Shepherd’s Care: Vision (4)

Often in the Shepherd’s Care weekly posting, we have pointed to the necessity of character and integrity in ministry.  I want to use today’s post to connect that conviction with our exploration of vision.

In My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers put it simply: “Vision depends on character” (March 26).  He was commenting on Jesus’ beatitude, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”

Thinking about this, I have been drawn into the familiar parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37).  Looking at the intersection of vision and character, I find three things here to ponder, and I invite you to do the same….

(1) Who we are determines what we see.

(2) What we care about determines what we see.

(3) What we pay attention to determines what we see.

Being, caring, and attentiveness are all products of character.  Our integrity will determine what all three elements mean and how they are expressed.  The parable shows this clearly.

Sadly, too much building of the Kingdom is actually “kingdom building” by ego-driven leaders—by leaders whose character shapes their conduct.  And that shape begins in the way leaders receive, interpret, and implement visions.

It is a terrible thing to realize that God can give an authentic vision, but in passing through us, it becomes perverted, caricatured and counterfeited.

Our first move is not to pray to be a “visionary leader,” but rather to be a leader to whom a vision can be given and not be messed up!

About jstevenharper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 31 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church
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2 Responses to Shepherd’s Care: Vision (4)

  1. Margot says:

    Pastor Steve —
    Your post this morning resonates almost fully with my own place in ministry today. I have not had much agreement among my friends in ministry that humility before the work and before the Lord is necessary to carry a vision and a direction in which to move. Thanks Steve!
    Blessings at Advent,
    Margot

  2. Patrick says:

    The importance of asking the question “Who am I” and hopefully on a regular basis.

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