Thursday, May 3, 2012

Your Ministry Won't Grow Without...

Vision. 

Think about it; a blind leader has no idea where he's going, and we've all been there... banging our heads on our desk, begging God to deliver some kind of supernatural revelation. The Bible said it best in Proverbs 29:18: "Where there is no vision, people perish."

That word 'perish' is scary, because what that imagery could mean for your ministry is that if you, as the leader, don't get a vision from God, your ministry could die.

Vision is the ability to see the invisible. George Bernard Shaw once said, "Some men see things as they are and ask "why?" I dream of things that never were and ask "why not?"" That's the kind of vision we've got to have for our ministry. We need to be men and women that pursue the invisible and dream big dreams. We need to get outside of the norm we've created for ourselves and believe God for bigger things.

It was once said about John F. Kennedy, "It was his vision to put a man on the moon. Some say it's a shame he didn't live to see a man walk on the moon, but of course, the reason a man walked on the moon was because he saw it." Ask yourself, "What is the 'Walking on the Moon' vision I have for my ministry?" What answer do you come up with?

Why is vision so important? ...because if you don't have vision, your ministry is going to die. Helen Keller said, "People without sight develop other abilities and success. People without vision develop hopelessness and fail." Without vision, people perish... ministries perish.

You may be asking, "What are the key components to gaining vision in my ministry?" Here are a few things that come to mind:

1. Complete Humility: If your pride is directing your path, the vision you accumulate will most likely be yours and not Gods.

2. A Pattern of Prayer: The Bible directs us to 'pray without ceasing' and when we step out of this patterns of prayer, our vision becomes distorted with counter active thoughts and ideas.

3. Constant Time in God's Word: Wisdom ought to be our guide and vision ought to overflow from the wisdom we're surrounded with. God's Word is the greatest source for wisdom, therefore, saturate your mind in the Word so that your vision can be God-vision and not man-vision.

4. Being a Student of Excellence: Study those around you who have great vision; not to steal their vision, but to study these leaders. Sometimes, by becoming students of greatness, we learn how to be great.

5. Gaining the Freedom to Fail: Many men ignore vision because they're afraid their vision will lead to failure. When you find the freedom to fail and understand that sometimes the best thing to do is fail forward and learn from your experiences, it will open yourself up to embracing the vision God gives you... even if it's terrifying.

6. The Ability to Dream Big Dreams & Think Big Thoughts: When you've been trapped inside the box for a long time, it seems impossible to get out of that box. Sometimes in order to lead with vision, you not only have to get outside the box, but you need to throw the box away. Dream big dreams... Think big thoughts... use your imagination and everything else God's given you, and experience something Great.

7. The Boldness to Build Beyond Patterns & Traditions: You're not locked in to a certain vision, just because it's been the vision for the past 50 years. If you've been called by God to a ministry or a church, then God's called you to lead. He hasn't called you to be the puppet master for someone else's vision, he's called you to pursue a fresh vision from Him. Now, with this comes many sidebars in regards to submission to your leadership, but don't cower to God's vision for your ministry simply because the last guy did it a certain way. 

Vision is a necessity for a successful leader. One of the best definitions I've ever heard on leadership comes from a dear friend, Jay Strack. He said, "A leader sees the invisible, hears the inaudible, thinks the unthinkable, believes the unbelievable, attempts the impossible and achieves the supernatural." Let's be diligent in pursuing the vision God intends for us to have!

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