Stay On The Right Path By Casting Your Vision
By: Brian Dunks
Vision is not a far-fetched, unattainable fantasy, but rather a realistic picture of what you want and need your organization to become. It is a reflection of your values and the core reasons your ministry exists. Here are four keys to casting a vision for your team.
How do you define vision? Is it 20/20 eyesight or lack thereof? Not in ministry! Vision is the answer to this simple question: Where are you going? The organization you lead will move forward toward one of two places: the destination of your planning or somewhere you did not intend.
The key to determining the right direction is vision. John Maxwell writes in his book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, “The truth is that nearly anyone can steer the ship, but it takes a leader to chart the course…they see the whole trip in their minds before they leave the dock. They have a vision for their destination…”
The captain of the vessel won’t get his ship to port by himself – he needs a crew motivated to reach the destination as well. Teamwork! If vision is to be attained, then it must be shared by everyone within the organization. Leaders can write the vision on paper and even talk about it often, but unless he or she sways the staff to share the vision, the effort will not be enough. The captain must define the destination, inspire the crew to get there, and believe above all else they will reach the destination together.
Here are four keys to do just that with your staff:
1. Chart The Course
Establishing your vision is the most important step in achieving it. You may not have all the details at first, but clearly identifying and communicating the ultimate goal with your team is paramount. This can be accomplished through meetings and other modes of communication so that everyone knows the course being charted. As a leader, set a realistic and attainable destination that is challenging and include a timeline for completion.
2. Connect With The Crew
While you may have a firm grasp on your vision, allow staff under your influence to give input and help fully develop the process. Impart your vision in such a way that it becomes their vision. Taking time to connect with your crew will provide ownership for everyone involved and will increase their drive to help the vision become reality. A vision will capture the big picture for your organization and it will take the combined efforts of many individuals to make it happen.
"Taking time to connect with your crew will provide ownership for everyone involved and will increase their drive to help the vision become reality."
3. Count The Significance Of The VoyageIn the book Visioneering, Andy Stanley writes, “Vision gives significance to the otherwise meaningless details of our lives.” He uses the example of filling bags with dirt and how that can be an exercise in the mundane and boring. But if a person is filling the bags to save their family or town from a flood, it takes on incredible significance. Communicate to your team that whether you’re swabbing the deck or steering the ship, every effort contributes toward the vision and its significance.
4. Continue To Keep The Destination In Sight
Distractions and setbacks will abound and will try to thwart your efforts. It’s imperative to keep the vision before you with constant reminders. Have your staff consistently review their ministry to ensure it is moving them toward the desired destination. If not, then help them in a positive way to correct their course to get back on track.
Here are some questions for reflection: What vision am I casting for my organization? How am I casting that vision with my staff? How is my ministry striving to achieve its vision?