“Where there is no vision the people perish.” Proverbs 29:18
As leaders, we know how valuable vision is to our ability to lead others. We know we need it. We know that without it things start to die. What has been disturbing me lately, though, is how shallowly leaders tend to treat vision when they begin to see their ministries, organizations, or churches starting to experience signs of death.
Numbers are stagnant? People are leaving? We’re lacking innovation and creativity? “We need vision!” leaders yell. But what I sometimes see happen as a result is that some arbitrary goal then is thrown out to the masses in hopes that it will reverse the intertia, breathe life where this is none, and reinvigorate people towards the mission again. It often does work for a little while. But it isn’t real vision.
Not that any of those things desired are bad, but when we don’t take the time to root vision in a bigger context and grander landscape around us, we sell something that falls far short of what vision is meant to be.
I was inspired by this picture on twitter: Christian Book Vending Machine
Isn’t that how we treat vision sometimes? Like junk food? We think that if we give some superficial, outrageous goal that we’ve done our job as leaders? This kind of vision typically lacks any substance despite the fact that it might get people excited in the short run. But just like junk food, it doesn’t carry any endurance with it because the goal isn’t grounded in anyones present reality. Without connection to people’s world, you won’t have long term buy in to your vision. It won’t actually nourish anyone and sustain them towards completing the goal. It’s just like junk food. Junk food vision. It’s lacking in value even though it tastes good in the immediate…