Many of you were in the Monday night service of the State Minister’s meeting.
I was there and had a front row seat and was able to observe Dr. Hill up close…my heart went out for him.
There he was, one of the greatest preachers the Church of God has ever produced and what is he doing? Answer: Casting Vision.
Casting Vision is far different than preaching.
Comparatively, preaching is easy, casting vision is hard.
Any preacher worth his salt can preach but only real leaders cast vision.
And you see, something drastic had happened in Dr. Hill’s life since he preached last summer at our Campmeeting. Last summer he was certainly one of our leaders (Director of World Missions) and that showed up in his preaching, but mostly Dr. Hill did what he was good at-preach.
But this last Monday night things were different. Now he was not just one of our leaders, he was The Leader…and that changes everything.
Whether it is our nation, a corporation, a denomination, a church or even a family, if that entity has any hope of succeeding it needs a leader who has a vision and is faithful to cast that vision.
During my years at Fort Mill Church of God we went into a major building program. As the leader, I was tasked with the responsibility of casting vision to the congregation and to ask them to buy-in to the tune of several million dollars.
The firm that we hire to help us in our Capitol Fund-raising told me that it would be necessary to spend a month preaching on Sunday morning about the reason for the building all leading up to the last Sunday when I would ask the people to make a sacrificial multi-year commitment toward paying for the new building. In other words, I had to “cast vision.”
It was one of the toughest months of my entire ministry. The attendance for that month was the lowest of the year. Not only did I not enjoy getting up Sunday after Sunday and asking people to give but it appears the people didn’t enjoy it either! But here’s the deal: the people that really cared about the church and about our church fulfilling the Great Commission were there and they bought in and today a beautiful ministry center is humming with meaningful ministry almost every day of the week.
But for it to happen there had to be a leader (in that case me) who would put aside what he wanted to do and do what was required: cast vision, set direction, determine priorities, allocate of resources, and most important-make the big ask.
And dear friend, in your area of responsibility the same is true. Without a clear vision of God’s mission for your church and ministry (why it exists) and without the courage of getting up faithfully and regularly to call the people to that vision your church will never truly be a success.
Oh, you may be busy and you may even see some good things happening; but in the end, true success is achieving the mission that you were assigned.
So, I admonish you-get clear on the “why we exist” question and what that means for this time and this place and then courageously get up and cast that vision. Call your people to follow you in sacrifice, commitment, and eventually celebration. Do this faithfully, and do it regularly. For if you fail to do this, like the children of Israel wandering in the wilderness, you will do your time and one day turn your keys over to the next guy or gal and never really know what you could have done if you’d dare to be faithful to the heavenly vision that God wanted to drop in your heart.
So back to the question: Was Tim Hill at his best when he spoke at the SCCOG Minister’s meeting? Yes! A thousand times yes. Brothers and sisters, we have a leader-a man with a mission and the courage to cast the vision to achieve that mission and gumption to ask us to get on board with him.
More on that vision later. For now the question is not really about Tim Hill…the question is about you. Do you have a vision for your area of ministry and are you disciplined enough to lay aside what you’d rather be doing to cast that vision and put your life on the line for it?
“Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision…”
(Acts 26:19, nkjv)