30 years ago, a group of people led by the Lord, started something which has grown to become the largest organisation of its type in Australia. We catch up with Phil Edwards, CEO of Vision Christian Media about the work Vision is doing, and the “WOW…What…Just Happened!” moment he recently had.
Don’t you love the innocence of kids? They play, they explore. Their minds haven’t yet been shaped by the cares of this world and the thinking that so often holds us adults back. At times we see ourselves in our children and grandchildren, and long for them to have the same opportunities we enjoyed, or to avoid the things that caused us harm.
But the thief Jesus talked about in John 10:10 is doing all he can to steal the hope of today’s and future generations. The media and technology that reaches so deeply into our lives has given him the perfect platform to steal away our attention and elevate all kinds of crazy ideas as beneficial and true, reinforcing the lie that self-fulfilment is the pathway to happiness. But sadly the opposite is true – it’s a dead-end path that ultimately leads to emptiness.
I have seen Jesus’ words ring true in my own life and with others who have allowed the truth of His word to penetrate their hearts and minds. He said “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full”
But how we are so easily distracted! If we really want real life, we need to start with a few simple decisions in how we live each day. Vision’s Pastor Greg Laurie wraps it up well;;
In Psalm 1 it says the blessed man (or the happy man) continues in the Word of God day and night, so that’s what we all ought to do. Start you day off the right way with Christ and his Word.”
(Ironically I heard him say that in a short video on Facebook – but I was viewing it later in the day… I promise!)
The point is that God’s Word is the place to start, and stay. It’s true for us today, and will be future generations. So before we pray for revival, before we walk out the door to face another day, before we can do anything for God, we must get back to the basics of having His Word embedded in our hearts and minds.
William Wilberforce was another man who knew the importance of God’s Word. He said we ought to;
- Admit it as the Word of God,
- Commit it to our hearts and minds,
- Submit to it, and;
- Transmit it to the world.
That’s worth remembering! God’s Word guides us every day, whether we are in school, at home caring for kids, in ministry, or in business.
A ‘What…Just…Happened’ moment
Often you can slog away at something and not see the progress you’re making (or even go backwards). Other times you find yourself saying ‘what just happened???’
I had one of those moments less than 2 weeks ago.
Vision is a non-profit charity, and very much a team effort driven by a groundswell of community support. In fact, 79% is funded by donations. Twice each year we hold a major fundraiser called Visionathon. Actually, it feels more like a celebration than a fundraiser. It’s a time when we celebrate God at work in the lives of everyday people, as we share stories and testimonies from across Australia.
This year God has challenged us to dream bigger – and take some major steps of faith to secure a new home base for the ministry so we can keep growing toward our dream to reach every Australian with the true hope of God’s Word. So, we set out to invite Vison’s Radio audience to help us raise $1 million in just 4 days. If that sounds like a lot, it is. In fact, it was a 66% increase over last November’s Visionathon goal!
Gulp. Were we crazy?
But God turned up in a way we could never have imagined. Over 2,600 people responded to contribute $250k more than our goal! I was stunned!
Many were inspired by a couple who, on the afternoon of the last day phoned me to say they had decided to take a massive step of faith with a single gift of $300,000. What followed was truly a miracle, with gifts of all sizes coming in, until well past midnight!
Michael from Brisbane was amongst the many listeners who were also stunned at the result.
I still can’t believe what happened. It has been a big lesson for me in trusting God and not being afraid to step out.
People have continued to sow into Vision even after the appeal, because they know that God is faithful and Vision is good soil. The tally has since passed $1.3 million! One such donor said;
You can’t imagine how this kind of comment spurs me on to continue following God’s call.
So – maybe you’re blazing a trail in your business journey? If so, here’s a couple of things I’ve learned that might help you;
1. When it gets crazy, take time out to breathe. Step back, look at the big picture and hand it all over to God (every day)!
2. Look for people who will encourage you, tell you the truth in love, and spur you on.
3. As you wait for success to come, take time to praise God!
4. When the success does come, take time to praise God!
Our mission to reach every Australian is far from over, but I am pumped that so many people share our passion to reach todays and future generations with God’s Word.
Oh, and if you were one of the many who responded – words cannot thank you enough for how we all feel toward your partnership with us!
A big, hairy, audacious dream..
30 years ago, Vision’s founders embarked on a dream to tell of the goodness of God to every Australian – connecting His Word with them through media.
Today we are stepping out to secure the key infrastructure that will enable the truth and hope of God’s Word to be made known in our nation for generations to come.