In order to grow and keep moving forward, we need to know where we’re headed. Nice-sounding but vague goals may seem helpful, but actually serve to hold us back. For instance, we want disciples but haven’t clarified what a disciple looks like. Or we want to develop leaders, but aren’t clear on what what we want these leaders to do.
Try the following exercise to help you sharpen your vision:
… is knowing what you’re trying to accomplish. If you want to develop leaders—and know that you’re being successful in that endeavor—you need to get more concrete and specific about what you’re aiming for. What does a leader look like? How do you know if you have one? A good map isn’t helpful unless you know your destination.
Take time to reflect on these three questions:
• What are you trying to produce?
• What’s the process for figuring that out?
• How do you make sure it’s linked in with your values?
This week I’m doing a five-part series to help you critically examine and sharpen your own ministry. The goal is to create a template that will allow you to serve as a consultant for your own ministry… a way of reflecting, assessing and clarifying where you are and where you want to go.
Today is step 1: vision.
What are you trying to accomplish? Start by laying out the answer to that question as clearly as you can:
- e.g. Our goal is to multiply churches (plants or satellites) to reach 1% of Chicago: 29,000 people.
Leaders must be able to effectively visioncast for a preferred future, and effective visioncasting—of course—starts with ourselves. In order to grow and develop our ministries in the right direction, we need to know where we’re headed. Often our best intentions are thwarted by vague goals. We want more leaders, but we aren’t really sure what type of leaders we need. We want better leaders, but we haven’t defined what “better” looks like. Taking some time to clarify a vision for the future can help tremendously.
Note: this entry is part of a week-long series with Dave White from the Philippines.
Yesterday we talked about the growth and multiplication Dave White has been seeing in the church in the Philippines. I asked him what he saw as the keys to some of that growth, and here’s what he told me:
Without any clear benchmarks for change, it’s almost impossible to measure whether change is happening. What is transformation? What does it look like? Would you recognize it if you saw it?
Here are the 10 signs of change used by the ministry I visited in Mexico last month:*
SIGN 1: WEALTH CREATION AT THE BOTTOM: Increased access to the economic tools that allow people to provide for the basic needs of their families
SIGN 2: LEARNING THAT EMPOWERS: Education leveraged as a powerful tool that can help people out of poverty