Certainly there are general biblical mandates that apply to all ministries. They are summarized in the Great Commission and the Greatest Commandments. Go and make disciples. Love God and love others. These apply always and everywhere. Yet there are so many different ways those mandates can be accomplished—and each way reaches different people. How will you know how, when, and where to do what God has called you to do?
Pastors need to have a clear idea, for it is the primary job of a leader to set direction and keep people moving in that direction. Continually casting vision is an essential part of that job.
Who needs to see the vision?
The short answer is everyone. From the executive team to every member of the congregation. When everyone understands the vision, they can contribute to it using the unique gifts that God has given them. As everyone works toward the common vision, it will grow and blossom and even the community you serve will know who you are and what your ministry is about.
That said, there are key groups of people every pastor needs to help understand and buy into the vision and mission of the church. Each will likely require a somewhat different approach. When vision casting, consider what the vision means to each group, what they will have to leave behind in order to join you, what role they might play in making it a reality, and how you can develop and support them. Some of those groups are:
- Core team members
- Leaders and volunteers
- Opinion leaders (people of unofficial—yet quite real—influence)
- Resource providers and donors
- Those you are serving
- The community at large
Create Tailored Vision Casting
Take some time to reflect on each of the groups above. What might help them really see the vision? What might help them feel it? How can you motivate them? The ideas below are just a starting point of ideas. Continue adding to them as you consider each of the groups you need to cast vision for.
- Talk about it in conversation
- Model it
- Tell stories about it
- Memorize the vision statement together
- Include it in sermons
- Connect it to a Bible story or passage
- Discuss it in small groups
- Live it out in small groups
- Pray for the vision alongside others
- Make a banner
- Blog about it
- Ask people questions about the vision and get their thoughts on it
- Make a video about it
The key is to find unique and effective ways to communicate to each of your demographics.
Never Stop Casting Vision
The beauty of GPS is that it insists on getting you where you’re going. Wrong turn? Road block? No problem—re-routing. There are constant reminders of short term and long term goals. “Stay on I91 for 10 miles”, “You will arrive in 12 minutes.” Even if you turn off the audio prompts, these reminders are available at a glance to help you make informed decisions along the way.
Likewise, good leadership always keeps the end goal—making vision a reality—in mind. Great leadership keeps everyone on the journey updated, informed, and reminds them what to expect when they reach their destination. This is all a part of keeping the vision alive.
- Which forms of communication work best with your congregation?
- What else can you do to keep people informed and updated on progress?
- How can you incorporate visual, digital, audio, etc to increase effective communication?
Effective Communication Coaching Guide with Storyboard- How successfully we communicate with others ultimately impacts on things like our success, our self-esteem, our sense of well-being, the contribution we make at work and in our community–and even our health. This guide and storyboard provide a way for coaches to help clients grow in effective communication competencies in a sensible and cohesive way.
Communication Effectiveness Profile- Determine where to target development activities in order to improve communication skills. This can be used as a self-assessment tool or a 360° Assessment.