The Importance of Vision
[Note: Pay close attention to the italicized words in what follows]
It’s essential for us as leaders to have a vision. A vision is a mental picture of a future that is better than the present. It has to be better or it isn’t worth moving toward. A vision needs to be inspiring, or no one will want to go there.
Without a vision, a leader has nowhere to go and his leadership falters. Proverbs 29:18 says “Without a vision, the people perish.” So vision is essential to the pastor; he must have a mental image of a better future, a picture in his heart of what God wants to do through him in the lives of his people. This also helps explain why in a church, while there may be many elders, there can be only one leading pastor – because God gives a vision to a man, not a group.
Repeatedly in Scripture, God comes to one man and gives him a vision: Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Samuel, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezra, Nehemiah, Paul.
God gave each of these men a vision and then as they shared that vision, others rose up to assist them and the vision became reality. What God did in the Bible, He continues to do today in the local church. He raises up a man to pastor and gives him a vision, a picture of what He wants to do.
It’s the pastor’s first duty to share that vision with his people so they can know where they are going. Listen to what Habakkuk said in ch. 2 . . .
Then the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry.
A vision is not to be kept secret. It comes from God and is meant to be shared. The pastor needs to lead by communicating as clearly as possible what God has shown him. He wants to paint a duplicate of the vision God has formed in his heart and mind, in the hearts and minds of the people. As he does this, God will make that vision come alive to people who will rise up to assist the pastor.
The vision then becomes the filter and grid through which all decisions are made in the church. If that is where God is taking the church, then when it comes time to make a decision about anything, the question is; “Does this bring us closer to the vision? Does it fit into what the Lord has called us to pursue?”