Restate Your Church Vision Every 30 Days

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Vision+44One of your most important roles as a pastor is as vision caster. Sharing the vision of your church can’t be a one-time event.

The Bible says, “If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves.” (Proverbs 29:18, MSG)

As the leader, God has called you to help your congregation see what God is doing in your midst.

That’s why you must continually put the vision of your church before your congregation—at least every 26 days. That’s the Nehemiah Principle.

In Nehemiah’s story of rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem, halfway through the project people got discouraged and wanted to give up. Like many churches, they lost their sense of purpose and, as a result, became overwhelmed with fatigue, frustration and fear.  Nehemiah rallied the people back to work by reorganizing the project and recasting the vision.  He reminded them of the importance of their work and reassured them that God would help them fulfill his purpose (Neh. 4:6-15).

Although the wall took only 52 days to complete, the people became discouraged at the halfway point: just 26 days into the project! Nehemiah had to renew their vision.

You’ve got to do that, too. It’s amazing how quickly human beings—and churches—lose their sense of purpose and vision. Vision casting is not a task you do once and then forget about. You must continually clarify and communicate the vision of your church. This is the number one responsibility of leadership.

But I want to challenge you to take this principle even further into the life of your congregation. Don’t just regularly communicate your church’s vision. Regularly show your ministry leaders their unique contribution to that vision.  Help them see how their ministry moves the church toward its vision. People need to see the eternal significance of ministering in Jesus’ name. Vision motivates people. Guilt and pressure discourages people. Help people see they’re investing for eternity, that there’s no greater cause than the Kingdom of God.

The best kept secret in the Church is that people are dying to make a contribution with their lives. We are made for ministry! When everyone uses their unique, God-given SHAPE to make a difference for Jesus’ sake in your community, you’ll make a tangible, visible difference in your community. The church that understands this, and continually calls people to a vision where every member can express his or her uniqueness in ministry, will experience amazing vitality, health and growth.

The sleeping giant will be awakened and it will be unstoppable.


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Rick Warren About Rick Warren

Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.

  • Olanma Ogbuehi

    Scratching my head to find this particular ‘purpose’ for pastors in the Bible, anywhere, even if we limit it to the New Testament. I think that pastors would do better to follow what God’s revealed word tells them to do, rather than the speculations and new innovations of popular motivational speakers (albeit with a Christian guise).

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  • Shane

    Church vision should be centered around the Apostle Paul’s mandate to Timothy to “preach the word”. “Be ready in season and out of season”. This should be the central thrust of every minister. Training his borrowed congregation in righteousness is the Fathers will. The overflow of that work by the gifts of the individuals IS the outreach (Eph 4).

    Love and outreach – We need to define for our brethren the difference between Christ’s love for those called who are “In Him” as opposed to the Hollywood milky tolerance driven love that to it’s detriment has penetrated Christian world view today.

  • DLY

    Concerning vision, I believe every church and or church leadership should prayerfully establish what it will take to reach its community for Christ within the next three to five years. The church’s vision would then be in line with His Great Commission and that church can utilize the individual gifts and passions of the members/contributors to accomplish the task Christ has set before us all. I think this is the vision Pastor Rick is referring to and not some man made vision. Made man visions have no eternal significance apart from the Lordship of Christ but a church that knows its mission and is motivated in and by Christ to fulfill it, is a church that God will use greatly! Our church feels like in order to reach our community for Christ we must strive to love others as Christ loves us. So that’s at the heart of all we do, that’s our purpose, our vision to help us accomplish His Commission! Thanks for the great advice Pastor Rick!

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  • Shane

    What if your churches vision is the wrong one? Men create mission statements, visions and purposes because they do not believe that Christ has already spoken on the issue’s. Our vision should be to teach, exort, rebuke and train in righteousness. The worlds problem is sin and not a cure for aids, lack of service projects or world peace.

    • http://www.transitionministriesgroup.com/ Bud Brown

      There are two ways to develop and implement church vision: top down or bottom up. The risk of having a “wrong vision” is much lower when a “bottom up” process is followed to develop the vision. Furthermore, those are the visions that a congregation can sustain even when the lead pastor leaves. Top down visions are less likely to be sustained when the lead pastor leaves.

      But, to your point: If the church engages in a process of prayer and listening to the members it is much more likely that the church will learn what the Head of the Church intends for that church’s vision. After all, he dwells in each believer!

      • shane

        Hi Bud, as you know the church body is an organism. Top down ecclesiology is a grid system designed to keep people “in line” with a congressional vision or mission created by the top.

        The true church operates more like a vine and trellis. Growing according to individual gifts and the guidance of the Holy Spirit which leads to and abundance of fruit.

        The issue is with the need to create a vision in the first place. Again those that cast and control the vision have the control. The problem is this is subjective and erroneous leading to a power grab within the church on who’s ideas will shape the body.

        Any church, any where you go should recognize that the vision has already been firmly established in the word. Christ has already spoken on the issue. A pastors job is to teach the pattern of the church already set forth in scripture (Col 1-28, 2-6, Eph 4). Teach and train them in the word. This puts Christ in His rightful position as head of the church. When man creates his own vision, mission and ecclesiology then he replaces Christs headship. This is very dangerous and a great cost to the church.

        Blessings,

        Shane

  • Dwight Clough

    So very important … thanks for writing this

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  • Jimmy D. Wells

    Also good advice for individuals. Take time to recall your purpose.

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