Why Your Vision Is Incomplete

Free Stock Image - Glasses
© Photographer Juozas Rupšys | Agency: Dreamstime.com

When I was in elementary school, I was the kid with the dorky glasses.  Big, brown and plastic, I hated them and as soon as I could upgrade to contact lenses I did.  Now as an adult my frames are big, brown and plastic…well not as big, but I like them.  It’s funny to think about the vanity that comes with choosing glasses and even contact lenses, when the most important thing isn’t how you look, but how you see.

Creating vision for your student ministry isn’t always the sexiest thing to do in the world.  It takes time to think about where God is leading you.  We spend hours, days and even months thinking about our vision and when it’s finally crafted we feel like our mind has just run a marathon.
I know I’ve held vision back because I wasn’t sure if it was the right one.  After spending time putting it into a memorable and clear sentence I wonder, “Is this really what God wants?” Fears like that prevent a good or even great vision from being communicated.  And when vision isn’t communicated it’s just as useful as having no vision, because people cannot read your mind.  As leaders not only is crafting vision important; but, so is how we communicate it.  A well communicated vision is one that spreads like wild fire.  But, to get that affect vision needs to be communicated:

  • Clearly – Your vision needs to clearly state what it is you are looking to accomplish.  Fancy words or phrases can only lead to ambiguity and uncertainty.  When you paint vision people should immediately picture it in their mind.  But it’s not just how it’s worded but where it’s stated that matters.  Put it on your website, the bottom of your emails and even in your bulletins.  Make sure people not only read your vision but see it as well.
  • PassionatelyWhat type of picture are you painting with vision?  Yes, you have a statement, but how are you drawing people along for the journey?  As leaders one of your main jobs is to vision cast and share stories of where the fruit is already being produced.  Capturing testimonies of others and sharing your own creates an emotion that can show others why your vision matters.  It’s like hiking up a difficult trail or running a road race, when the journey gets tough you need people reminding you of why it is you are doing what you are doing.
  • Consistently – If you say it once you need to say it again.  Repeat, repeat and repeat.  Weave it into messages and as stated before, print it everywhere.  If you only mention your vision at the kickoff meeting each year, no one will embrace it.  If you only put it in writing not everyone will read it.  Doug Fields has a great example of this in Purpose Driven Youth Ministry.  He had portrayed his vision in a cone theory, people were so sick of hearing about the cone theory that at his next meeting they made cone hats, mini cones, etc.  At first he was put off; however, later realized that the vision had stuck.  That’s what you want.
A poorly communicated vision is just as good as no vision.  Vision needs to be something that grows, which might require tweaking, because God is constantly leading and moving us.  As a leader you need to not only discern God’s vision; but, keep others in the loop.  So repeat it, make it matter and share it with everyone you know.

How do you make vision stick?  What’s your vision for ministry?