Have you ever wondered what the future will be like? Kids have awesome imaginations and dreams about what they want to be when they grow up. Similarly, one of the qualities of every great leader is they have a vision for what they want to see occur in their life, business and/or ministry. Proverbs says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish…” Proverbs 29:18 (KJV). Without vision there is no direction, no plan for the future, and nothing to look towards. For leaders, developing a vision for your ministry can bring excitement, new life and hope for what is to come.
What is a Vision Statement?
Understand that the mission statement for your ministry is not the same as your vision statement. Your mission statement communicates the general purpose of your ministry. On the other hand, a vision statement provides details as to what the future looks like for an organization or ministry.
George Barna, in his book The Power of Vision: Discover and Apply God’s Plan for Your Life and Ministry, describes vision as, “a clear mental image of a preferable future imparted by God to His chosen servants and is based upon an accurate understanding of God, self and circumstances.” Barna is clear that vision looks towards the future. It is not grounded in the current way things are, but focused on what is to come.
“The vision of the Sherwood Student Worship Program is to develop student worship leaders who are musically talented, spiritual leaders who make an impact in their city and world through their lives and the music they lead.”
I believe the goals of our program are clear. We desire to develop student worship leaders who are three things: musically talented, spiritual leaders who are world changers. This takes work and focus to accomplish, and I’ll discuss how we accomplish these goals next week, but for now let’s take a look at your ministry.
Developing Your Vision Statement
1. You Need To Have Your Mission Statement Clearly Defined
Before you ever start working on your vision statement, you must have your ministry’s mission statement defined. Your mission statement provides direction for your vision statement. Barna says, “The vision statement puts feet on the mission, detailing how the church will influence the world in which it will minister.”
2. Ask God For Direction
Maybe I’m simple-minded, but it seems that many people forget this step and launch their ministry based on what they feel they are to be doing. I have rewritten the mission statement for my ministry multiple times because I never could grasp exactly what I was to be doing. I had tons of great ideas for what the worship program could look like, but I never took time to be quiet and listen for God’s voice of guidance. I only listened to me.
It was not until I began to seek the Lord’s direction and help that I began to have clarity about my ministry’s purpose. The same is true for you, take time to get alone with God and ask him to lead you as you think about the future of your ministry. “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” (Proverbs 16:3 ESV)
3. Dream About The Best Possible Future
“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” -Walt Disney
When you begin to think about the future of your ministry, what do you see? Large crowds, devoted disciples, a community of tight-knit people who are seeking to know Jesus and share Him with others? When developing your vision statement, don’t let anything seem impossible and don’t let anyone tell you that it cannot happen.
4. Be Unique And Don’t Copy Others
When I first started thinking about the vision for the Sherwood Student Worship Program, I began by looking at what other churches were doing. This was a huge mistake! I was immediately overwhelmed and discouraged because there was no way we could do what they were doing. We didn’t have the staff, resources, etc…
It took some time to realize it, but their vision for the future was not my vision. Their goals were not my goals. Your vision for the future needs to be unique to your ministry. You may have some similar elements as another ministry, but don’t copy someone else’s vision statement. Be unique and true to the direction you feel God is leading your ministry.
5. Be Specific About What You See Happening In The Future
Lastly, be specific about what you want to see happen in the coming years. Your vision statement needs to outline details about what the future will hold for those involved. Creating a vision statement that is specific will aid in communicating what you see in the near future. The ministry I lead is specifically seeking to develop student worship leaders who are three things: musically talented, spiritual leaders and world changers.
My hope and prayer for you is that you will take the time to think about the vision for your ministry and that God will give you clear picture of what that looks like. As always, I would love to hear from you, so take some time to leave a comment below. It would be greatly appreciated!