Every church needs vision; without it, there is little or no impact. Vision is simply knowing where we are today and discerning where God is leading us tomorrow and beyond. Discovering vision isn’t so difficult. God already knows the plan and He is faithful to reveal it to those who seek it. Typically pastors have no problem sharing vision. They can easily envision gospel impact and church growth.
Vision causes excitement. People will rally around "what can be" pretty easily. However, vision has to become more than just words; it must generate something deeper than an emotional moment. Vision is pointless without execution. When vision casting isn't followed by vision execution, it probably means the the vision is stuck in death valley.
Here's four symptoms when vision gets stuck in death valley:
- No Vision Metrics: Vision must be measured. If you can't measure it, you can't grow it. Vision must become more that a statement; it must become a movement.
- Micro-Managing: Whenever vision gets stuck in death valley, details and planning become an afterthought and people struggle to accomplish delegated tasks. As a result, the pastor or leader feels the need to be involved in every action and becomes a micromanager.
- Maverick Ministry: When there is a lack of vision clarity, leaders try execute plans for a vision that is fuzzy and confusing, which in turn, influences how they lead. Too often we label leaders as mavericks, when in fact, all they need is clarity. Good clarity brings good planning and empowers unified leadership.
- Egyptian Mentality: Anytime vision is stuck, people eventually become frustrated. All the emotion and hype of "where we're headed" soon dies along with failed attempts to bring change. Often the leadership team will respond the same way the Israelites did when they faced adversity, "Let's go back to where we used to be." As a result, vision is abandoned and the church goes backward instead of forward.
Keep your vision out of Death Valley...
Vision requires more than nice language and attractive statements. Vision movement only happens when we build a bridge of systems and strategies to execution. Vision does not execute itself. A bridge of systems and strategies will provide the metrics, steps and processes that are needed for implementation.