In light of the developments made by Barna, one most striking question that should linger in the minds of many readers of his book is that, “Is vision really necessary in the church?” To answer this question, let us look at what is outlined in the Bible to find a basis for the argument. Proverbs 29:18 is much explicit in this matter by authoritatively declaring that people who live without vision are actually busy preparing their perishing certificate. No more word can describe the depth of that statement by Solomon, who was and still is, the wisest man in history of the planet. This therefore means that no church will be able to survive the taste of time without having a vision. I highly commend Barna for tackling this issue effectively. Through his book, he provides full proof that vision stands in place of a catalyst that makes every system, every church and every nation work and function. Therefore, due to complexities in life, Barna recommends that falling is not the end of the road for churches, but rather they should be able to stand up again and work towards their dream of preparing God’s flock.
One more thing that makes me accord a lot of respect to Barna is his systematic approach to handling ingredients of vision. He makes it clear to readers that any church without vision is absolutely dead, just as Solomon resonated. Having proved to readers this fact, he goes ahead to structure what he called ‘killers of vision’. It is important to note that Barna’s message was mostly to the church and her leadership.
Therefore, by introducing obstacles to vision, he is actually preparing the followers of Christ for the worst, as the church will always battle Satan to achieve God’s vision. The obstacles such as tradition, fear, stereotypes, complacency, fatigue, and short-term thinking not only apply to people in the church, but even to secular environments where visions are set. For instance, it is outlined by many scholars that the tendency to maintain status quo through tradition is catastrophic to development. Barna has actually provided an impeccable solution to this problem by saying that God has no business with traditions that hinder human development and prosperity.
In order for a reader to determine the completeness of knowledge espoused by Barna, it is helpful to compare this book to others, written by motivational writers and speakers of the same subject. For instance, a book written by Aubrey Malphurs Developing a Vision for Ministry in the 21st Century is fundamental in espousing more of the concepts developed by Barna, more so, the importance of credible vision for the church of God.
Looking at the two books with a critical lens, one will be able to notice some incomplete elaborations on Barna’s work. First of all, anybody who has read the book The Power of Vision will strikingly agree that Barna is not only captivating, but also motivating in the way he handles the subject. But conspicuously missing in his work, almost in all the editions of this book, are the fundamental steps the church should follow in order to actualize the power of vision. Instead of investing in this aspect, Barna only looks at aspects such as obstacles to vision and the myths that stymie vision, which in essence does not give the reader the ideological steps of actualizing the phenomenon. Beyond giving audiences the concepts and clarity of the concept, what Barna should have invested aggressively are the steps –these are what matters to a mortal being. Malphurs, therefore, having read and seen the incompleteness of Barna’s works, offers the readers what is missing in Barna’s works. He particularly addresses how vision should be presented to the church of God through church board members, how obstacles to vision should be dealt with critically, and what steps need to be taken for actualizing vision for the church.
In conclusion, despite the shortfalls in knowledge, a critical reader is likely to notice in actualizing the concept of vision that Barna’s work is and will remain phenomenal to the church and her leadership. I admire the inspirational and motivating nature of the book, and it is, no doubt, a wakening call to all churches of the world. Not only does this book appeal to members of the Christian church, secular leaders and organizations too can get important excerpts from this work.