TiO 45 – Vision Weekend – Riverwood Vision
The Main Idea
Vision is essential to moving forward any group seeking to accomplish anything in the world. This week Todd and the other ministry leaders laid out some of the goals for the year, all in service of the bigger visions that we as individuals are a part of.
Warm Up Questions: (Choose 1 or 2)
Q1: What kind of vision do you have? Do you need glasses? For what tasks?
Q2: If you were forced to give up one of your senses (sight, taste, smell, hearing, touch) which would be easiest for you? Which would be hardest?
Q3: Do you set goals for yourself? If so, how far in advance? Share some of those goals, if you are comfortable doing so.
Dig a Little Deeper
Vision, what is it? From a physical perspective vision is the system in our bodies that allows us to form images of the world around us. But when an organization or a group of people talk about vision, they are usually talking about something quite different. And so it is with the vision that Todd talked about this weekend. Ironically, when Todd talked about vision he was talking about something just the opposite of physical vision, he was talking about something imagined, something hoped for, something that we believe can be but that currently is not, or is not quite.
And so our vision is that imagined place that is just on the horizon, a place that looks a certain way and that we are working toward becoming or making. Our vision is not our goals, it is not our strategy, it is not even our action plan, it is something bigger than that and it undergirds and informs everything that we as a church do. The question that we all should (and hopefully do) ask when speaking of programs and of initiatives is: “Does this further our vision?”
Read Genesis 1:26-31
Q1: When God created human beings, who was the model for this new creature?
Q2: Why would God make us in his image?
After Adam and Eve sinned, many thousands of years passed before God enacted a final solution to the sin of human beings.
Read Romans 5:12-21
Q3: What is God’s vision for human beings? How did he provide for that vision?
The Vision of the Church
God did not simply send Jesus to fix our problems and then step out of the picture. Through the Holy Spirit he gathered together those who were followers of Jesus so that they might continue the work of spreading the Good News of what Jesus has done for us.
Read Matthew 28:16-20
Q4: What is the vision that the Church (throughout all time and space) has been given?
The Vision of Riverwood
In a previous sermon series Todd referred to each gathered community of followers of Jesus—each local church—as a portal to heaven. And while at one level we all share the same vision that Jesus gave to us we all look a little different. We all have a slightly different way of seeing our part in the great vision of Jesus for bringing people back into relationship with God.
So, Riverwood has a set of distinctive ideas which form our idea of who we are and which undergird our decisions about ministry, buildings, staff, initiatives—really, all that we do. We call these L3 Living.
Q5: What are the three distinctives that form Riverwood’s vision?
Many people do not know the distinctives and so I’d encourage you all to look at them and memorize them. Remember, while we are all looking to reconcile people to God through making disciples of every human being, Riverwood is doing this in its own way and you should know what that is:
L1: Living intimately with God
L2: Living in deep community
L3: Living lives of influence
Oh yah, and to add just a bit to that, we have committed to a certain location of the city: our ministry is Elmwood-centric. Of course that does not mean that we do not draw people from other locations in and around Winnipeg, because we do. And that does not mean that we do not do ministry in other locations in and around Winnipeg, because of course we do. And that does not mean that we do not intentionally reach out into other areas of the world, including those people churches that we reach with our Internet broadcast of our services and by being physically present in places like Swaziland. But it does mean that we are intentionally in Elmwood and we see the location where we are as a part of our vision for who we are to become as a church and how we are to transform this place in which we are planted.
Q6: What areas of our lives (personally and as a church) does L3 Living touch?
How We Are Accomplishing our Vision This Year?
Can you believe that was all preamble? The introduction to the message. For unless we can see the vision of God, the vision of the church, and the overall vision of Riverwood then we cannot make sense of the plan for the next year. Each ministry leader, each senior leader, each pastor, each elder, and each of you must begin with the big visions and from those we can understand what the next day, week, month, year, decade might look like and how we will get there.
Read Psalm 84:5-8
Todd talked about three essential things as we move forward this year. Three things essential to the journey that we are on:
- Electricity: the power of God flowing through us as we engage with him in prayer for the mission of the church
- People: people who are daring and invested in the vision of Riverwood and who are willing to step out in faith to work to see it accomplished
- Gas: the money to accomplish what we have already committed to and what we see in the future
We are all a part of what God is doing in the world. We all have a part to play in reconciling himself to human beings, to sharing the good news of Jesus, and to seeing people live rightly with God and with each other. Much of that is accomplished through the local church, through your church, Riverwood.
Todd issued a challenge for all of us to be part of empowering Riverwood, doing the work of the gospel through Riverwood, and helping to pay for those things that need money.
Q1: Which of those three challenges strikes you as most important (in your own life) right now?
Q2: What will you do to ensure that each of these three things can be accomplished over the next year?
The Depth (for optional study)
In this section we are providing an in-depth look into the scriptures that the message came out of. There are two critical steps in good interpretation of the Bible. First, we try to understand what the author meant when he wrote the words and how that would have been applied by the original audience. Second, we then take the principles that the original author was trying to get across to his audience and we apply those principles to our own lives. You may want to read some of these passages yourself and/or have people in your group read them together.
Happy are those whose strength is in you,
in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
As they go through the valley of Baca
they make it a place of springs;
the early rain also covers it with pools.
They go from strength to strength;
the God of gods will be seen in Zion.
O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer;
give ear, O God of Jacob!
Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”
So God created humankind in his image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death came through sin, and so death spread to all because all have sinned— sin was indeed in the world before the law, but sin is not reckoned when there is no law. Yet death exercised dominion from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sins were not like the transgression of Adam, who is a type of the one who was to come.
But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died through the one man’s trespass, much more surely have the grace of God and the free gift in the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abounded for the many. And the free gift is not like the effect of the one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brings justification. If, because of the one man’s trespass, death exercised dominion through that one, much more surely will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness exercise dominion in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.
Therefore just as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all. For just as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. But law came in, with the result that the trespass multiplied; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, just as sin exercised dominion in death, so grace might also exercise dominion through justification leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”