III.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Characteristics of a Vision
A.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â It is Clear
People cannot respond to a vision if they do not understand it.Â The language that we use and the picture that we portray must be clear and capable of being understood.Â When Nehemiah had a vision he communicated it in a clear fashion.Â When he told it to his followers they could see walls being built in their heads.Â Nehemiah 2:18 says â€œThey replied, â€˜Let us start building.â€™ So they began this good work.â€
How do you know if it is clear?Â The vision is clear when other people other than the leader can explain and actually do explain the vision to others in their own words.
B.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â It is Challenging
When a vision is presented and it does not challenge people, the leader will not see Godâ€™s power working. A challenging vision pulls people from where they are and pushes them to places they never imagined they could go.Â It is not daydreaming or reaching for impossible tasks.Â Vision requires great depth of understanding, a detailed knowledge of facts and an eye for potential.
C.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â It is a Picture
A vision is a mental picture that you give the congregation that they carry around in the wallet of their mind.Â Then from time to time the leader encourages them to look at the picture.Â And just like the picture that you carry around of your kids, when they see it, it brings to their mind certain emotions, feelings, and word pictures that have been presented.
In Deuteronomy 32:48 it says, â€œOn that same day the Lord told Moses, â€œGo up into the Abrim Range to Mount Nebo in Moab, across from Jericho, and view Canaan, the land I am giving the Israelites as their own possession. â€œÂ In Godâ€™s mercy he allowed Moses to see the real thing, the fulfillment of the picture that he had carried around in his mind all those years.Â His dream was about to become a reality.Â So the question that leaders must ask is â€œdo the people see the picture that I see?â€
The picture that we portray is the desired future and direction that the ministry will go.Â God is working through us to create the future.
D.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â It is Motivational
The vision from God has the potential in a ministry to turn a maintenance mentality into a ministry mentality.Â In Nehemiahâ€™s life, God gave him the vision to rebuild the walls.Â It so affected his life that when Nehemiah communicated the vision to others, God used his intensity to motivate others.Â Vision gives the organization energy to move in a new direction, or to move at all.
George Barna says â€œVision becomes a bold reason for living.Â It is a badge of purpose that the bearer wears proudly and courageously.â€Â There is an excitement about the potential of what God is going to do through those who are apart of this vision.
E.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â It Means Change
Vision deals with what is preferable, which always means change.Â Why do you need a vision to maintain the stats quo?Â So vision is required even if the church is vibrant and healthy because we must constantly seek improvement.Â Vision is a means of describing the activity and development of the ministry, the way in which the ministry will become more significant in the lives of people.
F.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â It is Imparted by God
Vision for ministry is a reflection of what God wants to accomplish through the leader to build His Kingdom.Â God conveys His view of a future to the leader. If you as a leader do not know or have a vision for your organization, then you are operating on a maintenance level, where eventually there will be decline.Â When peopleâ€™s hearts are not engaged, their level of dedication will wane as other life concerns begin to crowd into their lives.
G.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â It is Imparted to a Specific Person (The Leader)
It is the responsibility of the leader to learn from God the direction in which He desires to take the church.Â God does not give out more than one vision to multiple people in the church.
H.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â It Reveals a Promising Future
Visions are people centered and oriented.Â Because of this, research reveals that people in America want to make a difference in the world.Â We want our lives to count for something.Â We want to leave something of lasting value.Â A vision tells a story of people who are reaching their community and the world for Christ; which is the most lasting and precious thing a person can do with their life.Â The vision paints a very specific picture of how your church is going to do this.
* This is part two of a three part series.
Click here to read part one.
Click here to read part three.