Vision In Action

February 6, 2017

by Brian Zehr 

Vision is a snapshot of the future that allows leaders to engage people into forward movement. The snapshot shows why movement is needed and what the results will be as you move forward.

If you are going to grow as a leader, then your ability to see, and let others see, needs to grow as well. Let me give you four indicators that reveal what a great vision looks like.

First of all, at the risk of sounding overly simplistic or spiritual, make sure that it is a snapshot that comes from God. There are so many great resources on the internet and great conferences full of speakers that talk about the vision of their organization and the temptation is to piggy back on others vision. Resist the temptation to steal vision. There is no substitute for prayer.

For wrestling with God. For asking for vision. We need to gather others to pray and to listen to God. Sometimes God clarifies vision through the needs of your community or church. Sometimes God drives vision through opportunities that arise. Sometimes out of crisis. But spiritual leadership needs vision that doesn’t come from us.

I have seen many spiritual leaders who mean well but spend more time scheming and strategizing and very little time seeking God. I remember as a Pastor, reading a book on building bridges to the community and I just grabbed it and started to run with it as a snapshot for our ministry. About two months and a bunch of conflict later I backed off from driving a man-made vision and started asking God to clarify HIS vision for us. Please learn from my mistakes, as I had to learn the hard way.

Secondly, once you sense God giving you a picture of what the future holds. Seek confirmation. Include leaders and trusted influencers. Ask them to pray. Ask them to poke holes in the picture. In other words, ask them why the vision might be the wrong vision as well as why it might be the right vision. I’m not talking about vision casting, I’m talking about confirming what God is leading you into.

So let’s say you have a snapshot of the future and trusted advisors are confirming it. What makes it a good vision?

The third indicator that you have a great vision is to make sure that the vision requires ACTION. I love the story of Nehemiah in the old testament. Nehemiah was given an emotional vision from God of rebuilding the walls. A part of the picture required people to work hard – to take action. Even before the plan was in place everyone knew that it was going to require all people to do something. Does the picture you have require everyone to take action?

The last indicator of this snapshot we call vision is in the details.

In my office there is a picture of my daughter on a very important spiritual day.

It was outside and it was a beautiful day. If I look closely there are all sorts of things in the background. There is a tent where food and drinks were located. There is a parking lot where people can park. There is a sound system and an outdoor platform.

Here is my point: in every viable vision there are lots of things in the background. Lots of detail and service that is required in order for the snapshot to have the desired result. A crucial indicator of a good vision is that there are lots of needs and opportunities for details and administrative excellence to occur. There is always background to every great picture.

The bible teaches us that without a vision the people perish.

It’s true.

Vision is a snapshot of the future that allows leaders to engage people into forward movement.
  • Is the snapshot Spirit led?
  • Is the picture confirmed by trusted advisors?
  • Does it lead into action?
  • Does the picture have a lot of background to it?
If those four indicators are in place, you are well on your way to leading with vision.
Leadership Development