Does your vision rob you of your sleep? Quicken your pulse? Change your community and world? I want to explore what makes a vision so compelling that it is difficult to ignore or oppose.
Your Vision Must Be a Conviction
Your vision will only burn as bright as you do. When this passion comes from deep within you, people will sense it and follow it. A vision is something you not only see in your mind, but also burns in your heart.
“An opinion is something you’ll argue about; a conviction is something you’ll die for.”—Will Mancini
People will not be more dedicated than you are to the vision. The outcome is a willingness to sacrifice. This sacrifice can be seen in time, energy, and financial resources. If this is not something you are willing to personally risk your reputation and resources on, it’s not worth pursuing. It’s merely an idea, not a vision.
Does your vision inspire you to the point of personal commitment?
Your Vision Must Be Convincing
Let’s compare and contrast a few corporate vision statements to an inspiring one.
Hewlett Packard’s vision: “We recognize and seize opportunities for growth that builds upon our strengths and competencies.” How did the largest technology business in the world come up with such an unclear and uninspiring vision statement? Yawn.
Apple’s vision: “To make a contribution to the world by making tools for the mind that advance humankind.” Their focus is on helping others, not just beating the competition. In my opinion, this vision is not specific enough. It sort of sounds like a parent speech.
Volkswagen’s vision: “By 2018 the Volkswagen Group is to be the world’s most successful and fascinating automobile manufacturer – and the leading light when it comes to sustainability.” Their commitment to creativity and environment gives us a cause, but their recent emissions scandal casts doubt on their motives.
Evangelical pastors may use different vision statements, but they should all be variations of the Great Commission and Great Commandment. The Holy Spirit will convince you of the truth and importance of this biblical vision.
Your Vision Must Be Courageous
You will draw courage from that conviction – especially when others try to steal your dream – or worse – ignore it.
My last church relocated to a new campus and repurposed our former downtown campus into a ministry center. Several members immediately saw and supported that vision. Several others only saw and understood it after it had become a reality. The toughest ones were those who never saw the vision and either ignored it or opposed it. Those are the ones you need courage for.
That vision was tested so many times that I often wanted to give up on it altogether. I often leaned on a handful of leaders who shared an unshakable conviction about loving and reaching our neighbors from both of our campuses.
“An idea is something you can do, a vision is something you believe that you should do.”—Will Mancini
“Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He won’t leave you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the Lord’s house is finished” (1 Chronicles 28:20).