2 Ways to Make Your Vision Stick

There’s a crucial question every ministry leader must answer when it comes to their vision. When do you know the vision has become ingrained in the culture of your church and not just in your own dreams?

It’s not enough to have a vision, even a compelling one. It’s not enough to be able to communicate your vision well. And it definitely isn’t enough to be passionate about your vision. Of course you’re going to be passionate about your vision. It’syour vision.

What you really want is for the vision to stick. To infiltrate and permeate every area of your church. To be so ingrained in your culture that people speak the vision and do the vision without even thinking about it.

But how do you know when that has happened?
Two indicators stick out to me; Here’s the first:

1) When the best ideas are not your own.
When the vision has become ingrained in your culture, great ideas should be flowing from all directions. The pastor shouldn’t be the chief idea officer, but the chief vision officer. His responsibility is to make sure that the ideas are fitting into the vision. Not generate all of the ideas for the vision.

If all of the best ideas are coming from the pastor, it’s a sign the vision hasn’t truly been owned by the people. It’s only being served. In other words, for your staff and volunteers, it’s still your vision. And since it’s your vision, you should be the one coming up with the best ideas for it. And then they’ll support you by making them happen. As Christine Caine would say, they see themselves as servants of your vision, rather than as stewards of a vision that has become their own.

The vision isn’t going very far this way. I don’t care if you’re Steve Jobs, you don’t have enough great ideas in you to keep it going.

The solution: regularly demand people to bring their own ideas to the table. Set the expectation that fresh ideas for how to carry out the vision aren’t welcomed, they’re expected. Remind the people you’re leading that the vision isn’t just yours. It’s everyone’s. And everyone can and should contribute.

When they do, reward and recognize them in front of everyone. Make them the standard.
And then don’t be surprised when great ideas start flowing from people other than yourself.

2) Leaders have been raised up who can communicate the vision better in ways more suited to their personality and area of responsibility.
If you’re the only person who can communicate the vision, you’re in trouble. If your staff has to get you to every event to cast vision, there’s a problem. It’s an indication not of how great of a vision caster you are, but of how much your staff has yet to own and appropriate the vision to their own unique contexts.

I remember the first time I heard the original version of Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door by Bob Dylan. I didn’t like it. Not because it wasn’t good, but because I had already heard it played by Guns N’ Roses. And I thought their version was way better.

That’s what you want from the people you lead. You want people who can take your vision and make it better and communicate it more effectively in their own ministry setting. Who can take it and find fresh angles to approach it from that you never would have thought of yourself.

You know the vision has become ingrained when you don’t have to be there in person to ingrain it. Your leaders have so internalized it that when they’re there, it’s as if you’re there. And it’s even better.

The solution: Regularly force your people to articulate the vision in the context of their specific area of responsibilities. To you. To the staff. And to the people they oversee. The more they do, the more they’ll understand it, own it, and spread it. And the more your people will love and believe in the vision, not just the chief vision caster.

More from Steven.


Would you like to learn more about articulating vision for your organization? Connect with an Auxano Navigator and start a conversation with our team.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Steven Furtick

Steven Furtick

Pastor Steven Furtick is the lead pastor of Elevation Church. He and his wife, Holly, founded Elevation in 2006 with seven other families. Pastor Steven holds a Master of Divinity degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is also the New York Times Best Selling author of Crash the Chatterbox, Greater, and Sun Stand Still. Pastor Steven and Holly live in the Charlotte area with their two sons, Elijah and Graham, and daughter, Abbey.

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comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

6 Bad Habits Affecting Your Church Announcements

Announcements are a great tool for moving people to action. [I wrote all about this in my ebook called Effective Announcements.] However, it can be difficult to keep them fresh and creative every weekend. Even worse, the people who do them can get lazy and some bad habits sneak in that undermine their effectiveness. Here are some of the bad habits for church announcements I’ve seen over the years:

  • Constant weather updates // Commenting on the weather all the time is verbal diarrhea for church leaders. It’s a crutch when you don’t know what else to say … don’t do it! Add a high-value transition, like commenting on what just happened in the service rather than what a great day is it outside.
    • BONUS: The same is true about over-commenting on sports. Use it sparingly!
  • Last-minute additions // It’s Sunday morning and someone from your kids ministry pleads with you to sell a special event happening on Tuesday evening. Don’t do it! Last-minute additions never pay the response dividends that people are looking for and they short circuit a well-planned communications strategy. Remember … it’s always bad to add!
  • “Blessings” and other insider language // I don’t know what it is about doing announcements that makes people add all kinds of “churchy” language. Rather than talking about how great the youth event was … they talk about what a blessing it was for the youth to fellowship in that way. WHAT? Use language that makes sense to people who don’t normally attend church. (And stop taking up those “clap offerings”!)
  • Shielding your eyes from the light // You go on stage and there are bright lights so people can see you. But you want to be able to see them, so you make a “hand over your eyes” shield. Stop that! It takes people out of the moment, reinforces the fact that those lights are there, and makes people feel disconnected from you because they can’t see you.
  • Not introducing people // Who are all those people on stage with you? If you’ve ever visited a church and not known who is on stage, you’ll know how disorienting it is. Take 10 seconds and introduce everyone … it puts first-time guests at ease.
  • Weird prayers // One of the reasons we pray in public is because it models what a “normal” prayer life is like. However, some church leaders fall into the trap of trying to impress people with big words or overly complex prayers. Don’t do it … model a prayer life that uses normal language to connect with God. It’s a simple way to help people take their next steps in this vitally important part of their spiritual lives.

> Read more from Rich.


Would you like to know more how to use announcements in a powerful, positive way that reinforces your vision? Connect with an Auxano Navigator and start a conversation with our team.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rich Birch

Rich Birch

Thanks so much for dropping by unseminary … I hope that your able to find some resources that help you lead your church better in the coming days! I’ve been involved in church leadership for over 15 years. Early on I had the privilege of leading in one of the very first multisite churches in North Amerca. I led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 4,000 people in 6 locations. (Today they are 13 locations with somewhere over 5,000 people attending.) In addition, I served on the leadership team of Connexus Community Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. I currently serves as Operations Pastor at Liquid Church in the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. I have a dual vocational background that uniquely positions me for serving churches to multiply impact. While in the marketplace, I founded a dot-com with two partners in the late 90’s that worked to increase value for media firms and internet service providers. I’m married to Christine and we live in Scotch Plains, NJ with their two children and one dog.

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Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

The Value of Vision, Part 2: Focusing on the Future Sets Leaders Apart

The capacity to imagine and articulate exciting future possibilities is the defining competence of leaders. 

For over thirty years authors Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner (The Leadership Challenge) been asking people what they most look for and admire in a leader, someone they would willingly follow.

Their research has consistently found that the quality of being forward-looking is second only to honesty as the most admired leader characteristic. 

Unfortunately, it’s something that too few fully appreciate, and too many devote almost no time to developing.

And how does a new leader develop the capacity to be forward-looking?

The answer is deceptively simple: spend more time in the future. You have to carve out more time each week to peer into the distance and imagining what might be out there. You have to take the time today in order to have the time tomorrow.

Because focusing on the future is the differentiating leadership quality, you need to spend more time reading about, thinking about, and talking about the long-term view. Here are a few ideas that Kouzes and Posner recommend:

  • Set up a futures research committee to study potential changes and developments in areas affecting your  organization.
  • Put together a team to continually track fifty or sixty publications that represent new thoughts on trends in your domain.  Ask them to prepare abstracts of articles they think have relevance. A smaller team can then pull the abstracts into reports for use in planning and decision-making.
  • Have all the people in your organization regularly clip articles from newspapers, magazines, and Web sites.

Circulate the ideas generated and discuss the impact of trends on your products, services, technologies, and constituents. Use these discussions to help you and your organization develop the ability to think long-term.

It’s your job as a leader to lift people’s sights and lift people’s spirits.

You must remind others that there is a larger purpose to all this doing. You and they are working hard in order to build something different, to make something new, to create a better future.

Invest the time today in tomorrow’s future.

Read their entire article here.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

James Kouzes and Barry Posner

James Kouzes and Barry Posner

Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner are the coauthors of the bestselling and award-winning The Leadership Challenge, and over a dozen other books on leadership including The Truth About Leadership, Making Extraordinary Things Happen in Asia, A Leader’s Legacy, Credibility, and Encouraging the Heart. Jim is the Dean’s Executive Fellow of Leadership and Barry is the Accolti Endowed Professor of Leadership at the Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University. Follow them on Twitter @Jim_Kouzes and @TLCTalk and find them on Facebook Jim Kouzes and TLC Page.

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COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.