Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Vision that Leads

I've had "vision" on my mind lately. No, not the one related to eyesight. And not the one related to prayer or prophecy. More like the one that guides the actions of an individual or organization. It's the overall purpose from which mission comes. (That said...this might just be interesting to me...hahahaha!)

I have some pretty strong opinions about vision. First, especially in Christian ministry, I believe God gives the vision, and we serve it. I'm VERY cautious about working with/for people who feel they "own" a vision...especially because such a notion can give them permission to change it absent the weight of its seriousness/importance or have that vision serve their ideas/motivatons. No, no, no...we tend it until such a time as God directs us to change it. Second, I wholeheartedly believe that vision is NOT the same as structure. The overall purpose or driving force in a ministry does not mean that certain programs or arrangements are always necessary. Structure can change to better serve vision as resources change, needs change, etc. I've been thinking about it a lot. I guess I've been aware that within a ministry there can be a clash of vision. Well, a clash when the vision hierarchy is out of order...maybe that's a better way of putting it. A ministry likely has an "overarching" vision AND the individual (or smaller group) visions of some of the stakeholders within the ministry. I call those "niche" visions. Those people expressing their particular calling within the ministry is awesome and necessary...but so long as they don't expect the "niche" to become the "overarching". The "niche" should hopefully serve and be an expression of the "overarching".

So when it's time to transition to new leadership with a ministry, I wonder if we have to pause to consider "overarching" vision-bearers vs. "niche" vision-bearers. Who is likely to serve with the broader purpose of the organization in mind? Who more needs to be released in a "niche" calling? And if it's a sea of "niches", who directs/oversees them so they are a harmonious "body" of many parts?

Just has me thinking...interesting stuff for this girl, to be honest. Strategy on the brain...projecting ahead in hopes of success.

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