Sometimes we believe we have a vision from God, but in reality it may only be a fantasy. We may attend a seminar and begin comparing the vision we have for our business or church to another business person or pastor who seems to be more successful. Although it is extremely important to learn from others, it seems to me that many leaders fall into the trap of following the vision or good idea of another that has never been meant for them. It becomes more of a fantasy than a God-given vision.
Michael Fletcher in his book Overcoming Barriers to Growth tells us; “Fantasies never materialize because they inherently lack the faith necessary to mobilize one to work effectively, whereas the faith required to create a real vision inspires the visionary and those around him to put their best effort forward.”
If we have a vision from God, we will have a passion and faith for it. But there is more. Passion alone is not enough. Some leaders seem to have a clear God-given vision but fall short when they try to build a team to develop the vision. They are simply unable to get buy-in from others into the vision that is stirring in their hearts. John Maxwell once said, “People don’t at first follow worthy causes. They follow worthy leaders who promote causes they can believe in.” Good insight!
Young leaders need to be taught the principles of receiving, developing, and fulfilling a vision. And a great place to start is by reading the story of Nehemiah in the bible. Nehemiah and the people of God rebuilt the wall around Jerusalem in 52 days, but it did not just happen. Nehemiah led the team wisely by being a man of prayer, and a man who only shared his vision when the timing was right. He began construction at the proper time, handled criticism effectively, and led his team to a great victory. And he learned to value every family on the team who took responsibly for a specific portion of the wall to build. What a great model for us.
I need to go. I board United Airlines in a few minutes here in Washington DC for a trip to Zurich and then on to Rwanda. We are blessed to share the greatest vision of all; the vision of His kingdom and fulfilling the Great Commission given to us by Jesus.