Vision is critical to effective leadership. Vision is also easy to lose sight of or give up on when the going gets tough. Here are 8 things to do when your vision is bigger than your reality and looks impossible!

Originally published by Chuck Lawless

Having a vision is important as you lead your church into the future. Too often, though, we begin with a big vision that is soon delayed by process or crushed by opposition—and we lose our vision as we face reality. If that’s where you are—your vision is bigger than your reality—maybe these suggestions will help. 

  1. Be okay with a vision bigger than reality—that’s what a vision is supposed to be. A “vision” that is not bigger than your reality is only a report—not a vision of what the church could be. And, an achieved vision should only be a launching pad for the next one. 
  2. Be committed for the long haul. A vision helps us stay faithful during the slow times or the tough times. It gives us reason to press on when we feel like looking elsewhere—so stay focused and faithful!
  3. If you don’t already have them, get some prayer warriors behind you. Just knowing they’re watching your back, interceding for you, and asking God to give you direction and strength will help keep your eyes focused on the goal. 
  4. Consistently keep communicating the vision. Particularly in our crazy world where we’re just trying to get through the day, it’s harder to “see” a long-term picture of what the church might be. That fact means we must work harder at keeping the vision in front of our congregation. 
  5. Lean on a few “vision believers” in your church. Many folks may take a while to buy into the vision, but others will be early adopters. Prayerfully find the latter, and stay in touch with them. They’ll encourage you. 
  6. Don’t let the obstacles turn your eyes off the vision. Sure, you may need to refocus briefly to deal with an issue, but let that diversion be temporary. Keep renewing your personal commitment to the vision even as you keep communicating it with your church. 
  7. Rejoice with the little victories. If God answers your prayers like he led the Hebrews—that is, He gave them the land “little by little” (Exo 23:29-30)—don’t miss each little step. Rather than get frustrated by the slow pace, rejoice that it’s at least moving forward. 
  8. Cast vision and seek change in one or two ministries to get started. It’s not likely you’ll get every church member on board with a big vision—so you may never meet a goal to get 100% approval. Cast vision before the entire body, but work with individual ministries and small groups to get support. Start somewhere!

What would you add to this list?