as minister for New Hope Church of Christ in Middleton, Tenn. He earned his Doctor of Ministry with an emphasis in leadership from Liberty Theological Seminary in Lynchburg, Va. His dissertation is entitled Increasing Financial Stewardship in the Church of Christ.

Filed under: Staff Reports Views

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