by JC Thompson
What is vision?
Vision is a picture of what an organization would like to achieve or accomplish. An accurate vision should provide a guide to help organizations see if they are traveling the right path to achieve the original picture.
I think we all know how important it is to have vision but how do we give it to others? How can others really live out the picture that we have in our head?
I’ve got a few ideas, and I’d like to present a picture or phrase for each one to hopefully help you see how to live out vision in front of your people.
An Empty Hose Carries no Water
My grandpa’s a farmer. He has a hose that has a cap on the end and holes drilled into it so the water can be delivered to the plants and they’ll produce a crop.
The reason the hose worked was because it was connected to a water source and could be filled with water. If you aren’t filled with vision yourself, it’s going to be tough for you to give it to others.
So, spend some time getting filled up and refreshed so you have plenty to pass on to others.
Become a salesman
Now this one might be a little easier for me. I majored in marketing communication in college. I understand the importance of great language, a confident persona, and a meaningful connection.
Even if it’s not your strength, you’ve got to learn to sell a little bit.
Here are three things you need to have in your back pocket all the time.
- A story of success in your ministry that is the picture you want people to live out.
- A sentence that describes the vision of your ministry or organization.
- A step for the person or persons you are talking with to take that will help fulfill your vision.
If you can have these three all the time, you will begin to sell your ministry better than ever before.
Invest your time in valuable resources
You have plenty of time on your hands, right? Don’t waste the time you have on things that don’t help your ministry.
We think of how we “spend” our time a lot. But we don’t value how we “invest” our time as much.
Reading a book doesn’t always seem like a good way to spend time, but if that book helps you communicate better for the next 30 years of your life, I’d say that was a good investment.
A basketball game with the kids of some of your volunteers might not seem like a good way to spend time but that family getting closer with your church and wanting to do more seems like a worthy investment.
Spend your time with people and in books and trainings that are an investment in your ministry’s future.
Say it again and again and again
Never get tired of sharing your vision. There is never enough vision casted. If you are a leader, you are always going to be casting vision. Get used to it.
Find a way to invest in your ability to do it better.
Use different mediums. Use swag, use TV, use announcements, use emails, use people, use stories, use songs, use notes. Always find new ways to tell the same message.
Live it out
I was at High School Camp this past summer. It was awesome. We were going to the last session which is just straight-up worship. I was pumped, I was ready and then as I walked in as the last one in our group, a kid walks by crying. Like, really crying.
He wasn’t part of our group. He wasn’t “my responsibility.”
I even tried to get the burden off of me. God, I just want to worship You. Why this kid? Why now? I just want to be with You.
But I felt God saying, JC, this one’s for you.
So I went after him, I talked with him. Before he came to camp all his stuff was in boxes. His parents were getting a divorce. He didn’t know what to do. It was a complete shock and surprise. I didn’t know what to do. I just told him how much that sucked and that it’s pretty obvious God wanted him to be here. I mean, God asked a stranger with a beard to go talk to a crying boy on worship night.
We prayed and he agreed to go and talk to his leaders.
I don’t know what happened that night, but I do know that I had an option to live out my vision or the vision that God called me to years ago.
This upcoming year, work on your presentation and then be relentless. Live it out and overshare like the lives of kids and students depends on it. Because for some, it does.
JC is the 5th and 6th grade pastor at Brookwood Church in Simpsonville, South Carolina. His second passion is preteen ministry, and he loves to talk about it with other leaders. His first passion is his growing family. JC and his amazing wife welcomed their first child, Cannon, in the Spring of 2012. You can reach him on his blog at JCisOnline.com or via Twitter.