Vision casting is not any part of the job of pastoring. It is unnecessary because God has already given us the vision. Here is an important distinction for us beloved. God does not have a vision for YOUR church. He has a vision for HIS church. There is a vast difference. Under the Rick Warren vision, each church has its own vision. Under the vision of Christ, each church shares His vision. Wow. To say there is a difference there is a huge understatement. One has everything to do with building the kingdom and the other is building a monument to yourself. To Rick Warren the role of the pastor is to get the sheep (parishioners?) behind a false vision. What about those seven things a pastor must communicate? Are they the balance between law and grace? An understanding of the atonement? Distinctions for the church between the ceremonial, civil and moral code? Ehh, not so much:
1) Who you are -- how is your church unique? - This one is easy. Your church is not supposed to be unique as compared to other churches. It is supposed to be unique compared to the world. The Purpose Driven Church however teaches individualism. The Bible does not.
2) Where are you going? - Another simple one if you know the Word of God. Without faith in Christ we are going to hell. That is the Gospel message that Warren has taught modern pastors is not "seeker friendly." If you have faith in Christ however, you are going to heaven.
3) Why you are going there. -- Because no one wants the eternal suffering of hell?
4) What it feels like to be going there -- making people feel significant -- Here we really see the stark contrast of humanistic teaching versus biblical understanding. I do not want to feel significant. I feel constantly humbled that God would use me for anything at all. Purpose driven theology is about making YOU feel important instead of making you feel CHRIST is important.
5) What people can do. -- Within Warren teachings this is related to acquiring a free labor force. No mega church can possibly afford to staff the church correctly. Instead they sell people that God has a "purpose for them" that is usually found in one or more ministries helping out around the church. Yes, from the foundations of the world God hath ordained you to help park cars on a Sunday or serve in the Mime Ministry. Sad, I know.
6) How you're going to do it. -- You are not going to do it. God will. As we saw in previous portions of this series, the Book of Acts outlines the duties of the people and the duties of God within the church structure. The shepherd is responsible for tending to the sheep the Lord has entrusted to Him. Making sure they are spiritually fed the Gospel so they may grow in Christ. God is responsible for the horizontal growth of the individual churches. He adds to their number daily as He sees fit.
7) What the rewards will be. -- Warren actually has the nerve to quote "well done my good and faithful servant" as what people should expect if they follow his heresy. The sad thing is most will hear the other option -- I never knew you. Narrow is the way and you do not need vision to get there. You just need faith.
The truly ironic thing is how often Rick Warren and his ilk misuse the key verse today in order to support the notion of the vision casting leader. I should say they misuse the first half of the verse. It sounds so profound. Where there is no vision the people perish! See preacher! Yes beloved, I see. I see the entire verse. I also see the other translations. I also see the commentaries. This verse has absolutely nothing to do with carnal vision casting. The "vision" referred to here is the Word of God. That is where the irony is so thick. Where there is a lack of revelation regarding the Bible, the people perish. In other words, where people follow Rick Warren and the purpose driven church model, they will perish.
The other part of the Warren role of a pastor is that of a CEO. Church has become a business. As such, the leaders within the church are reliant less and less upon God and more upon the carnal wisdom of man. Today, the church is forever chasing ideas about leadership from people who do not even know God. How foolish we are. The Bible contains the leadership plan we are supposed to adhere to:
Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. -- 1Corinthians 11: 1 (ESV)
As simple as this is, pastors all around this country are constantly trying to leverage the latest schemes and techniques for church leadership using the most carnal methods imaginable. The keynote speaker just two years ago at the annual Bill Hybels Leadership Conference was a man who has made 400 million dollars as a cross dresser. This is who is held up as a paragon of leadership to follow? Seriously? The answer is yes within the purpose driven mindset because the results are all that matters and the metrics for success are all carnal.
Beloved the Purpose Driven Church has polluted American Christianity for decades now and it only seems to get worse. For many up and coming pastors it is their bible. It is their blueprint for "How to do church." They view the sheep they are entrusted with as customers. They view the lost as merely being unchurched. They focus their efforts on drawing goats instead of feeding sheep because they do not think they are shepherds. After all, how culturally irrelevant is that? Instead they cast some carnal vision instead of embracing the vision Christ has already provided. They starve the sheep in the name of progress and think this is all somehow for the cause of Christ when all it really serves is themselves. The irony is so thick as most of these leaders are too busy casting vision to notice that they themselves are hopelessly blind.
Reverend Anthony Wade -- June