What has God called you to do? Where are you leading His people? How do you aspire to serve as a ministry?
Your role as a visionary is one of the most important responsibilities you hold.
You have the ability to take what God has placed on your heart and speak a word that will transform lives around the world for generations to come.
That is an awesome responsibility, my friend, and I am so thankful you have accepted the call!
Like the true north indicator on a compass, a written, clear and compelling vision will point your ministry towards a path for transformation and lasting change.
A vision is not the same as a mission. A mission is a statement of who you are and why you exist. A mission statement can be described as a purpose statement. A vision statement describes your future. It speaks to your future plans as a ministry.
Clear visions guide clear actions. However, even with a clear vision in your mind, there is an ongoing struggle to stay focused and keep actions aligned with the vision in many ministries around the world unless it's written down and acted upon. The Word instructs us to "write the vision and make it plain" in Habbakuk 2:2 so read on to learn how to draft a written clear vision statement to use as your ministry's compass to stay focused on what God has called you to do. But remember, action is just as important as clarity.
Your vision should be so big it scares you. It should stretch you to the point where you have no choice but to rely on God so when you are communicating what God has placed on your heart don’t water it down because you fear it won’t be perceived positively or you fear it’s too audacious. Be Bold!
LEAN ON YOUR TEAM
God gave the vision to you, as the visionary and shepherd of His people, but lean on your team when it comes time to articulate that vision into a statement that everyone can embrace. Increase engagement by having a brainstorming session where everyone’s input is welcomed.
This approach also applies to individual ministries within the church. As an example, the coordinator of the Women’s Ministry should bring together her assistant and several members of the ministry to have a brainstorming session to tie the ministry’s vision with the vision of the church.
FINISH THIS SENTENCE
Start the draft for your vision by finishing this sentence:
Our ministry is working to _______.
The vision statement itself should be no more than 2-3 sentences. Ruthlessly edit your drafts over and over again to get a final product that is simple and clear. Vision statements that are long, rambling and weighted down with jargon are ineffective.
Looking toward the future, your vision statement should describe the intended results of your actions over the next several years.
Once the true north on your compass is set, you can then create short term strategic objectives that break down the long term vision into smaller targets.
It would be so nice if everyone remembered the vision statement word for word but realistically that probably won’t happen so pick out a word from each sentence and create a mnemonic device. That way the intent of the vision can be remembered and recalled easily.
BE PATIENTLY REPETITIVE
We are all human and we all struggle with staying on track to a certain extent. Patience is needed because it is going to take being repetitive. It's going to take repeating the vision indefinitely until members understand it, embrace it and embody it.
Did you think you were done...nope...you're not. You're not finished until you start telling everyone! Jesus uses the ultimate call to action in Matthew 4:19: Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. I may be biased but isn't He awesome?
Ok, so...what's your call to action? Publish your mission and vision statements prominently on your website along with testimonies of the impact you've done and them as calls to action to get more people engaged, excited and energized about your ministry's work.
VISION STATEMENT EXAMPLES
The list below are a random mix of vision statements from government, nonprofit and corporate organizations. Please feel free to refer to the examples below to draft your vision statement.
President John F. Kennedy's May 25, 1961 Address to Joint Session of Congress: "I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth. No single space project...will be more exciting, or more impressive to mankind, or more important...and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish...”
Social Security Administration: To provide the highest standard of considerate and thoughtful service for generations to come.
Share our Strength: We’re working to end child hunger in America by connecting kids to effective nutrition programs like school breakfast and summer meals.
RobinHood: To improve the Living Standards for 1.8 million low-income New Yorkers.
Walmart: “To be the best retailer in the hearts and minds of consumers and employees.”
Berkshire Hathaway's HomeServices Division: To be the best recognized and most highly respected homeownership services brand in the United States and worldwide.
AT&T: To Connect to Good.
Ford: People working together as a lean, global enterprise for automotive leadership.
GM: to earn customers for life by building brands that inspire passion and loyalty through not only breakthrough technologies but also by serving and improving the communities in which we live and work around the world.