I’ve been thinking about leadership and vision lately. As the leader of a new ministry I am constantly thinking and dreaming: Where are we going? Who do we want to be? What should this ministry look like? What does it look like if we “win”? In other words, what is the goal? And what do I do first? Second? Third? These thoughts can be exciting but also a little daunting. They are exciting because of all the opportunities out there to impact lives, daunting because of the constant need to prioritize, keep the main thing the main thing and lead others toward the goal. Yet I find encouragement by regularly looking at the life of Christ
What is a leader? A leader is someone who has followers, and who influences others. Jesus is our prime example of a sacrificial servant leader who had vision. He guided and directed–but He also provided vision for a positive future. He was a visionary leader. It has been said that vision is the “act or power of anticipating that which will or may come to be”. Doesn’t that sound like our Lord? He knew why He was here (His mission statement is in Luke 19:10). He knew where He was going. He knew where He wanted His followers to go (to reach the ends of the earth with a message of hope and then join Him in heaven). He kept the main thing the main thing and He began with the end in mind.
Do you as a leader know where you are going? Do you know where you want to take those who are following you? Do you know who you want to be? What would you do in your ministry if you knew you couldn’t fail? What would “win” look like for your ministry? Don’t be afraid to think and dream about “the end”: where you would like your ministry team (including yourself) to end up.
It is fun but also a challenge to dream in the future. But we must dream…and dream big! Henrietta Mears, a tremendous woman of God who, a couple generations ago, was used mightily in kingdom work said, “Dream Big Dreams: There is no magic in small plans.” Don’t worry about the money, or what you need to get there. When you dream there are only opportunities, not obstacles. Be willing to be stretched into the vision God has for you. Prayerfully listen, and begin building the ideas. Write them down. And then tell people. And you will have followers who come alongside because they believe in the vision. Jesus received His vision from the Father and then He told people about it. He never wavered from staying the course, He set goals to get there, and He began with the end in mind! Follow His lead…and become a visionary leader.
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