Leading a church means casting a vision and working to fulfill that vision. Setting goals and objectives in ministry are helpful in accomplishing difficult and challenging tasks even as we rely on the Spirit and seek the Lord’s counsel. The importance of casting a vision for your church in 2023 always starts with God. It has to be His idea. God wanted Habakkuk to write down the vision so that others could read it and run with it. Church vision casting means seeing what God sees and helping others to see it, too.
What is vision casting is answered well with this quote from Andy Stanley, “Vision is a mental picture of what could be fueled by some passion of what should be. As a pastor, you have a God-given burden for the local church. The challenge comes in getting it out of your heart and into the hearts and minds of the people.”
To that point, Steven Covey has written, “All things are created twice.” First, there is the mental creation, and then the physical creation. Vision pertains to this first creation. We have to see it before we can shape it into reality. From a Christian perspective, vision is the ability to clearly see and articulate where God wants us to go or what God wants us to do in a given situation. Vision is the bridge between the present and future reality. As one man stated, “If you want to find a needle in a haystack, it is almost impossible. Yet if you place a magnet on the edge of the haystack, the needles jump out.” Vision is that magnet that attracts followers and resources.
According to Lifeway Research, “Casting vision is one of the most important tools in the pastor’s tool belt. With vision, you excite people about the future. You bring necessary changes to the church. With vision, you mobilize people to solve problems vexing the community. Effective vision casting sets change into motion.”
John Maxwell encourages the importance of vision casting for pastors like this, “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” The greatest leadership is by example. You must do, act, say, and be the person you want your team to be. Leadership is a visual thing. You cannot take others on a journey with an unknown destination. Know where you are going and how you are going to get there. When you are showing people how to get the vision, you do it with them; you keep them close.”
Rick Warren prompts, “What’s your church about? Every church should fulfill the five biblical purposes of worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry, and evangelism. But how you fulfill the purposes depends upon the distinct nature of your church. What makes your church unique? People aren’t the only ones with a particular shape; whole churches have them as well. When you’re communicating a vision to your church, you’ve got to help people see how your church is unique.”
A final thought: Clarifying vision is equally important. Seeing the big picture, the outcome and the benefit is appealing to everyone. The more people involved means the more people can potentially be reached. This means that you need to learn to communicate what God has shown you so that together you can all help put His purposes into action. Communication of all types is required to reach people in the ways they are listening. A mobile app with churchwide, group, and personal communication tools is the best solution for making sure you’re casting and reinforcing a big vision to a big audience in small but powerful ways.
Steve serves as ACS Technologies’ Vice President of Data. He has been with the company since 1982 and started in the programming department. Steve has a degree in management science from the University of South Carolina and a master’s degree in Human Factors in Information Design from Bentley University.