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"But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off" (2 Peter 1:9).

When the domed sanctuary of Living Stones, my church, was just finished in the mid 1980s, it seemed like a time to settle in and expect many years of growth and prosperity. Everything was paid for and the ministry lacked nothing. The future seemed clear and simple: the church "had arrived" and had everything it would ever need.

It was about this time that my wife and I became interested in buying some land for the construction of a new home. The land belonged to a couple in California, and after we had contacted them, they agreed to meet us for a visit.

After negotiating a price for the property, the owner and I stood looking out the front windows of the church lobby. It was at this point that the man asked me a question that completely changed the focus for our future and the future of our church.

It was really a simple question: "Are you going to buy that land across the street for your church?" he asked. The property he referred to was pasture land at that time.

"Oh, no sir. We'll never need that," I told him.

"Oh, I see," he answered. "So, you're the selfish type then."

"Excuse me?" I was startled and couldn't believe my ears. What was he trying to say? The man continued, "What I meant to say is you are only thinking about yourself and what your church needs while you are still the pastor here. What is going to happen a hundred years from now when the church wants to expand and there is no land available?"

His comments struck pretty hard. No one was looking 20 years down the road—in fact, we were all pretty content with what had already been accomplished. But the fact of the matter was that God had a lot more in store for Living Stones than to just erect a new church building. In fact, Living Stones was just getting started!

Eventually Living Stones bought the 20 acres across the street from the church building, and that land is where Victory Camp, our camp and conference center, sits today.

Another Word Of Wisdom
As some of the first dormitories were going up for Victory Camp, God used another man, a man from Australia, to change my perspectives again. He said that if what a person does for God isn't around 100 years after that person has died, then that person hasn't really done anything at all.

So we went back to the drawing board. Instead of building the dormitories out of metal, we switched to brick. The plan was for those buildings to be a blessing to several generations of kids, not just a couple of generations.

God was teaching me to look "afar off," and not just thinking about today, or just about myself.

If Christians are going to change the world, we need to learn to think the same way about our futures, the futures of our families, and the impact our churches and businesses will have in the times to come.

Source: The Storehouse Principle by Al Jandl & Van Crouch.
Excerpt permission granted by CrossStaff Publishing.

Author Biography

Al Jandl
Web site: Living Stones Church
Al Jandl is known as a pastor's pastor and a visionary leader for the 21st century. From humble beginnings as a store manager for a major grocery chain, Al Jandl has become a nationally known pastor, conference speaker, and leader.

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