Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.
– Japanese proverb
In considering the future of the United Methodist Church both vision and action is critical. Yesterday, I outlined a vision for renewal within the denomination and today I will tackle how I think it will happen.
I used to think that it was key to determine a clear vision that could be seen by people from across the spectrum of the denomination. This would be a clear directional arrow pointing the way forward for the entire denomination. I no longer believe that this is the best approach. It does not matter whether one particular renewal / revival effort becomes the one that gains huge momentum and spreads across the denomination. What does matter is that many people see a positive vision for the future and take action around it. Some of these efforts will have ongoing significance and some will not. But together these efforts will form the directional arrow pointing the way to renewal within the denomination and spiritual revival among United Methodists. I initiated this idea on paper in a conversation with Ben Simpson:
I have been reading The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations and am becoming increasingly convinced that what is needed is a multitude of leaders taking action toward a vision. Some of these efforts will fall along the path, in rocky places, among thorns and some on good soil. (Mark 4) I believe that sharing stories multiplies the action that is being taken and serves as inspiration.
Some examples of vision and action of which I am aware:
- Pastors of the 100 largest churches in the UMC
- young pastors’ network
- 40 days of prayer
- umc young clergy
My invitation for you:
- Articulate a vision or align with the vision of another for spiritual revival and renewal within the United Methodist Church.
- Begin to take action toward that vision.
- Make your vision and action public through a blog, facebook, twitter, etc or share the vision and action of someone else whose story needs to be told.
- When you hear or read a story of vision and action that is producing fruit for God’s kingdom – share it with others.
The same is true for this post. If you believe that the action associated with this vision will prove fruitful, share this post with others. If not, let it pass on into the blogosphere.
My vision today is to aid in sharing stories of effective vision and action with others.
My action today is this blog post and a continuing commitment to passing along stories
With God’s help, I seek to be faithful in both my vision and actions. I plan to remain active in casting vision and taking action to see what gains momentum.
What vision do you have? What action have you taken?