I have been learning some practical lessons about leadership lately. One thing I find myself reminded of is the importance of vision. Here are some things I have been learning in a new way recently:
- Vision leaks. This isn’t a new lesson, I realize, but I have been reminded of the truth of it. In the daily grind, people forget WHY they are doing what they’re doing. When we forget the WHY, we lose interest, we get discouraged, we do things for the wrong reasons.
- Because of this, vision must be constantly reiterated. Every time the team gathers, every time an email goes out, every time there’s an opportunity: REPEAT YOUR VISION.
- Re-evaluate your vision. Just because it’s what you decided on 5 years ago doesn’t mean it can’t change. Does your vision still fit the passions and direction of your ministry and your people? Maybe it’s your people who need to readjust, or maybe it’s time to re-evaluate the vision.
- PRAY OVER YOUR VISION. This is one that I have been really practicing more intentionally lately. Ultimately, it’s not my ministry or my vision anyway — I only want to lead people to accomplish what God wants for us. In order to do that, I have to ask the Lord to speak into my vision. How? Take time, even if it’s just 10 minutes, and sit before the Lord and ask him to show you what needs to change and what blind spots exist. He will show you.
- Invite others to give input and feedback into how you are implementing your vision – but do NOT compromise the things God has confirmed. It’s important that the people you lead have buy in and ownership in the vision, but don’t feel the need to make changes just to keep people happy. Sometimes leadership means making the hard call that not everyone agrees with. This is why allowing God to speak into the vision is so important. Once you are convinced that you are leading the direction he wants, you can make hard decisions with confidence because you know God stands behind you.
- To accomplish your vision, you may have to change tactics. Most of us are creatures of habit and love to be comfortable and in a routine. However, even the most rock solid visions may need new implementation plans from time to time. The group structure you used when you had 50 people may not work now that you have 200. The outreach opportunities you offered at one campus may not work in your new location. Changing your methods doesn’t mean you’re losing your vision. It means you are recreating. And that’s often a good thing.
“Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29.18)
Most importantly, YOU MUST HAVE A VISION. We have probably all worked or served somewhere without a clear vision. If we don’t know the goal, how do we make good plans or measure success?
What is your vision? And how are you implementing it with a God-supported confidence?