Do you remember stereograms? Google it, you’ll remember. I can still recall walking through the mall and seeing people standing in groups staring at these posters and marveling. I would go and stand with them and look at the poster, and all I could see was a bunch of squiggly lines. They would keep talking about the picture that “jumps out at you” if you stare at it long enough. I still didn’t get it. Then they would give you these complicated instructions, trying to help you see it…something about relaxing your eyes and looking through the poster. That only made me feel more incompetent. After a while, the person selling the posters would console me by saying, “Well, some people just never see it.” Oh, thank you. Now I feel much better.
Apparently, it is a fact of life. Some of us have brains designed to easily see the hidden pictures in stereograms, while others of us, well, cannot. I am o.k. with that.
It is like that in the church as well. Even after we get all of the pieces to to the puzzle that is God’s will put out on the table, and after we get them all connected as they should be, there are still plenty of us who look at the picture and say, “I don’t get it…what is it?” This, I believe, is where true pastoral vision comes into play. I believe God has gifted those He calls as pastors with the ability to cast their gaze across the landscape of a congregation and see God at work in the lives of its members. Then, seeing God at work through its members, that vision enables the pastor to see the picture of what God desires and interpret it correctly. For someone with …