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:
So, let’s go back to how to avoid underachievement of the vision. For any vision to be successful it has to be:
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:
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.
A 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.
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.
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.
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 him in his temple.
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].
Dear 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.
For just as each of us has one body with many members...