Every leader wants to make a greater impact. Every leader wants to fulfill the vision of their church, organization or business. Every church member wants to live a meaningful life with purpose. Can the longings of leaders and church members intersect and work together to accomplish God's purpose in your city?

I believe there is an untapped synergy that can launch every church to the next level with kingdom impact in cities and bring in a hidden harvest. The longing in the heart of every person in the congregation and the desire in every leader to fulfill a vision is the dynamic connection that can fuel individuals and churches to accomplish more for Christ. When hearts come alive, hands and feet are mobilized. We can carry out a common purpose better together than alone.

Leaders who take time to develop people and listen to their aspirations tap into a powerful resource. A pastor friend of mine is exploring connections between the vision of individual members with the larger church vision. He found a connection between the church vision to transform the city and people ready to use their gifts in businesses to help transform the local economy providing services and jobs to the community. As Henry Blackaby teaches in Experiencing God, pastors can learn where God is taking the church by looking at the people in the church and their gifts.

5 Keys to Fulfill Vision

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Apply these keys to help you harness the power of shared vision in your church.

  • Leaders value the individual callings and gifts of people.
  • Leaders provide opportunity for people to develop personal vision statements.
  • Individuals are invited into church vision-casting sessions to identify connections between their personal vision and the overarching vision.
  • Leaders create teams around common themes that emerge and train them to build action plans that fulfill the vision of the people, the teams and the church.
  • Leaders and individuals recognize combined accomplishments and revisit the vision frequently to ensure they stay on course.

3 Common Pitfalls

As you implement the 5 keys mentioned above, it's important to be aware of these pitfalls and address them.

  • Authoritarian Style
    Leading with a top-down approach overlooks one of the most valuable resources in a church—the people.
    Solution:Ensure that people have a voice in the vision-casting process. If time is a constraint, many leaders recruit other leaders to share the responsibility.
  • Hidden Agenda
    Some people may manipulate opportunities to join the larger vision only to advance their own agenda at the expense of other people.
    Solution:To help protect individuals and the integrity of the vision, develop written guidelines and expectations, and ask participants to commit to follow them. This can be a simple one-page document with a signature line.
  • Not Just another Program
    The 5 keys can become "just another program" and lose momentum after the initial kickoff and excitement.
    Solution: Build relationships and practices that drive shared vision into the culture and keep it front and center. This will encourage perseverance and help you achieve long-term results.

Implementing the five keys to fulfill vision takes time, prayer and a big-picture perspective. You need a strong team that cares for people and understands how to encourage open communication. You may already have this team or you may need to build this team. The benefits of people coming alive with purpose individually and collectively fulfilling a shared vision are well worth the effort.

"The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ" (Eph. 4:11-12, NRSV).

Linda Fields, founder and CEO 7M-pact, brings 30 years of leadership experience in business and ministry to clients through conferences and consulting to help leaders overcome obstacles and identify and fulfill their vision. Get your Free Leaders Kit exclusively for Ministry Today readers at: www.yeslinda.org/leaderskit

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