If I were to ask the question as to the Vision of Lighthouse, most people would respond by stating “To be the Light of Christ Everywhere”. That is the vision statement in one sentence but what does that actually mean and how does it get communicated in a way that it becomes a reality
Have you ever played the game “Chinese Whispers” or the American version of this game known as “The Telephone Game? A person whispers a sentence in the ears of a person near them. That person then whispers that message to the next person in line. This continues until the last participant declares the “whispered” statement to everyone. It’s amazing to note how different the ending statement is often from the original one. How does Lighthouse Evangelism measure up when considering the communicating of its Vision? “Chinese Whispers” may prove amusing at a socialised gathering however if this were happening in a churchwide context the consequences would be devastating. How can we as a church avoid this malady?
One of the most effective communicators of vision in scripture is Nehemiah. There are several keys that can be learned from his example.
1. Vision begins at the Top
Nehemiah was a man who came to know the heartbeat and burden of God (Nehemiah 1:4-6). The vision he was about to communicate originated from God; it was not a personalised agenda. Nehemiah was acquainted with the known Biblical history of his day. He knew what Moses declared concerning the future restoration of Israel. He came to know that he was living in that day and recognised that now was the time for it to take place (Nehemiah 1:8-10). True vision originates from God, not man. Once established, the message becomes easier to communicate.
2. Nehemiah was an effective Communicator
And I told them of the hand of my God which had been good upon me, and also of the king’s words that he had spoken to me. So they said, “Let us rise up and build.” Then they set their hands to this good work (Nehemiah 2:18).
Think for a moment of what Nehemiah was seeking to communicate to the people. Jerusalem was in ruins and under the power of foreign influence. There could be no breakdown or distortion of message in what Nehemiah was conveying to the workers. His words and his mode of communication was so persuasive that the people willingly joined their hands to a work that carried significant risk. Is the task before us today any different? How can this truth be practically applied to Lighthouse as a church? There is one other key lesson from Nehemiah’s example that will prove helpful:
3. Keep Communication Channels open at all times
Every one of the builders had his sword girded at his side as he built. And the one who sounded the trumpet was beside me (Nehemiah 4:18).
The work before Nehemiah was a formidable one. There were also enemies lurking to try and undermine their efforts. How did Nehemiah continue with the work while maintaining needed vigilance? There was a communication channel open between both the workers and those who were keeping watch from enemy attacks. Lighthouse Evangelism is tasked with shining the Light of Christ to the nations which includes evangelism and demonstrating the Power of the Kingdom. At the same time there are enemies, (modern day Sanballat’s) who mock and chide any effort toward this objective. Having a vision and communicating it effectively is a MUST in today’s environment. The church cannot afford a breakdown or misinterpreting of the message as expressed in the game of “Chinese Whispers”. It’s not hard to communicate a large-scale vision; the problem is making it become a reality.
Have your eyes caught the Vision? God has placed His burden and plan for Lighthouse upon the Leader. The communication of that vision needs to cascade down to the Leadership, Lay-Leaders and Members. It must be conveyed in similar fashion to that which Nehemiah presented to the people (Nehemiah 2:18). God will bring it to pass provided we hear His heart and pray through in our respective roles. The fruits of this will be a people who run with the vision as a united family. May the year 2022 be a year of Restoration in Lighthouse, our homes, and the nations. I think you would agree that this is a Vision worth pursuing, communicating, and celebrating.