Last week we reflected on the notion that the church should be a safe place where people can work through their struggles. Those who stand in need of safety cry out, “Accept me!” Acceptance is the first step in the journey of life transformation. However, it is not the only step. Acceptance alone does not lead to transformation.
In addition to being a place of safety, the church should be a place of vision. Spiritual vision centers on the gospel truth that God is at work in the life of a believer. Vision is the realization of who you can be. Vision is the response to the heart’s cry, “Believe in me!”
The church accepts people where they are, yet believes that people can be who God desires them to be. The church is a safe place to be real because God has a vision for our lives. The goal is for us to be presented complete in Christ (Colossians 1:28). The vision is that the followers of Christ look like Christ. Church members should not strive to make others disciples of themselves. The goal is for people to be Disciples of Christ.
Many people have never had people express a belief in them. They may feel that everyone is against them. In fact, we may live with a chip on our shoulder, constantly feeling the need to prove ourselves and show others that we are worthy. But the church should be the place where you are encouraged and cheered. It is not a competition. We are all on the same team striving towards the same goal. We share a common vision.
The reality of the gospel and treasures that Christ has placed in us provide the bases for shaping the vision of who we can be. Our belief in ourselves and in others is not rooted in confidence in our ability. It is rooted in the power of God to shape us. We believe in others because we know that God is at work in them just as He is at work in us.
Imagine the impact that the church can have when we embrace God’s vision for our lives. Imagine the strength of our faith community when we believe that God can change us. We accept others so that they will feel welcomed in the place where transformation takes place. We believe in them because we know that the God who has been at work in us can work mightily in them.
Minister Ross' creativity, wisdom, and insight have inspired community, church and corporate audiences throughout the United States.