“Unless God’s people have a clear understanding of where they are headed, the probability of a successful journey is severely limited.”[i]
Frankly, the motivation to write these past several blog posts on vision rises from my own needs. God has blessed me with a steady, abundant stream of counseling clients. I carry many leadership, administrative and management responsibilities that go along with owning and operating a multi-staff counseling center. Also, over the past year we opened two satellite offices and plan to open one or two more this year.
Then, there’s this matter of expanding my ministry of training clergy in the habits and skills of emotional intelligence.
So, how can I get all that done?
Frankly, I can’t. Not without God’s help. Also, not without the help of a clearly articulated vision.
George Barna, in the book I quoted above, describes a host of benefits to working through God’s vision for your ministry. Here’s a summarized look at those benefits:
- Vision produces spiritual and emotional empowerment.
- Vision builds on the past.
- Vision elicits increased commitment from the congregation.
- Vision unifies God’s people.
I know the enormity of the challenges that lie before me require me to say “yes” to only the most select opportunities and “no” to a myriad of otherwise good things that, while worthwhile in and of themselves, simply do not conform to my central, guiding vision.
I also know that you as a successful pastor face the same kinds of challenge. How do you best manage your time, engage your congregation, and maintain your own enthusiasm?
I suggest that a very central, key strategy is to articulate a clear compelling vision.
So, for help kick-starting your own process of finding God’s vision for your ministry, please check out my Church and Ministry Vision Tool .
If you want some guidance on actually articulating your vision, Michael Hyatt, recently published an article entitled Making Vision Stick. He outlines and illustrates four elements of a crystal clear vision that compels action. You may have to adapt the formula to your church setting but it presents a clear system for writing a vision statement.
Finally, here’s a website that lists 30 examples of actual church vision statements.
Let me know your thoughts and comments!
[i] George Barna, The Power of Vision: How You Can Capture and Apply God’s Vision for Your Ministry, Ventura: Regal Books, 1992, page 11.