there were two important keynote speeches given yesterday. one on the east coast and one on the west. one was given by a harvard law school graduate, the other by a college dropout. one wore a fine suit and tie, the other wore jeans and a long-sleeve t-shirt. one is struggling in his line of work, the other seems to be on top of the world…
yesterday – january 27, 2010 – barack obama and steve jobs gave important addresses, each of which lasted around an hour and a half. both were focused, articulate and direct. one laid out the state of the union and a vision for the future. the other introduced a revolutionary new product… and a vision for the future. and when each speech was over, the question on the table was the same: is anybody buying it?
some would likely say that barack obama and steve jobs are worlds apart and have nothing at all in common, and that would be fair thinking. one is the leader of the free world, the other just sold his 250 millionth tiny music device. one is trying to unite a country torn or threatened by economic insecurity, terrorism, and congressional division. the other just wants you to be excited about a new way of enjoying media. (this is starting to sound like an old george carlin routine…)
but for all their differences, these two men did essentially the same thing yesterday. for roughly 90 minutes, they cast vision. each man stood before a live audience and talked about a vision for a better future, as he sees it. each is passionate about his topic and believes deeply that following his vision will lead to a better tomorrow.
whether you like his product or his politics isn’t the issue of this post. the issue is vision. having one and casting one. that’s what leaders do.
i’m not a big fan of all the leadership books out there that use the life of Jesus to provide two dozen leadership lessons. frankly, i think trying to imitate Jesus as a corporate leader waters down who he is as lord and savior. i’m just sayin’. however, there is no doubt that Jesus had – and has – a vision for his church. the gospels describe the vision he cast into the lives of those who followed him. and those who still do.
the role of every Christ-follower and of every church is to understand and embrace his vision and to play it out through the ins and outs of everyday life.
so how aware are you of the vision of Jesus?
vision statements are supposed to describe a preferred future. Jesus’ vision statements do that as we read the gospels, which is a great place to start. consider statements like this:
For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. (john 3.16)
the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. (mark 10.45)
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (john 10.10)
everywhere Jesus went, he had a vision for a better, fuller life for others. physical and spiritual healing were paramount for Jesus. with each encounter, there was the hope of a better future. coming face-to-face with Jesus was supposed to make a difference.
my challenge to you today is this: how well have you heard the keynote speech of Jesus? in the 90 minutes it took to listen to steve jobs or president obama, you could easily read through the gospel of mark, the shortest and most concise of the four stories of Jesus in the new testament. if you aren’t fully aware of the vision of Jesus, you oughtta get right on that. there is important stuff there.
stuff you oughtta be buying…