When forming a vision, it’s important to take some time to investigate; to ask the hard questions and create a thorough plan. As Andy Stanley says, “Investigate before you initiate.” Visioneering is incredibly exciting, but it’s important to take a step back and evaluate your plan in order to make the most of your vision. Here’s why:
1. Investigation Confirms the Origin of Your Vision
Asking the hard questions and probing for what is wrong or could go wrong is not a lack of faith; it’s wisdom. In Proverbs 22:3, Solomon says, “The wise see danger ahead and avoid it, but fools keep going and get into trouble.”
How do you see trouble coming? By asking the hard questions and evaluating things. Investigating in this way will confirm the origin of your vision.
Is it just a good idea or a God idea? God ideas will often appear to be impossible from a purely pragmatic perspective, but when digging deeper, there will be an element of confirmation. In other words, if it’s a God idea, you will still have a burning desire to move forward when faced with overwhelming odds.
2. Investigation Will Give Your Vision More Definition and Focus
In Nehemiah’s case, further investigation enabled him to build the wall to a significantly smaller footprint than he would have initially considered. When he took some time to walk around the site and assess things, he came upon a significant amount of debris that caused him to revise his original plan.
3. Investigation Can Help Determine If You Were Mistaken about the Vision Altogether
You may have had a good idea, a bad idea, or you may have had someone else’s vision. A motivating speaker can make us feel “called” to take part in his or her particular vision. It is important to distinguish between a worthwhile cause and a personal vision. Only deep investigation will allow you to determine the answer.
How Do You Package a Vision So Others Can Engage their Imagination?
The best way to cast a compelling vision is to begin with clearly defining the problem. Then, cast the vision as the solution to that problem. Further to that, you must be able to give a compelling reason as to why something must be done and why it must be done now. Once these things are presented, you will have a vision that will compel your audience to get involved.
Howard Hendricks says, “If it’s a mist in the pulpit, it will be a fog in the pew!” That is so true. One of the most difficult things when casting a vision is developing the wording of it. It needs to remain simple because simple is portable. You want people hearing the vision to walk away not only remembering what you said, but also with the ability to then repeat that vision easily to others.
The temptation for all of us as leaders is to over-communicate the vision. We feel like we need to give our audience everything all at once. This will overwhelm those listening causing them to not want to participate.
Jesus gave us a compelling vision in a simple statement when He instructed His followers to go into all the world and make disciples. As Christ followers, we all have a part to play in that vision. To reach the whole world, it will take every single one of us; in our communities, in our churches, in our workplaces, and in our homes. Therefore, each of us needs to create a vision within the vision.
How do we bring people without hope to the one who is hope? How do we reach a lost and hurting world? How do we reach those who need Jesus in our area? How do we play a role in the church that is the hope of the world, on a mission to reach every available person, at every available time, by every available means, with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, by creating churches unchurched people love to attend?
Visioneering by Andy Stanley
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