Implementing a proper vision in a ministry is one of the major aspects of effective leadership in any church today. This involves coming up with an effective vision and implementing it. Vision is the ability to see farther than your physical eyes can look. Vision transcends time. Sanders stated that vision includes optimism and faith and is venturous. Jim Collins sees the vision from another perspective. His “hedgehog concept” is realizing the one thing you were called to do well and focusing and filtering all other ideas through that one concept. Basically, vision can be understood as seeing beyond current situations and circumstances into the clear and necessary possibilities of the future. In lay man’s understanding, a vision is what makes a seaman overcome all the maritime difficulties because, in mind, there is a clear picture of his intended destination.
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A vision is important in that it clarifies direction, invites unity, and facilitates function (many ministries today do not know what they are supposed to be doing). A good vision enhances leadership, and for a ministry to aim towards its vision, effective leadership gives a clear roadmap towards the vision direction. Developing a vision and living it effectively, vigorously and authentically are important and essential elements of leadership.
Proper vision and its importance
A vision prompts passion. Passion is a feeling word that involves leader’s emotion towards the vision as a word that involves what leaders see in their heads. Passionate people are strongly attached to the vision. A vision fosters risk-taking, people with a compelling and passionate vision are always willing to take risks that they might not otherwise take. A vision also offers sustenance just like God uses the picture we carry in our mental billfolds to sustain us in the worst of times. It also creates energy, visions are exciting and energizing they energize people. A vision energizes people through its inspiration.
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A vision gives people a purpose of existence, it gives meaning to people’s lives. A vision motivates people to give to the organization to project clearly to what they believe is God’s future for them.
Aubrey Malphurs further defined a vision as a clear, challenging picture of the future of the ministry as you believe that it can and must be. As opposed to the mission which is an informing statement, a vision is a snapshot that communicates inspiration. A vision is the future of the ministry a clear mental picture of what tomorrow looks like.
A good vision relates to the future and has potential. It rests firmly on the bedrock of reality and it is highly feasible. For a vision to realize these factors, important issues that affect the size and the nature of the vision must be put into place. First, the visionary must be considered i.e. the question, “who is the visionary?” must be tackled. Secondly, the visionary’s people must be considered, i.e. the question, “who is the visionary’s people?” must be answered. Also, there must be considered whether the times are right for the vision. With this in mind, the ministry doctor is in line with coming up with a good vision that grabs hold and can’t let go.
A good vision must be clear; the people to whom it is intended should understand it. It should also be challenging so as to move people into action. It should also create a picture that people can see clearly in their heads. It should also be future-oriented; meaning, it should present a clear picture of the ministry in days. The designer of the vision should also be convinced and believing that it can be. This means that the vision is feasible.
A visionary leader is a person from whom the church or Para-church ministry vision originates and it is the primary responsibility of this point person. The point person cultivates the vision, it is his responsibility to initiate and develop the organizations’ vision, which should be unique and can empower the versioned community for ministry. He is also the vision clarifier this means that he/she is the person who regularly serves to rethink and further refine the ministry’s dream.
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The leader needs others as well. This calls for involving and including significant others in the process of coming up with the ministry’s vision and also consulting them when amending the vision whenever the need arises. The function of the significant others in birthing the vision is to cooperate, contribute, support and communicate in facilitating the process of coming up with the vision.
First, they must cooperate with and follow the leadership of the visionary point person. They need also to be a part and pestle of the vision. The significant others comprise the leadership team; therefore, they must rally in support of the vision. This group also needs to be involved in the vision casting and implementation.
The Vision making Process starts with the conception of a dream. The conception stage has two phases; initiation and expansion. The end result of this stage is a dream that eventually leads to the vision.
The next stage is the initiation phase, where the dream is often initiated when the dreamer recognized untapped potential opportunity or become dissatisfied with the status quo. Most visionaries are good at realizing untapped opportunities. In most cases, leaders conceive a dream when they are dissatisfied with what is currently present and a deep and pressing desire for what they know could be
The development of the vision should begin with an envisioning prayer. Then, thinking big on whether the vision is big enough. The vision should be bigger than the envisioned in the sense that it goes beyond him/her and his/her abilities to accomplish it. If the dreamer’s vision is too small, the people will not feel challenged.
While the dream is initiated mostly by dissatisfaction with status quo, it expands as a result of the desire for a viable alternative. Visionary leaders are not squeaky wheels; the only thing in common among them is an awareness of the flaws. However, visionary may be characterized as opportunistic. The source of the dream can be directly from God or indirectly through reading, listening and other experiences or a combination of the above to increase ones visionary capability, one requires to pray and ask God to increase his /her faith and consequently his/her vision. Surrounding oneself with people who think big can also be of great importance.
Before announcing the vision, it is important to note that it is the responsibility of everyone in the ministry to take part in the mission casting process, the primary leader, other leaders and the followers. The leaders convey the vision, and the followers are the vision casters. The credibility of the vision affects the credibility of the vision message. The credibility depends on the visionary leader’s performance and the content of the vision.
To cast the vision effectively, the leader should communicate the visionary’s life, the visionary’s message and understand the audience. He must also use expressive language; speak positively, with charisma, and conviction. The medium through which the vision is communicated to the audience should also use a language that is easy to understand, well designed and effective presentation.
Problems might be experienced in the implementation of the leaders lack interpersonal skills and the ability to work with people or due to the followers’ inability to work together as a team. To overcome these obstacles, leaders should empower their teams by helping them recognize their value and significance in light of the grace of God through Jesus Christ. To overcome failure, fear fatigue and frustration, the leaders should recognize that discouragement is universal, remember God, past goodness, present goodness and focus of future goodness. They should also ask God for Strength hang tough, encourage others and spend time with visionary. The leaders should also I identify problems long before anybody else and attempt to resolve them.