Paul encourages leaders to lead with zeal in Rom 12:8 – I understand that to be an exhortation to inspire passion in those following you! Visionary leaders can see a God given picture of the future and inspire people to go for it.
The oft quoted vision verse is Prov 29:18 “Where there is no prophetic vision, the people cast of restraint”. Prophetic vision – revelation from God about where we need to be going is the currency of leadership and gives it fuel and fire! In the time of the Judges that was abundantly missing! “In those days, there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in their own eyes” (Judges 21:25).
Some talks on vision come over very business like with soundbites and snappy phrase and a video with the song “God of this City” as a soundtrack. All a bit Tony Blair! But there is huge power in casting vision – it’s one of the fuels for getting job done when the going gets tough.
In 1789 William Wilberforce announce a vision of abolishing slavery – probably England’s largest trade at the time. He got it done 4 days before he died in 1833. Often that picture of the future is huge and you might not live to see it (like the Hebrews 11 Hall of faith fame guys!).
In May 1961 JFK declared that the US would put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. That was technically impossible at the time, but the vision was cast. $9Billion dollars later Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon on th 20th July 1969
Mission and Vision
I see a difference between Mission and Vision. Vision is what you see that will inspire you. Mission is what you do. Mission is unchanging, often vision will change.
Jesus announced his mission in Luke 4:18-19 when he read Isaiah 61 and said “Boys, I’m here” (ever so slight paraphrase!). Paul’s mission is arguably 1 Cor 9:22 “To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.”
(1 Corinthians 9:22-23 ESV)
Mission is a pithy statement of what you exist to do – “know Christ and make him known”, “together changing lives” being two examples.
Vision is a God-given picture of the future that inspires passion. Often people say our vision is to have 200 by June 2013 – I’d argue that is goal and not particularly inspiring. I wouldn’t give my life for that! A vision starts more like “We are dreaming of a church that….” and ends with “so give your life to it, give your best prayers to it, give your money to it, give your best service to it” – now that can inspire!
Are steps that you can take to get the vision done. Break it down into steps that can be celebrated as God enables us to achieve what He has called us to do. 200 by June 2013 is a goal that can be broken down into further goals –
Small group leaders traing course starting April 2011
Double small groups…..
Most people talk of doctrines as values. Some doctrines are values, because you value them! I think values are the things that you value – your church culture, tehy are often subconscious and need a great deal of thinking about. We do what we value!
For example we value developing people of polished professionalism. We value having an open mic rather than filtering everything through an anchor (because doctrinally we believe that to be the right thing to do!)
Here’s an example of mission, vision, goals and values in the area of worship.
Mission: To get The Gateway Church to live in the good of 1 Cor 14:26
Vision: We are dreaming of a church where when we gather together we meet with the living God, where lots of different people share what God is speaking to them about, where there is prophecy, a tongue an interpretation, peopel are getting prayed for all over the room. Lives are getting changed, people are getting healed and there is a sense of awe and wonder as we worship together
- Teach on 1 Cor 14:26 and the gifts
- Model 1 Cor 14:26
- Prophetic workshop to get people flowing in the prophetic
- David to get people flowingin tongue and interpretation by bringing them in a teaching moment way!
Values: Developing people more imporatnt than polished performance
Open Mic (not filtered, allow the body to weigh and pick up the pieces when necessary, Helpful feedback after meetings)
We want leaders at all levels to know their mission and how it fits in the overall mission of the church, to inspire vision in building teams and be aware of our values!
How do you get vision
1) Get it! Go to God
as a team (it’s more inefficient than the lead guy going on retreat on his own, but it creates ownership.) Dream, and talk of what it could look like. Not everyone gets their own way, but their way is considered!
2) Refine it
Talk it over, share it with key people – what excites you, what scares you? what is missing?
Share it widely – have a 30 sec, 3min and 30min version for different settings and scenarios!
4) Achieve it
Break it down into steps or goals, build team and celebrate achieving the goals!
This article is a condense of a session with our Impact Leadership development group – that also invloved much laughter, real coffee and discussion because we value those too!