Vision matters. Vision is your final destination, your ultimate goal, the one thing you are striving for in your ministry.
“Vision is a clear mental picture of what could be, fueled by the conviction that it should be.” Andy Stanley
But that is not an easy task. Here are 6 ways to share the vision so that it becomes primary in all you do and, eventually, embeds itself in every conversation, every decision, and everyone in your ministry:
1. Shape it with memorable images
What does your vision look like? Think about that for a minute. If your ministry accomplished everything you envision it accomplishing, what would it look like? How would you describe it? What images of that completed do you see in your mind?
That’s the picture you want to paint as you share your vision with others. So think long and hard about it. Be creative. Find images and descriptions to illustrate the vision and then practice articulating them in a way that paints an irresistible picture for whomever you may share it with, and within whatever context that may be.
Ultimately, not only should be able to describe the vision in different ways with memorable images, but it should also be articulated in a concise, memorable, single-sentence vision statement.
2. Make it part of your everyday language
Every conversation you have about your ministry should drip with vision. Whether you are having coffee with a long-time volunteer leader, leading your weekly staff meeting, teaching a teacher-training, or having a conversation with another staff member, everything should be about your vision in some way or another.
Why? Because, while it may seem to be overdone to you, others need to hear it over and over . . . and over . . . and over . . . again. You live and breath the vision, but they don’t. And they won’t unless they come to understand it and to realize that everything you and the ministry is about is that vision. Of course you’re not going to regurgitate the vision statement word for word in each of these settings. Rather, you will shape your language around the vision so that it influences everything you say and do.
3. Make it visible everywhere
Not only should people hear the vision from you in every conversation, they should also see that vision statement everywhere.
Do you send an email newsletter? Put it in there. Do you have a Facebook page or other social media that you use? Make sure it’s there. Do you have a business card? It should be on there. Personal notecards? Yep, put it on there. Throughout the ministry area and in every classroom? You bet.
4. Use it to make every major decision
I use to work with a ministry that required me to drive a lot. I would drive across states to get to a church in order to do a kids or family presentation. And when I made those drives, everything I did was about getting to the destination. They were different things – stopping to eat, filling up the truck, the driving itself, choosing a hotel – but every single thing about the journey was about making it to my final destination – the “vision” for my trip.
It’s the same in your ministry. Everything you do, ultimately, will either move you closer or further away from realizing your God-given vision.
Make your decisions accordingly.
5. Support it with complementary mission, values, goals & environment
Here’s an easy way to look at the framework which involves all of these components:
- Vision: About aspiration. What you want to become. The place you want to end up.
- Mission: About advancement. How you get to your vision. The process involved.
- Values: About anchors. Non-negotiables framework. The pillars by which you make decisions.
- Goals: About accomplishments. Steps taken. The progress you make toward vision/mission.
- Environment: About appearance. Preferred settings. The presentation of who you are.
Your vision comes first (and is always in alignment with the overall vision of the church). But your mission, values, goals and environment are all important and should be supportive of that vision.
6. Equip others to share it just like you
You cannot do the vision thing alone. You should be surrounded by key leaders you are developing and, ideally, they should be part of the conversation that originally defines that vision you are pursuing and that crafts that vision statement that is articulated.
Whether they are with you from the beginning or not, however, you must equip others to share the vision just as you do. They must understand it, believe and buy in to it, and know how to articulate it in a way that paints an inviting picture. And they should infuse every conversation about your ministry with that vision. When this happens, the vision you are pursuing will begin take hold and grow, eventually embedding itself in the very fabric of your ministry, which is exactly what you need it to do!