When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild. But whoever obeys the law is joyful. (New Living Translation)
Without prophetic vision, people abandon restraint, but those who obey the Law are happy. (Inter-national Standard Version)
I thought it would be interesting to consider several translations of this famous verse....many commentaries suggest that "vision" in the ancient times was basically "prophecy." Similar to the way that Isaiah's vision in the temple was a prophetic message for all those in his day, and for us, as well. In the era we are in, prophecy would probably be likened most to "preaching."
What a huge responsibility for those who accept the role of preacher, pastor, shepherd today. Many of them are godly souls who seek the Father's face and then proclaim His word to those who will listen. There are some who take their role much more lightly, and do a great dis-service to their congregations and to themselves.
It is vitally important that church leaders articulate a vision to their people --- they must teach a Biblical view of who they are, what they believe, what their standards are, and where they are going as individuals and as a church body.
In I Peter 5:2, Peter encouraged his fellow elders in the church to "shepherd the flock of God among you" and to "exercise oversight." God entrusted them with the authority and the responsibility of leading the flock. Pastors are accountable for how they lead, and the direction in which they lead.
The pastor exercises oversight of the flock by the example of his life. Being a pastor requires getting in among the sheep. It's not leadership from above, but from within --- the most effective pastor will not herd his sheep from the rear, but will lead them from the front. In that way, they can see him and imitate his actions.
The most powerful asset of spiritual leadership is the important principle of an exemplary life. I Timothy 4:16 instructs our church leaders to:
"Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you."Pretty hefty responsibilities, no? If your pastor is faithfully carrying out the duties prescribed in the Bible, then be certain to carefully fulfill your end of the bargain --- obey and pray!