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The Non-Vision Statement

Genesis 12:1 NIV

"The Lord had said to Abram, 'Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you.'"

OK, pick a number, any number. Write it down on your bulletin. Now turn to your neighbor and show them what you wrote down. How many of you wrote down a number larger than a million?

If you didn't, why didn't you?

In 1998, Larry Page and Sergey Brin incorporated Google while still graduate students at Stanford University. According to Fortune Small Business Magazine, Internet users perform over 150 million searches a day on the Google Search Engine. The Google Search Engine can access over two billion pages in 74 different languages. One study recently showed that Google users used the search engine 13 million hours in one month. Compare that with Yahoo that came in second with 5.4 million hours.

Google is dominant.

How did they get so big? I don't have the expertise to answer that question, but I can tell you that it began with their initial vision. The word Google comes from a mathematical term that is the number 1 followed by 100 zeroes. They picked the name before anyone performed a single search on their engine. They began with a vision.

While most people are likely to pick a number like 14 or 98, Brin & Page decided to pick a googol-1 with 100 zeroes. Jim Reese, chief operations engineer of Google says this about the company's founders: "It takes a lot of confidence and courage to go ahead and do that [be huge]. It's rare to find people who think on such a grand scale and are also able to create a great product at the same time." (Fresh Illustrations,

Proverbs 29:18 says, "Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, But happy is he who keeps the law." (NASB)

I've often quoted the first part of that verse, and it goes so well with a sermon like this one, but usually I chop off the verse in the middle and don't quote the whole thing. But not today. Look at the second part-"happy is he who keeps the law." It reminds me that even the grandest of visions will amount to nothing without the hard work it takes to implement the vision. Or as Reese put it, "It's rare to find people who think on such a grand scale and are also able to create a great product at the same time."

Having the vision-the ability to think on a grand scale is one thing. Keeping the law-creating a great product, is another. And maybe that's why when with think of a number we're likely to think of 14 or 98 instead of a million because those are numbers that we can put our arms around-they seem attainable, controllable, maybe even comfortable. 

Can we have a great vision and still do the little things that it takes to implement it? What I'm about to say may surprise you, but I don't think we need a great vision. I know that I'm going against everything that leadership gurus are teaching in their lectures and books, but I just don't buy it. You see, I don't think we need a great vision because God already has one for us, we just need to follow the one He has, we don't need to create one ourselves.

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