Over the last few months I have talked at length with a few pastors who have lamented that they know setting a vision for their ministry is important. They understand that vision is a powerful thing and that they have a serious responsibility for leading with vision. They are feeling the weight of being the chief vision bearer for the congregation, but they were discouraged because they didn’t think they really understood what vision was and didn’t know how to present it and reinforce it.
My response? “I think you probably know a lot more about vision than you think you do.” “Really?” they said. “Yes.” Then I asked, “What is that one thing in the back of your mind that seems to come out when you preach or have conversations with people? What is that one thing you are always stressing and repeating with your people?”
“Oh, now I get it.” Then they would say things like, “I’ve been telling my people we really need to be caring for one another more, forgiving one another, recruiting others, welcoming visitors, etc.” These are the things that the pastor thinks are most important to stress at that time. That becomes the de facto vision. It may be short term but it is the one thing that is on the pastor’s heart. It comes out in what he says to others in various venues: sermons, Bible studies, casual conversation and various church meetings.
Does that mean we’re done? No. A de facto vision is short term. It is not necessarily the shared vision. Vision needs to be longer term, shared, and among other things it is a preferred future that shapes what you do and who you are. It is Biblical, it is God sized. It inspires and it enables your ministry to say with conviction “yes” and “no” to various things. So where are you with the vision thing?
What is your de facto vision for ministry?
What is that one thing that is on your heart and mind that seems to come out as a priority?
Where did that one thing come from?
Is that what God wants your vision for ministry to be?
The Vision thing – part two next time.
The Vision Thing