Not too long ago I posted asking the question "what is your mission". Many church are without a mission directive and it is illustrated in their day to day activities. Mission, however, is very closely related to vision and too often churches are very unclear of what this is as well.
The definition of a vision as defined by Aubrey Malphurs is “a clear, challenging picture of God’s vision for the ministry as it can and must be”. The vision of an individual or a church must be clear. Aubrey’s example to this would be a blindfolded tourist being able to drive his car around the Arc de Triomphe as a result of the clear vision given to him. This is the type of vision our churches need. People who follow ministry leaders need to know what they are following and what they are to do.
The vision must also be challenging. People want to be a part of something that has meaning. They also will stick with an organization that challenges them. Things that seem as if they are routine or part of the norm will cause people to develop a lack of interest.
The vision is also to be a picture of what God’s plan is for the church or individual. This vision is supposed to be something that you can see in your head. The author of Ministry Nuts and Bolts says it is something that a leader can dream about and see it in their mind with their eyes closed. The vision is also supposed to be God’s future for the ministry. It is to be a very clear description of what God wants done in a person’s life and ministry.
The vision is to also be feasible. A person should be able to ask the question “what can this ministry become?” A person cannot think small when thinking about vision. However, one must be very careful to think so large that the vision is unobtainable.
Finally, Malphurs states that a vision “must be”. In others words the vision must have a sense of urgency. It must be something that a person needs to accomplish in the here and now. Church leaders must be about God’s mission and do whatever it takes to develop and achieve the vision.
Imagine if all of our churches were able to capture the mission and the vision of the church. What could be the results? What would become our opportunities? It is time churches drop the "we have always done it this way" attitude and find God's mission and vision for them.
After spending some time in "Ministry Nuts and Bolts" by Aubrey Malphurs, I would highly recommend it to pastors who want to get beyond the "weekly" routine and challenge their churches to impact this world for Christ!