- I cannot say definitively that the Elevation Church coloring book was actually distributed to kids. The available evidence seems to support that the children's ministry designed the book without Pastor Furtick's initial knowledge. Some time later, the book was redesigned and this particular content was redesigned and removed. But even if the page is spurious, it still correctly portrays how "vision" is cast in many churches. And for me, it was seeing vision-casting portrayed in this way that shook me awake from my theological stupor.
- We need to define our terms. A number of friends pointed out that many pastors are referring to strategy when they're talking about vision. Unfortunately I think this is how the dangerous sort of vision-casting comes about. Many of us (myself included) think leaders are taking strategy, when they're really talking about the driving force of the church. Some leaders do mean "strategy" (i.e. how we go about accomplishing The Great Commission) when they talk about vision. But the way many contemporary evangelical leaders talk about vision and write about it in their leadership books, vision is the driving force of the church. It is why she exists. It is what wakes her up in the morning, and puts her to bed at night. And I still maintain that the driving force of the church (call it vision, call it purpose, call it mission or whatever) is The Great Commission.
- How did the Church get here? I don't have any hard data on this, but from my educated observations I think it's been the fairly recent push for pastors to read business leadership books. While I think there is some knowledge pastors can gain from business, we must never forget that the Church is not a business. It is the community of God. The Body of Christ. The Bride of Christ. In the business world, a strong vision is needed. The business needs to define its purpose and identity. This is not something that translates over to the church, though. Because I still maintain The Great Commission gives us our direction, our vision, and our mission. (And our identity comes from Christ). Making disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ must be the reason every church exists.
Last week when I posted "Why I Am Not A Vision-Casting Pastor" I assumed it would cause some amount of controversy. I've had some wonderful public and private dialog with both supporters and critics of the post. From those conversations I wanted to offer some follow-up comments.