Michael Anthony Milton is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America. He is the Chancellor/CEO Elect of Reformed Theological Seminary.
On the day of the tragic Connecticut shootings, I shared personal time with Michael Reagan, son of the 40th president of the United States. It just so happened, that Michael and I were to be speaking about an upcoming book. What really came out of that time was more than an endorsement for a book. I got to hear the passionate heart of a man who reflected both his frustration and his deep prayerful spirit for our nation.
We talked about how the Church must find its way back home to prophetically and faithfully help our people see that our problems we face are, first, spiritual in nature. Mike seemed to be saying to me that the tragedy of that day’s awful event revealed the truth: the problems of our nation are altogether spiritual and not social; moral and not political. Michael told me that within hours, he suspected that there would be pundits talking about the need for gun control or for revisions in our educational system. He was right. But little attention has been paid to the real need: the need for revival — for God to hear the cries of a desperate people and “come down” and save us from ourselves. Such a message cannot come from others. That must come from believers in the Church. This is our time to lead — “not to lead from behind” — but to lead on our knees; in prayer and in sounding forth biblical truth.
I wrote “Finding a Vision for Your Church: Assembly Required” out of that need. I initially prepared the book for our own seminaries’ need, and the perennial need of the Church that we serve, to have a biblical guide for pastors, church planters, and those in revitalization in “assembling” a comprehensive ministry’s plan that is thoroughly grounded in the supernatural vision of God. It has ended up being the book about so much more: a book about finding God’s vision for our nation; for ou r lives.
This not a book on “how to write a ‘business plan’ for your church or ministry.” To the contrary. It is a call to discover the divine burden, values, vision, mission, philosophy of ministry and strategies of God for building His Church His way. When that happens, supernatural means lead to supernatural cures. That divine cure is what our nation needs so desperately. That divine cure is what the Church has access to and must share — for the sake of all.
There are good resources for leading a congregation in articulating a vision for ministry. This book is not, therefore, any sort of frustrated polemic, but a personal, pastoral cry for pastors, church leaders, and every believer to return to a passion for revival as the catalyst for transformation. In a real way this book transcends a narrow focus of “writing a mission for your church” to “Finding a Vision for YOUR LIFE: Assembly required.”
My conversation with Mike Reagan reminded me of that. The tragedies and enormous threats to our nation and world convinced me of it. We have the answer. But do we really know God’s burden that will lead to God’s vision? Finding the vision is one thing. Assembling that vision for our church and our nation is another. But is there any other way? And if not now, when?