Vision is best described as a mental image of the final outcome. Vision is what you see in your mind’s eye when you envision having accomplished what God has called you to accomplish.
A vision statement is simply a statement that describes the vision God has given you.
To illustrate, my vision is to see, “a biblical small group within walking distance of every person on the planet making disciples that make disciples.”
Every small group point person who is called by God to make an eternal difference, needs to establish in his or her mind’s eye what the community they serve in will look like if the vision they have becomes a reality. The image that comes to mind is your vision and, in order for that image to become a reality, you need to create a vision statement.
A succinct and potent vision statement is how others are able to see your vision in their mind’s eye. This statement is the most potent tool you have in creating a small group ministry that is a movement, not just another program the church offers.
A compelling vision statement is…
- a statement that brings your heart to life each time you hear it or speak it
- a statement that imagines a future that is nearly beyond comprehension
- a statement that people intuitively realize that, in order for this thing to be accomplished, God will have to be at work and we will have to depend on God more than we depend on our own resources, techniques, and abilities if it is going to become a reality.
Creating a compelling vision statement…
- Pray… For God’s Guidance
- Imagine… Something Unimaginable
- Silence… The Voices in Your Mind That Tell You, “It Can’t Be Done.”
- Surround… Yourself with dreamers and visionaries
- Include… Language that captures the imagination
In order to get you and/or you and your team headed in the right direction, consider the following questions… 1) Who are we called to reach with the Gospel? 2) If there were no obstacles, what would we want our groups ministry to accomplish? 3) What is a God-sized goal that is beyond our reach but not beyond His abilities to accomplish through us?
Some illustrations of a compelling vision statement might read…
- To have a small group/mission point in every subdivision within a five mile radius of our church.
- To disciple 40% of our adult congregants asking each of them to start a missional group on the street, cul-de-sac, or in the apartment building where they live.
You and your team may continue to work on this statement for weeks, maybe months. As you and your team continue to work on your vision statement be sure to ask yourselves the following questions.
- Is our vision a vision of immense proportions or have we simply regurgitated routine predictable expectations?
- Does your vision require more of God than it requires of us?
- Is this a dream we’re willing to give our time and our lives to?
About the Vision Statement…
- Recruit team members with it… People will join you to fill a spot that needs to be filled but they will bail when they believe they are no longer needed. But, if you recruit leaders using the vision statement and they come on board because of it, they are much more apt to stay with you over the long haul.
- Train and motivate leaders with it… When training your leaders, instill the vision deeply in them. For many of them, they will be as impassioned as you are to work toward seeing the vision become a reality.
- Saturate the ministry culture in it… Rick Warren says that, “Vision leaks.” At least every 30 days remind every small group coach and leader what the vision is.
- Protect it at all costs… There will be those who want to change the vision or the strategy you’re using to accomplish it. They may have come from a church doing something they liked better or they are simply out of the box thinkers and they believe you’ve built a box they must fit in. Don’t allow them to hijack your dream.