By George Bullard
Vision is not business as usual. It is not about average thinking. It does not involve doing a little better next year than you did last year. It is not about mediocrity.
Vision is about excellence in response to God’s visionary leadership. It is about meeting the real needs of real people in real time. It is about doing the very best your capacities will empower within you. It is about increasing your capacities to strengthen the effectiveness of your ministry service. It is about expanding your capacities and deepening the excellence of your vision fulfillment.
Excellence is not only about outputs. It is about having a positive and challenging impact on the ability of congregations to serve in the midst of God’s Kingdom. It is about building leadership capacities to increase and deepen the areas of ministry service. It is about developing sustainability patterns so that what you are doing is not just a short-term fix, but a long-term solution.
Here are five vision insights that focus on excellent congregational visions versus mediocre statements. The first 43 vision insights about congregational vision are contained in the posts found here.
Vision Insight 44: When vision is of an excellent, challenging future, then you are more likely to get an excellent, challenging future.
Mediocrity should never be the character and nature of vision. Mediocrity is never the character and nature of the call of God upon a congregation. At least not the call of God within my system of theology. What about yours?
A nearby, unchallenging horizon should never be the limit of vision’s sight. Vision always challenges congregations beyond that which they can see as they view the horizon before them. Vision is always about what is beyond the horizon that is unseen.
The excellent, challenging character and nature of vision is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you believe deeply in God’s vision and are committed to an excellent, challenging future then you are more likely to experience one. If you are only looking for a future that is good enough then that is what you will accept.
Vision Insight 45: When vision is of an excellent, challenging future, then a more vital and vibrant future is a strong possibility.
If spiritual vitality and missional vibrancy are among the desired characteristics of congregations then a vision of an excellent, challenging future is essential. Vitality and vibrancy do not happen by accident or through magical acts. They are largely the result of intentional effort in response to God’s leading.
A vision of vitality and vibrancy moves us beyond doing O.K. or simply being healthy to a FaithSoaring journey.
Vision Insight 46: When vision is of an excellent, challenging future, then more quality, depth and quantity is a strong possibility.
Excellent, challenging visions when acted on with positive intentionality that aligns everything congregations do to fulfill or live into their God-given vision, often result in greater quality, depth, and even quantitative growth.
Mediocre visions that do not empower congregations to become an assertive movement to fulfill God’s vision fail to achieve quality, depth, and an increased quantity of people desiring to connect with a Christ-centered movement.
Vision Insight 47: When vision is of an excellent, challenging future, then the congregation is continually seeking God’s presence and leadership.
One of several ways to determine the rightness and goodness of congregational vision is when it becomes obvious a congregation is seeking God’s presence and leadership as the primary focus of their congregation.
One of several ways to judge that congregations do not have a vision of an excellent, challenging future is that they appear to focus on the desires of strong personalities within their midst rather than the obvious leadership of God.
Vision Insight 48: When vision is of an excellent, challenging future, then it can positively impact the spirituality of the congregation.
Congregations with an excellent, challenging vision from God do not become more secular in their perspectives and patterns. They become more spiritual. They understand they are not a business or a non-government organization. They are a spiritual community with the exceptional DNA of having become captivated by God’s vision.
Congregations with an excellent, challenging vision of God’s future for them are generally also experiencing an ever deeper spirituality. This sets them apart from other organizations in a wonderful way. Part of their mission and vision is to make God’s entire world more loving and just.
This is the 18th in a series of posts on congregational vision. To see all the posts go here. The next blog post in this series is entitled, “When it comes to congregational vision, good enough is never good enough.”