When Vision is Not Enough

Rick Warren, and many since have him, have correctly stated, “People
respond to vision, not need.” The statement is true. People do indeed
respond to a compelling vision more than a need.

“We need more
small group leaders” never works as well as “God is calling us to
launch 20 more groups and we believe you should be a part.”

“We
need 10k for a new global partnership” does not preach like “God has
burdened us to reach these people in this strategic location and 10k
will give us an effective start.”

I agree with the “vision not
need” statement, but I fear that only preaching vision in relation to
generous giving can adversely affect the spiritual discipline of giving
in a congregation. Please do not misread me. I do believe we should tie
giving to God-ordained vision and direction. I am simply saying that
vision should not be the only motivation for giving.

If vision
is the only motivation for generosity, what happens if I do not believe
in the vision? Is my obedience in the area of generosity related to how
visionary the spokesperson is?

Currently, I am framing teaching/exhortations on giving through the following framework.

1) Grace

Paul
challenged the Corinthian church to give because “they know the grace
of our Lord Jesus Christ who though he was rich became poor.” When we
are not generous, we prove we are not living in full recognition of His
generosity toward us.

2) Obedience

Giving is a spiritual discipline. Jesus gives instructions on how we should give when we give. Giving is assumed.

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3) Value system

When
someone becomes a believer, he has switched kingdoms. And our new
upside-down kingdom views money differently from the kingdom of this
world. This world would say, “Spend, then save, and then give.” New
kingdom values are opposite: “give, save, and then spend.”

4) Vision

I
am not anti-vision. I believe wise leaders connect vision to
generosity. I just don’t want to build a group of people who are vision
junkies and devoid of grace, obedience and a new value system.

What other challenges/motivations for generous giving should be added to the list?

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