Vision Essentials 03

Infectious!

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You’ve heard it and you’ve probably said it yourself, “We can change our world!” How? Through a compelling vision and a committed group of volunteers. However, essential as those are they’re not enough to bring about the dynamic change we look for.

Many leaders and their teams have received and crafted powerful and convincing vision plans, and have shared them with their congregations with great enthusiasm, yet the vision doesn’t deliver what it promised. The net result is disappointment and frustration for both leaders and congregation members alike.

How can you and your team ensure that the vision, local and national, doesn’t underachieve, go off course or even crash? Before answering that let’s first identify some reasons for why and how vision can be derailed. Here are a few:   

  • The vision isn’t promoted and pushed enough
  • It doesn’t occupy enough of the thinking and praying space of leaders and teams
  • The vision isn’t the central focus of the congregation
  • Strategic steps toward achieving the vision aren’t clearly mapped out
  • Planned decisions and steps have not been implemented

 

Time to Focus 

So, let’s go back to how to avoid underachievement of the vision. For any vision to be successful it has to be:

  • Clear
  • Compelling
  • Championed by leadership
  • Embraced by members
  • The central thing that occupies the thinking and praying space of leadership and members
  • The engine that drives every activity in the congregation

 

A successful vision is infectious! It must pervade the congregation to which it’s given; it must touch and influence everything that happens within the life of the congregation, it must be the central focus of the leadership. Here’s some advice:

  • As a leader you can be easily tempted to take on board legitimate ideas and projects for members of the congregation to engage in and benefit from; however, such plans just serve to crowd out the elements of the vision and should be avoided. Anything that doesn’t contain the ‘germ’ of the vision is likely to slow down the rate of travel toward achievement or even take you off course
  • I would say every activity or programme (for children as well as adults) that takes place in the congregation should be connected to the vision and should help towards achieving it.  OK, you may only have one meeting in the week and it’s a worship service. That’s great. Enjoy the singing, appreciate the scripture readings and prayers, be inspired by the sermon – but aspects of the vision should be advanced in this, and every other, meeting 
  • Every member, and non-member for that matter, should be clear about how all the activities of the congregation connect with the vision. This must be a primary function of the leadership in advancing the vision is to ensure that this particular aspect is communicated to the entire congregation
  • Nothing should detract from the vision; rather, it should permeate everything
  • Leaders and teams should be totally infected with the vision and they should be effective carriers of it, infecting all those they work with and come into contact with
  • Leaders must also be on top of processing the various steps need to be taken in moving forward with the vision to see growth and change take place. I will say more about this in the future.

 

The Last Word

Dear pastors and ministers, I urge you to take time to have a good look at your congregation to see if it is truly infected with the vision ‘bug’.  Do whatever it takes to ensure that everybody gets the ‘bug’ and that all work and programmes being pursued are based on it. This will take courage, but it’s through this that the congregation will move inexorably towards its goal and be fulfilled. 


Quote imageA leader's role is to raise people's aspirations for what they can become and to release their energies so they will try to get there.
DAVID GERGEN

 

 

Vision is not enough; it must be combined with venture. It is not enough to stare up to the step; we must step up the stairs.
VACLAV HAVEL

In my experience, there's only one thing that will always steer you toward success: That's to have a vision and to stick with it… Once I have a vision for a new venture, I'm going to ride that vision until the wheels come off.
RUSSELL SIMMONS


biblePSALM 27:4
One thing I ask of [Yahweh], this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of [Yahweh] all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of [Yahweh] and to seek  

 

HEBREWS 12:1-2
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on [Yahshua], the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of [Yahweh].


Person prayingDear Father, I pray on behalf of our leadership team: the desire of our hearts is to keep our gaze fixed on the vision you've given and to direct our energies, and that of the whole congregation, to moving forward in it. We are in need of the Spirit's discernment to recognise potential distractions that might hamper or even halt our progress. We desperately want to keep in step with the plans you have for us. We want to stay clear of anything that might deter us. Grant us the strength to energetically champion the vision and the courage to say 'no' to all things that don't connect with, and support, its ambitions.

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