A life vision is one of the most precious gifts we can be given. Vision can be defined as a clear picture of what you see yourself doing of being for the Lord. We are blessed with a vision for our lives, for our families, for our businesses, and for our ministries. But for most of us, the vision usually does not come to pass EXACTLY they way we originally saw it and the temptation is to quit the vision in disappointment or frustration.
I want to encourage you that your vision may cycle through many revisions and changes but that the guidance and direction the Lord is providing you through that vision is valid and valuable. If fact, one of the ways you can tell if you have a heavenly vision is opposition and challenges to that vision. Don’t be so quick to conclude because of the difficulty that you missed God or that the vision is wrong.
I have great respect for the ministry of Seacoast Church in the Charleston, S.C. area. Mac Lake, the leadership development pastor for this pioneering multi-site ministry recently posted some great insight regarding vision on his blog. I hope this encourages you greatly:
The Six Stages of A Vision
Now that we’re three weeks into the new year, vision architects are busy assembling the pieces they need to build their God-given dream. Plans are unfolding, resources being gathered, teams mobilized and undoubtedly somewhere in the near future roadblocks will be hit. That’s why it’s important for the leader to understand the stages of a vision. When you understand the different phases of vision then you’re able to respond with wisdom and maturity when you encounter challenges. A vision typically goes through six stages.
This is the fun stage where you get to think outside the box and dream about possibilities. Typically you’re focused on solving a problem that is close to your heart and praying through ways God wants to use you to make a difference.
This is the hard work of putting together the timelines, budget, priorities and goals of the vision. Vision is seeing tomorrow’s possibilities today, but it’s not enough just to see it, you have to design a blueprint in order to minimize frustrations along the way.
This is where the vision train gets to leave the station. Teams are deployed and people move into action to make things happen. Day by day you get to see the framework of the vision being put together.
Rarely does a vision come together as planned. Teams will miss deadlines, circumstances will change, resources become scarce and people will criticize or complain. Every vision will face a challenge and this will prove the commitment of the leader and the team to the vision.
If handled the right way the frustration stage causes the leader and team to think deeper and push forward with innovative ideas, fresh perspective and new determination.
When the team crosses the finish line and the vision becomes reality it’s time for celebration. Don’t forget to recognize and reward all those who contributed to making it all possible. And mostly pause to thank God for using you to accomplish His will.
Mac Lake, Seacoast Church, 2010