The Art Of Vision
How many times have you been in a place that marketed works of art and wondered, “how did the artist come up with this beautiful creation of style and color”? It is always a marvel to me how an artist can take a blank canvas, some paint and brushes of various shapes, and turn them into paintings they sell for thousands of dollars. I can’t even draw a stickman figure straight. Donna, my talented wife, is such an artist. Although she hasn’t marketed her works, she creates some beautiful pieces which adorn the walls of our home.
Recently we were in a gallery admiring the works of art displayed and engaged the hostess in conversation about the artists on display and how they work. We could more appreciate the paintings depicting scenes and objects familiar to us than those which were abstract creations. Our conversation turned to the ability of the artist to see the finished work before they brush the first stroke of paint on the canvas. My thoughts turned to the topic of “Vision”.
By definition, that is how Vision works. Vision is seeing the big picture of what God wants to do in our ministries and lives. It starts with where we are and is able to see where God wants us to go. For leaders in Churches and Missions ministries, it is the ability to see what God has placed in your heart for the direction of a ministry in a way that you can paint the picture for others to see.
One of the biggest downfalls to the growth of organizations and ministries is the lack of Vision being cast which others seeking to follow can clearly define and carry out. I speak with many Pastors and Ministry Leaders who give a generic answer to the question of “What’s your vision?” Most reply, “We just want to reach a lot of people and grow God’s Kingdom”. Sure, that’s what we are all here to do.
My response is, “What People?, Where are they? How do you plan to reach them?”
As Church Partnership Lead with Here2There Ministries, part of my work is to coach Pastors, Missionaries, and Leaders to better define and see how “Vision” drives everything. It’s the map that moves all participants toward the common goal.
Have you ever gone to sites like Mapquest to get directions? They ask you for two key facts: Where are you now? Where do you want to go? These two points are also very critical in Vision discovery and definition.
Part of our Here2There core values is that we believe in the “And” of Acts 1:8 – our mandate to be witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, AND the Uttermost. I use this passage to help leaders better get a handle on their Vision. Here our work is divided up into four sections which are different from each other. Have you ever considered defining and structuring your Vision after this verse?
What is your Jerusalem?
What is your Judea?
What is Your Samaria?
What is your Uttermost?
I must say that most leaders and ministries put all of missions in that last category, “Uttermost” and call it “foreign missions”. Here2There Partners with churches, missionaries, and leaders to help them see that “Missions” has to do with mandates and strategies to reach the persons across the street in your communities as much as those across the globe in other cultures.
If you can’t define and articulate these components of Vision – How will you develop plans and strategies to reach these groups? How will you identify the people and resources needed to accomplish these works? How will you train others to go? How will you raise budget to fund these works? It all starts with Vision and seeing what God has for you and the ministry in which He has placed you.
For those of you who have always felt the above information is how you have thought of “Mission”, consider that the “Vision” is seeing and defining the Big Picture. “Mission” is how we will put the paint on the canvas and accomplish the work of art in our heart. “Mission” includes defining the actions steps which must be taken to get us from point A to completion. No matter what you call it, it is still a vital part of getting ministry done.
Here2There is purposed in helping Churches, Missionaries, and Ministry Leaders discover and define their Vision in such a way that it can be translated into Mission Action Plans. A MAP answers the above questions in systematic ways which result in the Training and Mobilization of the people God has given you and the Identification and Utilization of resources needed to accomplish that Vision.
Our trainings are Vision based and Mission driven to Enable and Empower Christ Followers to do the work of Missions Wherever God has called them.
To learn more about the importance and need for Vision go to our website at here2there.org and check out our resources available to you at no charge.
Let me encourage you to read the book “Me to We” by Allan Nelson. This is a great narrative of a seasoned Pastor sharing his wisdom with a younger Pastor about getting others engaged in accomplishing Vision.
If you are a Pastor, Missionary, or Ministry Leader struggling with Vision and direction, I would love to meet with you to discuss the ways Here2There would be a valuable Partner for your ministry. Just contact us at [email protected] or via www.here2there.org.
Church Partnership Lead