Vision casting is the idea that a pastor/church leader has received a specific vision from the Holy Spirit for the purpose/design/direction for a church and that the vision must be followed because it is God’s Will, regardless of it’s intent. In other words, if you’re not on the bus, get off the bus, or it will run you over.
So, let’s think about that for a minute…
A congregation following the vision cast by a leader MUST follow the leader without questioning the vision, or they will be seen as questioning a vision from God for the purpose of the church.
I’m sorry, but that sounds a little too David Koresh for me…
The sole norm and direction of the church comes directly from God to all of His people in the form of His Word, the Holy Scripture. Christ and the salvation He brings alone is presented to us in the Bible, and all of our direction comes from Him. We do not need additional revelation or vision from God. If we did, He would have provided it to us through the Church, not the individual pastor in a random congregation who proclaims that God only speaks in his ear for his congregation’s benefit. Again, a little too cult leader/”I hear the Voice of God”…
Any word or deed outside of the guidance of Scripture is not from the Lord. It is very simple to understand. The Lord grants us, His people, the ability to judge those who claim to be the prophets of the Lord by one simple criteria: If it’s not in the Good Book, throw it out. 2 Timothy 3:15-17, “and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
What’s the purpose of these men who seek to cast a vision on a church? Is it to do God’s Will as defined in Scripture, or to do another “will” as they are perceiving it? It is not the visions of men which should lead and guide a church, but the Gospel of Christ Jesus as revealed in Scripture. Galatians 1:6-10 is very clear in this matter. “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you,let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
God does not need to reveal Himself in any way beyond the revelation we have through Christ Jesus. And the revelation of Jesus is available for us all through Scripture. It was made to be this way at the crucifixion. When the curtain of the temple was torn in two, Jesus removed the barrier between His people and salvation. No longer were we needing to seek the High Priest and the sacrifices of the altar for our forgiveness. Christ had made the final atonement and brought to us life and salvation through Him alone, which we receive through Baptism and His Holy Supper. That is what the pastor should be preaching: Salvation is by Grace Alone, through Faith Alone, in Scripture Alone.
That’s the only vision I need.
Here’s an interesting discussion with Chris Rosebrough of Fighting for the Faith on vision casting over at Issues, Etc.