Your mission and vision is the foundation of every single thing you do as a ministry. If you're not clear on who you are and where you're headed, you'll be guided by whatever feels most urgent. This directly affects your ability to empower leaders, make progress as a ministry, and engage people in your community.
But it's not enough to write your vision on the wall. You have to write it on people's hearts.
In this personal, on-the-road conversation, Austin and I take some time to talk about having a vision for the future, particularly as it relates to reaching the next generation.
Here are some key takeaways:
Vision is not about today. It's about where we're going in the future. It's so easy to get caught up in the "need" of today instead of focusing on the dream/goal of what we're striving for. But identifying a vision (and writing it down) keeps you accountable and reminded of the goals you've set. And it helps you say "no" to things that won't help you get there.
We're on the verge of losing a generation. Judges 2:10 tells us, "...And there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for Israel." If we don't get intentional about refocusing our ministries to reach the next generation, we'll see the same thing happen today.
Often times, pastors struggle to cast vision because they're not the leader. In many small churches, if the church is congregationally-led or led by a plethora of committees, pastors are often viewed as "hirelings" rather than leaders. Here's the truth: If a church has more than one vision for the future of their ministry, then they have division.
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Dale is the Executive Director here at 95Network. He has been in ministry for almost 40 years and is dedicated to helping small and mid-size churches get healthy. Dale has served in nearly every role of church leadership (except Worship Pastor), and has had a wide variety of coaching and consulting experience. He and his wife Gina have been married for 37 years and live in Greenville, SC.