We’ve all been in those situations where a ministry or church leader had an awesome vision for where we should go, but just didn’t quite know how to get us there.
Some leaders are great at sharing a vision but find it difficult to move people through the process of fulfilling that vision. Other leaders are skilled at walking us through the logistical execution of their vision, but have difficulty getting everyone to “buy-in” and really “own it.”
In either case, the vision remains largely unfulfilled. [Insert sad face here.]
Here are 5 suggestions for how you can share a vision that will take flight:
1. Start sharing with them long before you expect them to be on board.
It’s a good thing to be thinking about your vision way before you start sharing it. The problem occurs when you decide it’s time to share it and then immediately expect people to be on board. People need ramp up time. It’s to your advantage to give it to them.
2. Don’t assume they either “get it” or care.
Your entire world is about ministry. To those you are trying to lead, not so much. They are focused on their daily reality—hard work, a barrage of bills, health concerns, children, family and plain ol’ life issues.
In his book, Making Vision Stick, Andy Stanley writes, “Vision is about what could be and should be, but life is about right this minute.”
You might argue that their world should be about ministry, but in reality, it isn’t. Do they understand your vision? Do they care? Even if they understand it, do they really care? If not, why?
3. Let their DNA shape your approach.
It’s important to really know those with whom you are sharing your vision. Let’s say you are the Worship Arts Pastor and you are trying to get the Lead Pastor to buy-in to your vision for changing the Sunday morning worship service. To the extent that you can understand his beliefs, convictions and preferences, you will have good data to help you shape how you communicate your vision. In other words, how the person on the receiving end is wired matters.
4. Be clear and clarify often.
Be intentional about speaking in terms that cause people to think “Oh, I get what he/she is saying. I feel the same way.” Talk as much about what you are not wanting to communicate as you do about what you are wanting to communicate. In other words, try to eliminate variables that cause confusion. Distill both your vision and how you communicate it.