Vision: An Odd but Necessary Thing

Vision is important, but the object of vision is primary.

Vision is an odd thing.

Some Christian leaders find vision to be elusive. Others have great ideas about vision but are unable to apply them. And then there are leaders who think vision isn’t important as long as they are faithful and work hard at ministry.

Vision isn’t something I was taught in seminary, but after 30 years of vocational ministry I have found it to be essential in the church. Vision matters deeply. The right vision can transform the life of a church. However, vision may be one of the most neglected areas in the local church.

That said, I don’t think vision is the answer to everything.

If you don’t have a church that focuses on the gospel, values scripture, or follows Jesus and relies on the power of the Holy Spirit, you can have a compelling vision that takes you to the wrong location. But on more than one occasion, I have seen the difference between two churches filled with people who love Jesus, one that has caught and held the vision and the other that has not.

Casting vision is one thing, but vision without the ability to back it up ultimately becomes a pipe dream. When vision is correctly applied to a church body and is undergirded by biblical values, integrity, and authenticity, it becomes a powerful motivator to mobilize people and ultimately to change the world.

Shawn Lovejoy has identified one of the biggest challenges any leader faces: how to gather people around a vision and stay true to that vision. I met Shawn over a decade ago. We visited with one another, shared common friends, and grew a friendship as we served in the same town. Shawn loves Jesus, his family, and the church. He has a passion for leading people closer to God and then sending them out to live on mission every ...

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