Then I said to them, “You see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire. Come and let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer be a reproach.” And I told them of the hand of my God which had been good upon me, and also of the king’s words that he had spoken to me. So they said, “Let us rise up and build.” Then they set their hands to this good work. Nehemiah 2:17-18 NKJV
Today’s blog is a continuation from last week’s discussion: “Mission-Driven Visionary Leadership;” where I shared some key points from “The Power of Vision: Discover and Apply God's Vision for Your Life and Ministry” by George Barna. First, I want to point out the difference between mission and vision. Even though they are closely related and many people confuse or intertwine the two; they are very different. What the church hopes to accomplish and who you wish to reach can be described in a general one or two-line mission statement. The way in which the church will influence the world, through its ministry, is outlined in its vision statement. The vision statement is very specific and details how the church is going to walk out its mission. The substance of the vision statement should guide and heavily influence the decision making process of a visionary leader because it is not arrived at by copying the typical goals of a church or what the leader wants to see the church accomplish. The key ministry objectives of the church are defined in its mission statement, whereas the clearly defined activities and direction that the church will pursue, towards making a true ministry impact, are clarified in its vision statement.
According to Barna, God’s vision is inspiring, change oriented, challenging, empowering, long-term, customized, detailed, people oriented, and reveals a promising future. However, a visionary leader must be capable of conveying the vision. The visionary leader must have clear, reliable, and efficient means of communication and the ability to communicate effectively. The visionary leader must be able to articulate and communicate the vision with clarity and consistency. They must develop the vision, God has given them, for themselves and for the people to whom they will be ministering. The leader must first be able to understand the vision and own the vision before he or she can describe it to other people and motivate them to embrace it and run with it. Owning the vision means allowing yourself to become one with it by planting it in your heart and mind. The visionary leader must write the vision on paper, “write the vision and make it plain” Habakkuk 2:2.
The visionary leader will help the church understand the vision by presenting it in a meaningful context. It is in the best interest of the followers for the leader to spell out the vision for everyone keeping it short to one paragraph that can be remembered. The mission-driven visionary leader will stick to the basics, shelve the slogans, and keep the vision simplistic in an effort to ensure that his or her followers do not lose sight of the significance of the cause. Vision is disseminated through the trickle-down effect, therefore; the visionary leader must expose people to the vision by effectively sharing the vision through all of their sermons, group meetings, teachings, and written communication. If, the vision is shared and omnipresent then, the visionary leader will be effective.
Join in the discussion, share your thoughts, opinions, and ideas. I look forward to hearing from you!
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