Why is the Sequoia Vision Night Worth Your Time?

By Ryan Dawson

This Sunday evening, we are holding our Vision Night and Annual General Meeting (AGM) as a church family, and you might be wondering, if this is really worth my time & energy?  If you grew up in the church you might have visions of boring church meetings where people drone on about the cost of the new carpet in the sanctuary, all the while being suffocated by the smell of tuna casserole (BTW Tuna casserole is a must for all boring church meetings!).  If you didn’t grow up connected to a church family you might envision endless slides of budgets and inconsequential details that have nothing to do with you.   Besides you just want to love and serve Jesus with your friends, and you don’t need an AGM to do that, right?   Well let me give you a few reasons why our Vision Night and AGM is worth your time.  

1) Jesus will be there:  Jesus promises that when “two or three believers gather in His name” (Matthew 18:20) He will be present.  Now that passage specifically references church discipline (which we won’t be engaged in on Sunday), but if church discipline is an aspect of a healthy functioning church and Jesus will be there, we can be sure he will show up for our AGM’s as well.  

2) Celebration is good for your soul:  We will take time to recount and celebrate God’s faithfulness to us in 2022 and this will encourage us and give us the opportunity to give thanks to God for His goodness and grace.  Focusing on God sightings and giving thanks for God’s involvement in our lives and church family will fill our hearts with joy, thankfulness, and hope - all of which are good medicine for the soul, especially in February when we are in the throes of winter.  

3) It will build your faith.  We will take time to look ahead into the future and lay out what we sense God is asking us to engage in as a church.  Vision is a picture of the future that produces passion in us and this fuels our faith to trust God for more.  Hebrews tells us “without faith it is impossible to please God and He rewards those who earnestly seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6) so setting goals and plans for 2023 helps us walk by faith, believing God to show up in power.  This also informs our prayer life, which is another indictor of our faith, because as we pray for these plans to come to fruition for God’s glory, we are making ourselves dependent on God and this is an act of faith.   In these days at Sequoia, we resonate with Isaiah 43:19 where God says: “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?”  We are excited as a Church to step into this “newness” brought on by our Living God.  

4) Unity matters.   Before Jesus went to the cross, He prayed for the Church to be One - to be unified in the same way as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Unity is mission critical!  Simply put, without unity we can’t accomplish our God given mandate.  So, unity really matters and coming together in this way helps us be aligned and unified as we trust God for His plans in 2023.  We are also going to enjoy coming together over some great appetizers after the session 😊.    

5) You need a bigger story.  You were created for a purpose, but that purpose is not you.  Too often we wrongly assume that our lives are just about us, and we simply orbit around things that brings us fulfillment.  But God is on a rescue mission to restore the world through Jesus Christ and He sets apart His Church as the means to accomplish this mission.  You are part of the Church and so you have been invited into something so much bigger than you.  You have an important role to play within our church family and it matters that you show up.  Leaning into God’s purpose for your life in the context of the Body of Christ (the Church) will awaken you to more than you can ask or imagine.  This is good for you and it is good for our church.  

6) Membership has its privileges.  As members of Sequoia you have the privilege and responsibility to help give oversight so that our house is in order.  We want to ensure we are staying on mission and being integral with our finances and governance.  Having our members present ensures we are accountable, and as as Proverbs 11:14 reminds us “there is safety in many advisors.”  Thank you for taking your membership seriously.  

7) Learning is good.  Shrek told us that “change is good Donkey!” but learning is also good and it leads to good change. To be a disciple is to be a life-long learner and we can always learn and grow so we see positive and healthy change.  I trust that you will learn something from our time together whether you are just checking this church-thing out or whether you are a long term Sequoia member.  We will also be giving an important Impact Centre update which you won’t want to miss.  

8) The NFL season is over, and the NHL playoffs haven’t started yet.  This means that you are not going to miss anything of consequence by leaving the couch on Sunday night 😊.

So, I really hope you will join us this Sunday at Ottawa Christian School from 7-9pm as we gather in faith and unity, believing God for a great year ahead.  Everyone is welcome to join us.  Please come a couple minutes early to sign in.  See you Sunday!  

For Christ and His Kingdom, Ryan