It’s no secret that the world is hard on Vision. We as leaders talk about vision in the church we know people will run as fast as they can. Vision equals change and people dislike change. Some people even hate it. To a degree I think I even dislike it at times, but I like vision. So I am a very mixed up person. But again I think we are created for vision, for change, for something more than just ourselves. Vision is what drives our purpose in life and should drive our ministry.
One of the things about casting a vision within our church is we need to be ready for things to happen. When I go and speak with church leadership teams I talk about this so many times. Be prepared for something to happen. John 21:6 “He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish.” I can just Imagine the looks on their faces when they pulled those nets up. I strongly believe when we get a Spirit driven vision we need to be prepared for unexpected things. I was a part of a church many years ago and the leadership team was given a vision to open the church doors and host a large Fall Harvest Fest. So we did just that. The result of doing this brought in over 800 non-church members to this powerful event in a town a little over 2,000 people. The church leadership was just blown away by what was happening. However, the problem came when we were unable to haul our nets up do to the large quantity. The Leadership had this great vision however they were not prepared for the unexpected. So many times as leaders we want change; we want a revival for say. An awaking in our people, we want to see the church walls start to break down and people come in masses to be saved and find Christ in a whole new way. We say God send us people to reach… But we don’t prepare for God to answer. A friend of mine says when it comes to launching a vision we need to “Investigate before you Initiate”. This means we need to take time to study and prepare for our vision. This can be hard when we are not fully sure what the result of the vision will be or what we need to do to follow through. If the church leadership team would have taken the time to study and investigate this vision to open our doors, and would have prepared to handle the unexpected we could have had a plan to follow-up with these people. Out of the hundreds plus people who showed up for this event we only had one return to us on a Sunday morning. If we would have had a plan and had in detail how we would follow up with each of these people, I can’t image how many would have returned. I am not saying we were all about numbers but we asked God to send us people to reach, He gave us a vision, He told us to cast our nets and we were unprepared for the quantity of His Greatness. I felt as if we kept asking God for more and more water and finally He says Okay here is a fire hose of water and we were unprepared on how to collect it. But if we had buckets really… Oh Man!
Before casting our vision, we need to define our purpose and mission and make sure the vision fulfils what God has called us to be as a church.
We need to understand there is a waiting period. I so dislike waiting on things but I have learned over time that we grow in waiting and so does our vision. we need to give it time before we bring a new vision to light. To have an understanding on how we are going to communicate this vision to people, and what the details are that will make up this vision is key. We need to walk the talk and have taken some time to put our vision to work before pushing it out.
Andy Stanley says “vision is a mental picture of what could be fueled by the passion that it should be.” We need to remember that vision always requires sacrifice of some kind. Weather its financial, personal or even spiritual it’s going to take something. What are we willing to give for the Lord to work.
Lastly, vision takes time. This seems to be the biggest mistake I see churches do and even my own mistake in years past. They rush to a new vision and people leave or they wait too long on a new vision and people lose momentum before you get started. This goes back to the waiting period. We need to know when to wait and when to hit Go! Just because there is a waiting period doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen. If God’s given you vision don’t die hold it. There have been times in my life I have felt a call to do something however my lack of belief in what God could do kept me from some powerful things. Don’t let God wait on you to move.