It’s kind of weird to live in a culture that needs to be reminded to “see” while walking:
And yet, “pay attention while walking” is a reminder we all need – because we’re often blind to the things that matter most.
In contrast, have you ever noticed that Jesus actually stopped in his tracks in order to “see” people?
“Jesus looked at him (the rich ruler), and loved him.” – Mark 10:21
“When the Lord saw her (a widow), his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.” – Luke 7:31
For Jesus, looking was a necessary precursor to loving. It wasn’t an interruption to the agenda – it was key to the mission.
If you’re like me, too often we see what we want to see – and it may not be helpful or loving, as author Paul Miller points out:
“Jesus lowers himself in order to care, while the disciples elevate themselves in order to judge. The disciples see a blind man; Jesus sees a man who happens to be blind. The disciples see an item for debate; Jesus sees a person, a human being like himself. They see sin, the effect of man’s work; Jesus sees need, the potential for God’s work. The disciples see a completed tragedy and wonder who the villain was; Jesus sees a story half-told, with the best yet to come.”
― Paul E. Miller, Love Walked among Us: Learning to Love Like Jesus
How beautiful are the eyes of Jesus!
Setting a Vision
Knowing how (as well as who) to see then is not only vital for our ministries, it’s also a great thing to include on your website.
When visitors see a clear vision statement – especially on your main page – they’ll know at once what you’re about, what you’re “here for.”
Here’s one example, from Redeemer church in NYC:
The Redeemer family of churches and ministries exists to help build a great city for all people through a movement of the gospel that brings personal conversion, community formation, social justice, and cultural renewal to New York City and, through it, the world.
Notice what this vision statement helpfully includes: a who, what, and how, as well as some further, specific impacts or effects:
Who: The Redeemer family of churches and ministries
What (or purpose): …to help build a great city for all people
How: …through a movement of the gospel
Further Effects (Specific impact): …that brings personal conversion, community formation, social justice, and cultural renewal to New York City and, through it, the world.
A vision statement is a continual reminder of our purpose, of who/what we want to keep our eyes on. Why does this matter?
As Paul Miller again notes, “We begin to resemble what we focus on. If we devote our lives to our jobs, then we mentally take the office to our daughter’s lacrosse game.”
We begin to resemble what we focus on.
Paul (the Apostle) knew this too. None of his efforts for ministry could properly be sustained unless he was turning away from looking at himself (boasting in his flesh).
He had a single focus – “Christ and him crucified,” because not only does Christ propel us (faith working through love), it’s also the way we change into his likeness:
“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” 2 Cor. 3:18
“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” – Hebrews 12:1b, 2
How thankful we can be that Jesus first saw us! May he give us continual grace to see as he sees.