Organizations need to cast visions that are bold, believable and then execute forward movement with discipline.
What is bold and believable about a Christian vision?
The bold and believable does not lie in some trump card possessed by the few who profess. It lies instead in the emancipation – that God created humanity to flourish. To flourish … not suffer, or wine, or complain, or kill, or ache. It is a flourishing that calls us into new ways of being, consistently whispering “There is more than THIS.” Bold and believable!
That flourishing does not come from stuff. It does not come from shrill prophesying and bullying from pulpits. Flourishing does not come from moralizing that places God within small boxes of “do’s” and “don’ts” or knowing the “right” position on homosexuality or abortion. Neither does flourishing grow from individual license to follow all compulsions regardless of the impact on others. As Anne Lamott put it, “You can safely assume that you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.”
Forms of hatred, separation, division … oppose what flourishes … opposite a bold and believable vision. Not much bold and believable about hate, religion-as-test, or sloppiness. We flourish in a disciplined life navigated by love. Can we say, as this life ends, “I gave it a good squeeze?”