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Pointers along the way #386

Action without vision
- Jacob Ninan

Imagine an 'evangelist' leading a sinner through some steps which he has been trained with, and then declaring that the sinner has now become a child of God. Has he? Really?

The truth of the matter is that if this evangelist has gone through his steps mechanically without understanding the spirit behind them, and if he has not tried to convey the same spirit to the sinner, the chances are that this man's 'conversion' is not genuine but just another addition to the statistics. What has happened is that this evangelist was just following a method without understanding or having been gripped himself with its vision.

We see this happening many times in Christian work. A leader starts a movement with a great vision inspired by God, and his people 'multiply' his activities and projects without catching his vision. They follow the externals and complete many projects, which makes everyone believe that great things have been accomplished for God, and that these men are great leaders and achievers themselves. If these projects were IT projects, for example, things would have been fine, but when it comes to spiritual work, just following the externals kills the whole purpose (2Co.3:6).

Jesus said that the harvest was plenty, but the labourers were few (Lk.10:2). And labourers with vision, fewer! What shall we do? In the absence of labourers without vision shall we try to do the best with others? We cannot assume that they will automatically catch the vision, but we need to make efforts to impart the vision to them from the beginning itself.

Many preachers imitate 'great' preachers, following their style and even gestures. But what is it we need to do? Isn't it imparting spirit and life to those who hear us rather than impressing them with our charisma, our knowledge, our 'profound' statements, etc., (Ep.4:29;1Ti.4:16)?

This comes up even in parenting. If we assume that our children will automatically catch our faith and vision just because they are growing up in our home and we are taking them to church, we are making a serious mistake. Don't we need to work with them from childhood, prayerfully passing on our values, hopes, faith and vision to them? Just telling them what to do is not enough, but 'why' they have to do it becomes important especially as they grow into their teenage years.

The fruit we expect from spiritual work is not to be in numbers, but the spirit we have helped others to catch on. Why are we so eager to replicate what someone else has done and to multiply his works? Isn't it better to make one true disciple who loves the Lord and follows Jesus than one thousand who only pay lip service to Him? Is it any wonder that we end up with a lot of problems when we follow the latter approach? Jesus worked with just 12 men and worked with them deeply. What would have happened if He had only been preaching to the multitudes, travelling from place to place? His 'movement' would have died a natural death after He was no longer there.


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