This is the introduction from the book, “Hurdling the Barriers – Overcoming the 12 largest barriers to church health and growth.” I will soon finish working on the second draft and then publishing.
“Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained” (Proverbs 29:18, NASB95)
Years ago, while I was working for a company in Zurich Switzerland, I accompanied a customer to view a machine in northern Germany. We decided to return to the Frankfurt Airport by train. I wish I had time to tell the entire story, but I want to stay on point. We successfully negotiated the trip to the Frankfort Train Station where we needed to get on the fast train, S-Bahn to the airport. Here is where things got dicey. When we arrived at the place in the Frankfurt Terminal where we were to catch the train to the airport, I noticed that there were several escalators down to several platforms. I asked for some help to know what particular track we were to use to catch the train. People were very polite and said basically to listen for the announcement on the PA system. Now, my German was good enough to listen for the announcements, only not good enough to understand what was being said with the echo in the terminal. Not wanting to end up on the wrong train, we ended up taking a cab to the Frankfurt Airport instead. The point of the story is this. If you do not know where a train is going, you will not get on it.
It is the same with the church. People will not get on board with a church if they do not know where it is going. Both your parishioners and those who might be interested in joining your congregation need to understand where the church is headed. The church needs a compelling vision for where the Lord is taking them. So, again we have a few questions. What is a vision? Why is it necessary? Why can we not just do church as usual? Is the vision different for every church? In this chapter, I will answer these questions and several others vital to hurdling the barrier of lost vision.