Sometimes we need to remind ourselves why we went into ministry in the first place. Odds are, it was not for the money. It was to make disciples and to raise up leaders. More than that, it was to make disciples who would go on to make more disciples who would go on to make more disciples. It was to raise up leaders who would raise up more leaders who would then go on to raise up yet more leaders. That’s the vision of second Timothy 2:2:
“It seems to me that the perfection of means and confusion of goals seem to characterize our age.” — Albert Einstein
That’s food for thought, isn’t it? Reflect on this quote today. What light can it shed on your ministry?
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:
Sit down with some paper or a computer and ask yourself two questions: Where are you now? Where do you want to be in 3 to 5 yrs? Being as detailed as possible, paint a picture in your mind contrasting your present situation with your preferred future. How will the future be different than the present?
… 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.