T.E. Lawrence once said, "All men dream but not equally. Those who dream by night
in the dusty recesses of their minds awake to the day to find it was all vanity. But the
dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for the many act out their dreams with open eyes,
to make it possible..."
About 350 years ago a shipload of travelers landed on the northeast coast of America.
The first year they established a town site. The next year they elected a town government.
The third year the town government planned to build a road five miles westward into the
In the fourth year the people tried to impeach their town government because they
thought it was a waste of public funds to build a road five miles westward into a
wilderness. Who needed to go there anyway?
Here were people who had the vision to see three thousand miles across an ocean and
overcome great hardships to get there. But in just a few years they were not able to see
even five miles out of town. They had lost their pioneering vision. With a clear vision of
what we can become in Christ, no ocean of difficulty is too great. Without it, we rarely
move beyond our current boundaries.
It started like so many evenings. Mom and Dad at home and Jimmy playing after dinner.
Mom and Dad were absorbed with jobs and did not notice the time. It was a full moon and
some of the light seeped through the windows. Then Mom glanced at the clock. "Jimmy,
it's time to go to bed. Go up now and I'll come and settle you later." Unlike usual,
Jimmy went straight upstairs to his room. An hour or so later his mother came up to check
if all was well, and to her astonishment found that her son was staring quietly out of his
window at the moonlit scenery. "What are you doing, Jimmy?" "I'm looking at
the moon, Mommy." "Well, it's time to go to bed now." As one reluctant boy
settled down, he said, "Mommy, you know one day I'm going to walk on the moon."
Who could have known that the boy in whom the dream was planted that night would survive a
near fatal motorbike crash which broke almost every bone in his body, and would bring to
fruition this dream 32 years later when James Irwin stepped on the moon's surface, just
one of the 12 representatives of the human race to have done so?
Bill Hybels, Who You Are When
No One's Looking, IVP, 1987, p. 35.
Vision: the capacity to create a compelling picture of the desired state of affairs
that inspires people to respond; that which is desirable, which could be, should be; that
which is attainable. A godly vision is right for the times, right for the church, and right
for the people. A godly vision promotes faith rather than fear. A godly vision motivates
people to action. A godly vision requires risk-taking. A godly vision glorifies God, not
Vision is the ability to understand the history, the present condition, and the
potential of the church, and to conceive a plan for action that will maximize the ministry
potential. More often than not, vision is a result of having spent much time absorbing the
facts about the community, knowing the resources upon which the church can call (people,
funding, facilities, equipment, etc.), and devising sound but creative strategies for
moving forward. Vision always entails progress: it is never satisfied with the status quo.
George Barna, How to Find Your Church,