Vision: Tired of hearing about it yet?
I have the experience of being an executive pastor (or Senior Pastor) for almost 20 years and if I was to be completely honest – I avoided vision. Now, those who know me would think – “no you didn’t”.
But in my heart, I often thought to myself, “isn’t every church’s vision the same”?
The Bible emphasizes vision as being much more than words. It speaks of the action of the vision itself, as well as the responsibility of the one God entrusted with the vision. In the Old Testament, the prophet Habakkuk is hand-selected by God to be the go-between of heaven and earth, between a mighty God and a lost world, a lost nation, a lost people. He was entrusted with the vision that God had for all the people – – – and yet, God told the prophet to do something very plain and simple…
Vision – what is the power of Vision?
Habakkuk 2: 2 Then the Lord answered me and said:
“Write the vision
And make it plain on tablets,
That he may run who reads it.
3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time;
But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
Because it will surely come,
It will not tarry.
Just like Habakkuk, as a pastor (or father, or business owner/leader), you have been given the position and the responsibility of the “go-between” of God and your community. Entrusted with the lives of those around you that God is wanting to get a message of hope, love, repentance, and salvation. To many of us make our goal the “vision”, however the goal of God is for the vision to be made plain.
That means – clarity.
Clarity of who we are, why we exist as a church (family or business), and what exactly we are trying to accomplish.
Clarity also means that everyone KNOWS it!
Disclaimer: I am going to unashamedly talk about what we do in EOS that does this – so, if you are the type that believes that you have all the answers, or are afraid of systems, you can skip this part.
Vision component of Traction for Churches. This portion of the process is when we dive down into the clarity around the vision that God has given you. Just imagine when your staff, leadership team, and the body know why we exist as a church. Simple bi-product will be less growing weary, less motivating manipulation, less trying to “rally the troops” – because we have personal and organizational goals centered around the clarity of vision. There is a clear path.
It is the WHY of our existence.
The truth is – I know of very few churches that have done this.
I know very few businesses that have done the work to know the vision and make it plain. I have worked with 100+million dollar businesses that were literally on the verge of imploding. Or worse, the leader was incredibly tired and had become passionless. You know what I am talking about – the Monday morning conversation about whether or not to quit.
Sadly, some too many pastors find themselves here as well – having to fill the void by another “great project” or just being “busy”.
I GET IT!!!
I have been in that position many times and as a result I have made some bad decisions, and had some regrets over my vision not having enough clarity that I would fall in love with it!
We do this with EOS by forcing the conversation in our Focus Day and Vision Day meetings. We bring all of this to the front of the conversation, deal with it, we fall in love with it again, and then we MAKE it the foundation of who we are.
When we bring clarity of vision to the leadership team, the staff, the volunteers and the body – three things will happen
1 – Buy-in – what church doesn’t struggle with this? Volunteers who show up early and help, staff who WANT to part of the solution? Buy-in is the position where we can move forward, instead of having to “leave people behind”. It is a partnership with You, the vision, and the Holy Spirit stirring up action behind a clear vision.
2 – Purpose – well-defined purpose not only brings unity, but it will unite the teams’ diversity. Purpose creates the space where different ideas, passions and personal strengths can be woven into the fabric of what you do.
3 – Decisions – with a unified vision that everyone knows and believes in saves you time, frustration, and missed opportunities. When a team can feel why they are doing this “vision”, then the majority of your decisions become pre-decided. That is a good feeling. On the opposite side, we have all said this phrase, “does it align with our vision?”. When what we are really saying is, “that doesn’t align with our vision.”
Having clarity of vision will save your team a lot of conversations and a lot of hurt feelings. Why? Because the idea factory of everyone’s mind is aligned to the focus of the vision. The team sees their ideas in line with where the organization is going, why it exists, and how we do it. And a little bonus, stats say that the initiatives that are centered around vision are 400% more successful in business and in church.
Next blog, I’ll break down some of the processes that we do to build this conversation with your team.
This is the BEST season to rethink what we are doing as a church, realign to what God has told us to do, and Repurpose our actions and efforts into making the KINGDOM impact that God has designed us to be.
In HIS love
Passionately pursuing God, but silently serving man
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