Visionary Leadership

Today’s Dimension is another doozie. Visionary Leadership. I think this is the toughest dimension to learn if it’s not your natural leadership dimension (maybe I just think that because it’s the most difficult one for me).  But when someone is a strong visionary leader, it’s undeniable.  People naturally want to follow them.  That’s the kind of leader Justin Davis, our Bellevue Campus Pastor, is and so I’m excited that he is guest posting on the Visionary Leadership dimension!

Justin and his wife Trish blog at Refine Us.

You can follow Justin on twitter HERE.

I remember the first time I heard someone talk about vision. I was in college and our youth ministry class took a 3 hour drive to Willow Creek Community Church. I heard Bill Hybels say “The responsibility to cast vision falls on no one else but the leader. If your organization or your church or your student ministry lacks vision and you are the leader, it is your fault.” A few years later, I heard Andy Stanley give a talk on vision. He defined vision as “a picture of what could and should be.” From those two leaders, my love with vision began. I began to realize that I was a visionary leader.

I love thinking about vision. I love reading about vision. But most importantly, I love casting vision. I love painting a picture for people of what could and should be. I take the responsibility seriously.  I know that most problems in the church come back to vision. When people don’t have a clear picture, given by the leader of the preferred future, they do one of two things: they make up their own vision and question yours or their investment in my vision declines. Most of the time both happen.

If you are a leader, you need to cast vision. I sit in a second chair seat in our church. I am not THE leader, but I am A leader. I have to cast vision. I have to paint a picture of what could and should be in our church. Here are 3 things that I do every time I think about casting vision:

1.     Tell Stories

People don’t care about numbers. People don’t care about tasks. People don’t care about you getting your to-do list completed. People care about life-change. People are about meeting a need. People care about stories. When I am talking to an individual, a small group or our congregation, I tell a story. I want to inspire them by sharing how their participation; their gift; their time; their investment; their ability; their money; their service changes lives. This isn’t reserved for just special occasions. I usually do this every Sunday with our band and greeters. I want them to be inspired as they serve, so I tell stories.

2.     Call Out the Best In People

Your opinion as a leader matters.  Your words carry a ton of weight with those you lead. I always try to leverage my words to call out the very best in volunteers. I encourage; I compliment; I catch people doing things right. I tell them that I believe that lives are going to be changed today because they decided to give an hour of their life. I affirm their gifts. I remind them that together we can accomplish more than any of us could ever accomplish on our own.

3.     Remind them of God’s Faithfulness

If we are pursuing a God-sized vision, then there will be moments of uncertainty. There will be seasons of sacrifice. There will be times that unless God shows up, what we are attempting will fail. It is in those times that I remind them of God’s faithfulness. I remind them of the last time I saw God show up. I remind them of the last time a group of people sacrificed and how God blessed. I do my best to bring to their mind that ultimately God is in control and this is His vision and He will come through.

Those are three things that I try to do when casting vision as a leader.

What would you add to this list?

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