In January of this year, I and a number of my colleagues visited the three regions within which our congregations in the UK are based. The purpose was to get with leaders and congregation members to hear their future plans for growing the local congregation.
My colleagues and I shared the plans for the national congregation. The three weekend visits were amazing. We saw leaders sharing their ambitions and aspirations for the Kingdom, all flowing from passionate hearts; members were bursting with hope and excitement at the prospect of making a real difference to their communities. Wow! We were pretty sure of making a massive dent in the enemy’s territory, and why not when you see the backing we’ve got – all of heaven. That was four months ago. What has happened since then? How much distance have we covered? Ok, so you didn’t hit the ground running; or maybe you’ve been distracted and you’ve lost momentum. So what now?
Whatever your situation it’s an important time for you and the team to reflect on these questions:
These questions simply help us to get focussed on the vision.
Put simply, vision is a picture of your congregation’s future (of course, inspired by the Holy Spirit). That picture will fade and become a blur, a distant memory if it’s not regularly brought into the focus of those who need to see it. If vision isn’t projected, seen and handled it dies! And believe me, it’s easier to raise someone from the dead than it is to resurrect a dead vision. So if the vision is good we do whatever is necessary to keep it alive.
Here’s some advice on how to keep your vision alive.
A motorist was telling about the trouble he’s had driving to and from work lately. "It used to be easy,” he said. “No traffic problems, no mad rat race. But now – wow! Cars coming from all directions. And it’s been that way”, he added, “ever since I got my new glasses.”
All of the above will help to give members the ‘glasses’ they need to see clearly the picture of their future and to engage it effectively.
“The very essence of leadership is that you have to have a vision.”
“To grasp and hold a vision, that is the very essence of successful leadership—not only on the movie set where I learned it, but everywhere.”
“Leaders establish the vision for the future and set the strategy for getting there; they cause change. They motivate and inspire others to go in the right direction and they, along with everyone else, sacrifice to get there”
[My goal] is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, assuming that I will somehow reach the resurrection from among the dead. Not that I have already reached [the goal] or am already fully mature, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by [Messiah Yahshua]. Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by [Yahweh’s] heavenly call in [Messiah Yahshua]. Therefore, all who are mature should think this way.
Holman Christian Standard Bible
Heavenly Father, I have been struck by some of the things mentioned in VISION ESSENTIALS and I humbly ask you for the wisdom and creative thinking I need in order to lead the congregation into the future you have purposed for us. I know it’s critical that the vision you’ve inspired be kept alive in the hearts of your children; give me and my fellow leaders the ability to help our members to not only see and embrace the vision, but to fully participate in it.
For just as each of us has one body with many members...