Welcome to Vision Sunday. This is exciting for a few reasons. We had enough vision to get where we are today. We continue to see the importance of clarifying vision as we move towards ‘what-else’ God has for us, as a community and as individuals.

I don’t where glasses. So, by default, I don’t understand what others feel like without their glasses or contacts on. We’ve had this conversation in our home around glasses, as I am out numbered 3-1 in vision impaired-ness department 😉

As a church or as a follower of Jesus, it’s not that we need glasses, but we do need direction and a visual path before us to help us walk where God wants us to walk and to do what God wants us to do.

Vision – in the Bible is found about 80-120x (depending which translation you’re reading)

  • sight (Jesus healed people’s vision)
  • dream (God gives people dreams)
  • direction/plan (God gives his church a vision to keep moving forward and growing)

You may have heard (maybe) this verse from Proverbs.

Where there is no vision, the people perish. But he that keeps the law is happy. (Prov 29:18 KJV)

If people can’t see what God is doing,
    they stumble all over themselves;
But when they attend to what he reveals,
    they are most blessed. (The Message)

Some vision-esque statements we’ve come back to around here since we started:

Love God, Love Others, Make the world better
Discovery, Story, Community
A safe place to discover faith
Broken people help broken people
God’s best for you, really is the best for you (just last week)

If there is one word that keeps coming to our hearts as leaders for this season, one word we want to keep in front of us, it’s this: GROW.

Before we get to what that looks like here, let’s look at 1 Corinthians 3:5-9.

– – – – – – –

Corinthians is a letter Paul wrote to a church in Corinth. This letter, among other things, addresses conflict…normal…not so pretty…kind of ugly…conflict. (no one ever has to deal with that???)

Chapter 3 doesn’t start that warmly…listen to how Paul begins this section: (3:1-4)

Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarrelling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings?

Live by the Spirit vs Still Worldy
Drink Milk vs Eat Solids

These two comparisons are really about maturity. About where these corinthian christians were at in their spirit journey. They are ‘seeing’ things through the lens of culture, of society, and simply following suit. We talked about this last week…

  • don’t become well adjusted…don’t get squeezed into the mold of the present age (Rom 12:1-2)
  • Be changed, Live differently, Discover God’s best…mature, loving, community minded, etc.
  • That is where the conflict in this early church came from – a lack of maturity.
  • (note: this is not an assessment of us)

Then Paul says… (3:5-9)

What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labour. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.

What’s going on here?

This early church is having a bit of a spat about who’s more important. They’re putting either Paul or Apollos on a pedestal they were never meant to be on. Paul is, from what we know, the key figure in this church plant, but Apollos had a part to play as well. He may have taught a few things, led a few things, encouraged a group of people.

Paul wants to get across this very important truth:

Everybody has a part to play, but God is the one who brings it all together. Every person in a Jesus community offers something of value, but God holds it together – God leads us forward.

The language or words he uses are: Watering, Planting & Growing.

Paul is setting out…presenting if you will…a vision…for community…for a healthy community…for a healthy church community.

It’s not about one person, but all people.
It is however, about one God.
We play our part, and God does the rest.


  • Hard work
  • You have to trust that what you planted will eventually become soemthing
  • Jesus talks about this (Scattering/Sowing seed) in Matthew 13


  • Nurture what you’ve planted
  • Follow up with your seed
  • Sure, trust that it’ll grow, but then help it along by watering, caring, nurturing…


  • a bit of a mystery isn’t it?
  • We don’t see growth happening, we recognize that growth happened. (ill…kids)
  • Trust God is working behind the scenes, making things grow, and one day we’ll say, “wow, look what God did”.

We are God’s field, God’s building, he’s the one who brings it all together.

Things won’t grow without planting. Things won’t grow without watering. Things won’t grow without God. Every part of what Paul is saying is important.


  • If we plant & water…we will grow
  • If we’re not growing…something is missing…seeds or water…
  • God, however is ready, we simply need to do our part

How do we want to grow? Glad you asked!

GROW in our Faith & Formation

  • we can never neglect this
  • It’s about us inviting Jesus to be planted and to grow in us (his heart, his ways, his love)
  • what does that look like?
    • Prayer, Scripture, Community worship, smaller groups, intentional discipleship


  • when we give, we plant seeds
  • our giving doesn’t end when the resource leaves our hand (resources = $ or skill)
    • it keeps going & keeps growing
  • giving is an integral part of a healthy stewardship/finances (10%(give) 10% save 80% live)
  • generosity is about more than money. It is anything that resources God’s mission of loving our neighbour and building the church. ($, Service, Acts of Kind, Volunteering, etc)
  • we are the answer to our prayers…God uses us to bring the healing, helping, restoring that we are praying for.
  • what does that look like?
    • Equip & enable generosity
    • Teach stewardship
    • Champion volunteers/-ing


  • Loving Neighbours
  • Sharing Faith with others
    • Includes leading people to Jesus
    • Includes inviting friends to church
  • Praying for others (not just when they’re sick or hurting, but for God to get their attention)
  • what does that look like?
    • Community events
    • Woodcrest School Partnership
    • Benevolence
    • Missional giving
    • Kids / Students
    • Social Media
    • Being Present

GROW in our expression/experience of COMMUNITY

  • Be Community
  • Serve Community
  • Grow in our sense of Family
  • Grow in our passion for others
  • Desire all this growth happens in one another
  • what does that look like?
    • Sundays
    • smaller groups
    • Big Table
    • Multi-generational relationships
    • Coffee shops, living rooms, back yards, restaurants, etc.

– – – – – – –

I started a garden a couple of years ago. This summer we were overwhelmed with tomatoes. We had so many that we were looking for ways to give them away. We were able to generous in this way for one simple reason. We planted something. We watered that something. And, what do you know, it grew.

In 2019, we want us to focus on Paul’s vision for growth…and make it our own.


If we do this, we’ll be able to look back and say WOW, look at what God did!!!