What do you envision your sphere of leadership and ministry looking like twelve months from now? If you desire for it to be different in any way than it is now, you must plan for it.
Vision is an often-misunderstood concept. When a spiritual leader seeks to develop and cast a godly vision, this is more than mere dreaming. According to Proverbs 29:18 (“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he”), spiritual vision is viewing my life and ministry through the lens of God’s Word.
So, according to God’s Word and the purposes He has set forth for ministry, what do you see as the preferred future for your area(s) of ministry? What would obedience to the Word of God look like? I would challenge you to mark some time off on your calendar to spend time answering those questions. Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance, and write out a specific plan.
I would suggest that a godly vision would include the following seven elements:
1. Biblically Based
If it’s not God’s will, we don’t want to do it. Again, this is more than dreaming; it is aligning ministry development with God’s Word.
2. Personally Inspiring
Before you share this with those in your ministry (church members, Sunday school class, ministry team, etc.), you must allow the Holy Spirit to charge your own heart before you attempt to inspire others.
3. Change Orientated
If it’s just a repeat template with a new year filled in at the top, you’re not going anywhere. Growth always involves stretching, and it usually includes change on some level.
4. Customized to Your Ministry
The music ministry cannot copy the new year planner for the Sunday school ministry. Each area of ministry must be individually and prayerfully developed.
5. Detail Orientated
A big picture idea is just a starting point. For a vision to gain traction, you must specify steps of action.
6. People Orientated
Ministry is not just about facilities; it is about people. Your view for the future should be orientated toward serving, building, and nurturing people in the Lord.
7. Christ Centered
Biblical vision is all about lifting up Christ and bringing glory to His name. It is not about elevating personal influence or competing for the attention of others.
The greatest enemies of biblical vision are self-focus and apathy. After all, if we are not willing to develop and take steps toward a Christ-honoring vision, we are too in love with the comfort of the status quo.