Casting Vision

I was just today reading some information about VISION from Bruce Wilkinson, regarding Proverbs 29:18, which says, “Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained (or perish), But happy is he who keeps the law.”

Wilkinson mentions that meanings of the Hebrew meaning adds a lot to the understanding of the verse. The word for VISION never means a plan or a goal, but rather a “divine revelation” (the essence of our Bible, a record of God’s self-revelation of himself). The word used for PERISH never means to lose motivation, slip into apathy, or death, but rather, “to run without restraint into immorality.” So the better translation is “Where there is no Bible (taught correctly) the people will run without restraint into immorality.” It is little wonder why teaching the Bible is so important!

When it comes to making plans for the future, how do you cast a vision that will motivate people toward the great possibility of what you see? Here are four elements that we need to keep in mind, according to pastor Ronnie Floyd.

When you are casting vision, I think you need to filter it by ensuring the vision is:

Clear: Clarity around a vision is imperative. As the communicator, you have to be clear about your understanding of it. This is why writing the vision is also imperative. This written documentation is what you will return to again and again. Through a meticulous process, you learn how to communicate the vision clearly. When the vision is clear to you, you are more able to clearly communicate it to others.

Concrete: I think having a concrete vision means that you have a vision that is real and tangible. It is not about using language that no one understands or trying to impress others with great and extensive content. It is a vision that people can touch, feel, and become engaged in personally.

Concise: In today’s world it is really true: less is more. This is especially true when we cast a vision. It needs to be concise. It needs to be brief, free of too many details. You will go deeper into details so you know that you understand the vision; however, when you cast it before others, they just need to know the work is already done. You need to be on top of it, but remember you are breaking it down, not only so others can grasp it, but also for them to be able to communicate it to others. I will state it again: It is not about how much you share, but share enough for the people to have complete clarity.

Compelling: A compelling vision moves the people to action. As a servant-leader, you are God’s instrument to rally the people to a better future. You are there to lead them into a future where they would not go on their own.

To sum up, the vision has to be…

  1. Clear enough for them to understand
  2. Concrete enough for them to believe it is real
  3. Concise enough for them to communicate
  4. Compelling enough for them to own personally and enthusiastically

As the communicator of the vision, do your very best to be strong, believable, and capable of moving people into owning the vision enthusiastically. If the vision is going to capture their imagination and heart, moving them into the vision personally and enthusiastically, then the vision must be compelling.

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The Willow Leadership Summit

I recently read about this list the 10 transformative insights from the Willow Creek Leadership Summit. The insights are mostly paraphrases from each speaker’s respective talks, with their names in parentheses.

Margin: Make margin and Jesus will throw stuff in. (Bob Goff) Bob made me ask myself if my busyness sometimes hinders Jesus from throwing some really important stuff my way. Or, my busyness causes me to miss what He has already thrown my way.

Perspective: See people for who they are becoming. Jesus called Peter, even with his impulsive nature, the rock upon which the Church would be built. He did not view him as a wuss. (Bob Goff)

Courage: You can either choose courage or comfort. (Dr. Brene Brown) Wow, what a powerful quote.

Leadership: I’ve never told anybody “That’s an order.” (General Colin Powell) This one made me think that if we as pastors must remind others that we are in charge, maybe we aren’t.

Optimism: Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier. (Colin Powell) There’s a lot of brain science that supports this one.

Vision: Every vision God gives you will face resistance. Many visions die a silent death and are aborted because of fear. Visions from God are holy commodities and must be treated as such. You can’t wait for everybody to get it before you move on your vision. (Bill Hybels) If I live for my own generation then my vision will die with that generation. (Oscar Murio)

Staff culture: Staff culture is only as healthy as the senior pastor wants it to be. (Bill Hybels) This statement reminded me that we can’t delegate to somebody else our responsibiity to take the lead to create a healthy staff culture.

Quitting: Some of the most rewarding experiences come late in the marathon of leadership and life. (Bill Hybels) This reminded me that of Peter Drucker’s 39 books (he’s considered the founder of modern management) he wrote 2/3’s of them after his mid-sixties.

Developing others: Multipliers get on average two times more productivity than what diminishers get from their followers. (Liz Wisemen) Perhaps the challenge in growing churches is not simply to hire more staff, but for leaders to hone their skills as multipliers, thus increasing their current staff’s productivity.

Influence: The size of the harvest depends on the number of leaders. Otherwise, my reach of influence will be limited by my capacity. (Oscar Murio) This one challenged me to up my investment in rising leaders.

by Charles Stone of Stonewell Ministries

The Vision of Small Groups

At King’s Grant Baptist Church, our goal is to develop people into fully devoted followers of Jesus. It involves a multi-step process whereby we move people from the outer ring of our target toward the center.

The best way to reach out to others is not in a mass mailing or the website; but rather person to person, reaching the people with whom we have something in common:

  • Same workplace
  • Same school
  • Same neighborhood
  • Same club or organization
  • Same hobbies

The church may provide activities that cater to the needs of people but it is relationship development that will help them move to higher levels of commitment to Christ and His church.

Our steps look something like this:

  • The Community: people who inhabit this city; who may have no idea we even exist, or perhaps that God exists.
  • The Crowd: people who for some reason or another have visited our church, expressing interest and have come to one or more of our events.
  • The Congregation: people who are actually attending our church fairly regularly; including nominal church members.
  • The Committed: people who are members of our church and active in its programs.
  • The Core: people who are actively involved in leadership and ministry of the church, and are passionate about the church motto, Knowing Christ and Making Him Known

Sharing the Vision:
To move people toward higher levels of commitment to Christ and his church.

  • To – speaks to a vision and a strategy, a word of action and direction
  • Move – speaks to progress and growth, never remaining static
  • People – speaks to the reason we do what we do, it’s all about people
  • Toward – speaks to a goal for which we are aiming
  • Higher – speaks to a closeness to God, moving toward the mountaintop
  • Levels – speaks to measurement toward our developmental goal
  • Commitment – speaks to our resolve and passion
  • Christ – speaks to our mission of knowing Christ and making him known
  • His – speaks of the real head and leader of the church
  • Church – speaks to this body of believers at King’s Grant

This series of posts will help to share the vision of what we can become and do for the kingdom’s sake. We must never settle for the status quo, but make a difference in the lives of those who are near us, in school, the office, and the community.

All living things grow, so if we are alive, we also must grow (individually and as a church). When we grow, we must have a strategy to develop people into fully devoted followers of Christ. My next post will address the need to fulfill the Great Commission through small groups.

Dreams, Visions and Goal Setting

Dreams are wishes that seldom happen. Life does not hand you your dreams. Dreams can only become a reality when they become a part of your vision. The leader must do something about his dreams and vision. You must also cast your vision to others if your vision is big enough. If there is no vision, the people scatter (Proverbs 29:18).

Helen Keller said the most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight but no vision.

Vision that is ready to go to work is called a goal. A great Scripture on reaching your goal is 1 Corinthians 9:24, 25. Dave Ramsey says that opportunity knocks at your door wearing overalls.

From your vision and goals to have long-term positive impact, they must include goals for: Career, Financial, Spiritual, Family, Intellectual, Physical, and Social. Imagine each area as a piece of the pie. Ziglar calls it the wheel of life.

Gossip: talking to someone about something or someone who is not in a position to fix it.

Plan on problems: you are employed to solve problem, or you are not needed.

Goals are bite-sized visions: Goals convert vision into energy. You cannot be vague with your goals. Do the activity that brings the results (like a salesman making 30 calls a week is the base line). You cannot reach the goal if you do not do the work.

Goals work SMART if they are:

  1. Specific: create precise behaviors and outcomes, linked to rate and frequency. Each objective must have only one desired outcome.
  2. Measurable: too “improve” is far too vague, mention steps toward the desired outcome.
  3. Achievable, and yours (not someone else’s goals): stretch, but make it reasonable.
  4. Results oriented: and in writing
  5. Time bound: when will the results be expected?

Break everything down into smaller parts and time frames.

For your team to have goals, you must have goals. Sharing goals and selling goals is called casting a vision. Shared goals create communication and unity. A positional leader pushes you into goals (go make your quota), while a servant leader pulls you into goals. Goals for a team are shared when they are developed together. Individual team members cannot have goals dictated to them; instead, help people to develop their own goals.

Management by objectives: when team members set goals within general company guidelines. Coach Carter (the movie) said that if you have no vision to college, you cannot win a national championship. Napoleon said that leaders are brokers of hope. Ziglar said that if you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time. Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal or ideal.

We can spend a ridiculous amount of time avoiding the things that are outside of our comfort zones. The movie, Castaway, shows us there is a sin of losing time. Steven Covey (the 7 Habits guy) has an interesting matrix on establishing priorities:

If you don’t do Q2, you will always move to Q1. Recognize that you are being productive when you are in Q2. Scott Peck said that “until you value yourself, you cannot value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything about it.” Good verses (Proverbs 16:9, Isaiah 30:1). If the leader must ask “where do I start?” you have not broken the goal into measurable action plans (like if I want to drive home, what do I do first?).