07 Dec, 2015 The power of a vision
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Hi Pastor or Church Leader
Vision is powerful. People are looking for something to believe in and give their lives to – and Jesus gives us just that. He calls us to the greatest mission on earth – and it is the responsibility of the Christian leader to communicate and impart the vision for that to the Christian believers under their care.
There are not many Churches in which the majority of the members are motivated for Christian outreach – and there are various reasons for that, but one is a lack of a clearly defined vision, combined with a lack of strategic plans that could realistically accomplish that vision.
So this month we will take about vision. Next month we will talk about how to create a plans that will fulfill that vision.
Having a vision is not just a matter of having a general idea of what we are aiming at. It is a matter of having a crystal clear idea of what we’re aiming at, and of believing in that goal enough to promote it regularly, and lead in our members in a practical plan of action that can accomplish it.
If I say I have a vision for something but don’t have a plan, it reality its just a dream. Of course, if I have the plan but don’t have the vision, that’s equally ineffective, because it will become a drudgery. It’s only when the vision and the plan are put together that it becomes a destiny that we could achieve.
Here are two simple keys to effective vision casting
1. Effective leaders clarify their vision regularly
Many leaders cannot share the vision for the group they lead clearly and passionately, and at a moments notice. Others can share a vision easily – but it keeps changing. In other words, in their hearts they actually don’t believe in that vision sincerely enough to be committed to it.
If we are to be effective, we need a clear vision that we believe in, and are committed to lead our people towards over a lengthy period of time. That is how change happens!
- Having a general vision isn’t enough.
- Knowing what the Bible says about outreach isn’t enough either.
- Having good programs isn’t enough.
We need a clearly defined vision that we believe in enough to sell to our people, and lead them in, consistently over a period of time – only that will be enough! Only that will accomplish the goal!
Consider these questions:
- What is your vision for the outreach of your Church?
- What do you believe you can do together for your community?
- What sort of outreach programs can you envisage?
- But also, what kind of people do you want your members to be?
- What passions and skills do you want them to have?
- Do you want them reaching their neighbors? (How, when, and how often?)
- What do you believe they could do for Jesus in their work place?
- What do you believe they could do among their family members?
Most Churches have evangelism in their mission statements somewhere, but it means near to nothing until we as leaders pick up that vision, and own it for ourselves.
2. Effective leaders sell their vision regularly
Many organisations have clear vision statements, but few communicate them regularly enough for the vision to be real to the team members. Go and ask a member of your team what your Churches vision or mission statement is about. How many could tell you? Then take it further – ask them to explain that in their own words. Could they do that, and how evident is their belief in the vision in their explanation? Is the vision of your church really connected to the heart of your members?
You see, at the first level of vision casting, members catch what the vision is, and understand the reasons for it. At the second level they begin to feel those reasons, and to believe in the vision for themselves. Only when they reach that stage will they be truly motivated.
Experience has shown that people need to hear a vision multiple times before they really remember it and own it. For example, Jesus had a vision – it was your salvation and mine. He talked about it every day in one way or the other. He motivated people toward that vision continually, and died for that vision too! And you and I may need to believe in the vision of Christian outreach that much if we are going to sell it successfully to church members!
Do you know how often a leader has to sell a vision to keep it alive?
There is an answer. ‘When you think you’ve sold the vision enough, you’ve sold half as many times as you need to.’ Why? It’s because vision leaks, and people forget. The leaders job is to sell the vision again and again. This month and next month – this year and next year – this decade and next decade – because the vision really is worth while!
One way or the other, we and our members really do need to be helping people, every day and in every way, take a step closer to Jesus. This is our mission, and it is of eternal importance! And we need to be willing to sell this vision again and again – week after week – month after month – and year after year!
To wrap it up
Pastor, Church leader – your Church can become effective in reaching out with the gospel, but you need to provide clear leadership. At the core of this, its not about programs. It’s about developing a culture in your church that is authentically evangelistic. It’s about a culture in which the members are the heroes – and are getting regular successes in engaging non-church people in two-way conversations about spiritual things. It all begins with that kind of culture – and when you’ve got it, everything you do will be evangelistic – and until you’ve got it, everything you do in outreach will be hard work.
Pastor – the vision must be owned by you and sold by you before it will ever be owned by the team members, and practiced by the team members!
Do you believe in this vision for sustainably equipping and mobilising your members as conversational witnesses for Jesus? Will you sell this vision repeatedly again this year?
May the Lord make you effective in making your members effective!
——–THE ‘VISIONARY LEADER’ SURVEY ———–
Questions related to the vision in you
1. Do you know what your vision is for your Church in terms of working together to reach out to those without Christ? __ /10
2. How clear is that vision to you? __ /10
3. How passionate about it are you (because your belief is the key to their belief)? __ /10
4. How have you sought to sell the vision to the team, and how often are you seeking to sell it? Is it often enough? __ /10
5. Are you creative in the way you sell it and keep it feeling fresh? __ /10
Questions related to the vision in your team
6. Do your team members know what you are trying to achieve together? __ /10
7. Do they know why you are doing it? __ /10
8. Do they understand how you are seeking to accomplish it? __ /10
9. Have they bought in to this such that they would sacrifice for it? __ /10
10. If you suddenly weren’t able to be around would they continue with it? __ /10