What I Write About

I write about the infinite number of intersections between every day life and the good news of the God who has come to get us.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Doing a Great Work

This past week I've been at Ocean Isle with about 12 IV staff from across the Eastern Carolina's area. We spent much of the week talking about vision using both the book of Nehemiah and Andy Stanley's excellent book on vision, Visioneering.

Stanley writes his book based on his own reflections from Nehemiah. In the introduction he says, "Visioneering is the engineering of vision. If I were to boil it down to a formula, it would look something like this:


As I read through the book and considered the places where vision in my own life and ministry fell apart, I realized it was the place of "determined action." I start off with clear vision, but don't stick with it as the every-day-ness of life sinks in. Bill Hybles says that "vision sinks."

So it really hit me how Stanley highlights how Nehemiah deals with one particular opportunity for distraction. There are a couple of evil dudes in the book of Nehemiah who are trying to stop Nehemiah's effort to re-build the wall of Jerusalem. They send word to Nehemiah as he is working on the wall, asking for a meeting where they intend to kill him.

Nehemiah's response: "I am doing a great work and I cannot come down."

Here's how Stanley applies this to family vision:

"Don't allow 'good' opportunities to rob you of your family vision. When you tuck your children in at night, just whisper to yourself, 'I am doing a great work and cannot come down.' Men, when you are tempted to pick up the phone and to tell your wife that you will be home late from work (again), just look over at her picture on your credenza and whisper, "I am doing a great work, I cannot come down." Then stand up, grab your keys, and head for the car."

I am doing a great work and I cannot come down.

Family. School. Work. Ministry. Vision sinks apart from determined action to see it through to the end. And so I need this little phrase from Nehemiah: I am doing a great work and cannot come down.

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