Here are my observations...many leaders default to what we call generic vision. Generic vision is akin to having no vision at all. There are several different types of generic vision. They all take a kind of general tone like love God and love people, reach more people, or go make disciples.
I’m glad you love God and people. I’m glad that you want to reach more people and make more disciples. We already know that, but what if God wants to do something cosmically significant and locally specific through you and your church?
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worked with a church when they actually “name” the vision and then for whatever the reason they blink. They default back to generic vision. I mean they pull back and retreat to the safe and secure lands of Generica.
What we need and what it takes to lead with specific and clear vision is courage. Everyone loves you as long as you don’t have vision or have some common form of a lesser vision. Get specific and guess what? There are going to be people who are going to disagree with you. Be bold and courageous! Name your vision! Get specific!
Let’s face it, we all lack courage at times. You are not alone, but what if you could gain courage and by doing so discover that God is able to do abundantly above all you ask or imagine!
Here are three things that will give the confidence and courage when it comes to vision.
Collaboration with a Team
Don’t take the vision journey alone. Build a team of both strategic and tactical people who are willing to own the journey with you. A common mistake when it comes to vision is the idea that if we get it down on paper, we have a vision. We may have a vision statement or a visionary plan, but what we want and need to build courage is so much more. We need a sense of shared vision. This visionary plan isn’t a document that a leader wrote and is now sharing with us, but it is a shared vision that we discovered together. Each person on the team is now a stakeholder and has a deep level of ownership. Together we are more courageous than when we are separated. We draw strength from the collective genius of all.
Confidence in a Process
As an organization (Auxano.com), we consider ourselves a team of Navigators. You the client are the content experts. You and your organization are unique. You consist of a unique people, in a unique place, and with a unique passion. There is no one or any given place quite like you. At the same time, our navigators are process experts. We believe God is at work in you and a great navigator with the best process tools should serve you well in helping you discover God’s unique vision for your church. We have seen it work hundreds of times and we believe it can work for you. Go ahead and check it out for yourself. We included our entire process and many of our tools in a book by our founder Will Mancini titled God Dreams.
Clarity of Vision
The final component of courage when it comes to vision is clarity. The way we say it is, “Clarity isn’t everything, but it changes everything.” That’s right clarity changes everything. When you have it, you experience the confidence and even the courage needed to lead with it. However, getting to the point of clarity isn’t easy, if it were everyone would have it. Clarity requires hard work. Clarity requires time and testing. There is rarely a day that I don’t encourage one or more of my clients to slow down in order to speed up. That’s right, slow down and do the hard work of vision. Work the process with your team until you experience breakthrough. My consistent prayer for the teams I work with is for God to give us breakthrough. Prior to clarity, it is my observation that we often have to go through the tunnel of chaos to get there. This alone takes a level of courage. You can be courageous even when you feel fear. Courage is not the absent of fear, but the willingness to continue in spite of fear.
A great team, proven process, and clarity goes a long way when it comes to leading with confidence and courage.
David Putman is the founder of Planting the Gospel and a Senior Lead Navigator with Auxano the category leader in vision clarity. When David isn't writing or consulting he enjoys staying fit and competing at Crossfit.