Many years ago, I was meeting with a leader who was struggling to accomplish his goals. He was very tired, bordering on burnout and concerned that it might be time to leave his job and work somewhere less stressful. Here is a synopsis of our conversation:
Me: How is it going?
Leader: I am exhausted; I’m working so hard.
Me: What are you doing?
Leader: Everything! You name it; I’m doing it.
Me: What are you trying to accomplish?
Leader: What do you mean?
Me: What is the Big Picture? What is your Vision?
Leader: I don’t know. I’m just working on everything that needs to get done.
Me: If you don’t know what you are trying to accomplish, how do you know what needs to get done?
Leader: Good question. Can you help me?
What is a Vision Statement?
Most of us have heard Proverbs 29:18 quoted, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” (KJV) My leader friend had no vision for what he was trying to accomplish and was quickly working himself into exhaustion doing everything he thought needed to be done. A vision is a picture of the finished product. It is what you will have accomplished when you complete what you are doing. It may be so big that you work years or even a lifetime to accomplish it.
My vision statement is “Courageous leaders fully living out their destinies.” As you can see, I can work on this vision daily for the rest of my life, because there will always be leaders who need help being courageous and discovering their God-given purpose (destiny).
How to Write Your Vision Statement
A vision statement is very personal. It begins with understanding who God created you to be and broadens out to include what He has created you to do. This process includes several steps:
- Pray, ask God to reveal to you who you are
- Identify your God-given values, personality, gifts, skills, and talents
- Become familiar and comfortable with who God created you to be
- Pray, ask God to help you see a picture of what could be
- Read scripture, what Bible stories and scriptures support what God is telling you
- As the picture becomes clearer, write down the key words
- A vision may be for a season; so, be prepared to seek God for clarification or a new vision
- Memorize your statement; so, you can remind yourself and tell others what you are created by God to accomplish
What a Vision Statement Does
A vision statement helps you identify what God intends for you to do with who He has created you to be. We each have personalities, spiritual gifts, and special talents and abilities. Knowing these aspects of ourselves is only a part of His design. He intends for us to know and understand how we are to use these pieces of ourselves to fulfill His purpose in the world. Our role in fulfilling His purpose in the world is the vision He gives us. Your vision statement identifies your role now.
When you are working on a team, the leader’s vision unifies the work of the team. Each team member has a subordinate vision under the team leader’s vision. Several years ago, I worked with a ministry team. The team leader had an amazing vision of ministering to and evangelizing the lost and disenfranchised. He shared with each team member how he saw them working as a team and as individuals in accomplishing the vision God had given him. The big vision created excitement and unity as the team members discovered their own God-given visions to support the leader’s vision. Within a few months, two of the team members realized that their visions did not support the team leader’s vision. After much prayer and counsel, those two team members removed themselves from the team; so, they would not adversely affect the leader’s vision. Had they remained on the team, their competing visions would have caused conflict on the team and hindered God’s work.
Questions to consider:
- What is God’s vision for your life?
- How do you see your God-given values, personality, gifts, skills, and talents being utilized?
- What does God want you to know about your vision?
- How passionate are you about your God-given vision?