What I Wish I Knew Before I Started Planting Churches…About Vision

vison

“Vision is vital, but you can burn your people out on unfiltered vision.”

In recent years much has been made of the importance of developing and communicating a strong vision. The Scriptures speak of and model this vital element as well. With all that has gone on in recent years sometimes we have swung too far out into the edge of the world of vision.

Vision is like a drug to the masses under your leadership. A bit of it is helpful, vital and life giving. Too much of it can sedate or even kill them. I have noticed that the best of church planters have an intuitive ability to notice when to state strong vision and when to keep their mouths shut. It is usually a mistake to simply plaster vision and mission statements on printed literature hither and yon around your organization.

Vision and mission will come up naturally in the context of teaching opportunities at weekend and small group gatherings. As the Scripture affirms, “Without a vision the people perish.” We must place the vision before our people on a regular basis—that is only necessary in order to sustain life. Your vision is powerful. Too much of it concentrated in one place or over too short a timeframe is like concentrated sunlight under a magnifying glass. It is likely to burn a hole in things.

  1. Share vision in compelling ways. It’s difficult to explain vision when you are half-hearted. You might need to practice sharing in front of a mirror.
  2. Use specifics. Instead of speaking in the third person always speak in first person plural pronouns, EG, “We are going to reach the city as we serve them in practical ways this weekend… God is going to show up in our midst… We will have more fun than is legal in this part of the country!” Your people will begin to believe your words. Who knows, you might believe them too!
  3. Report stories. As encouraging developments happen that bring fulfillment to your vision, give visibility to those things. It is vital that your people see progress.