Someone told me recently that they would like to see a ‘clearly articulated 5 year vision’ for our adventure here in Brighton.
So would I.
But it aint gonna happen.
A 5 year plan assumes we know what will happen over the next 5 years and that we can do stuff to fit in with the developments in community/world/culture etc. I don’t think this is true any more. Life is much less linear and predictable than it was even 10-20 years ago.
The phrase ‘rapid discontinuous change’ is way overused these days, but it is a good descriptor of the world we live in. To make plans to accomplish a pre-determined vision is (in my opinion) fraught with difficulty because we are not able to predict what shape the future will take – in fact we are less able to than we ever were.
A real danger then of a ‘5 year vision’ is that we end up ‘serving the vision’ (to use ‘churchspeak’) rather than being able to adapt with changing cirumstances. We become locked in to a pre-determined imagination of what we have to do. I would suggest that for missionaries particularly ‘5 year plans’ are anathaema, because we can only progress as we get to know the context and as we observe what the Spirit is doing. To do otherwise would be fatal and would actually sabotage standard missionary principles.
There is much of me that would love a 5 year plan – because I am practical and like to work towards a predetermined goal – but when you live and serve as we have been doing you simply come to the point of realising that it is futile and even foolish to attempt something of this nature. This is something I just have to ‘get over’ and move on with.
I wonder, did the early church have a 5 year vision?interview divx download