By Shawn Lovejoy
Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but blessed is he who keeps the law. (Proverbs 29:18)
Where there is a lack of vision, there is less focus and more chaos. As leaders, I think we all understand that at some level. However, here’s the scariest thought: If our followers don’t get the vision or aren’t living it out, it’s usually because we, as the leaders have not clearly communicated it!
So our question as a leader is: How can we help people in our churches and ministry organizations understand, embrace, and live out the vision?
Here are 5 ways we can protect the vision:
1. Make Sure Our Vision is From God
God’s vision comes through God’s revelation. We don’t invent the vision, We just discover it. If we truly believe this is not OUR vision, but HIS, it gives us the confidence we need to more boldly and consistently communicate it, but also defend it when it’s attacked. Ask yourself: “Do I really believe this vision is from God?”
2. Over-communicate the Vision
An annual vision talk is not going to get this done. We must communicate the visions, every day, every week, and every month. Look for creative ways to talk about the vision. Celebrate the vision being accomplished often through stories. Keep the vision in front of people often and in every way possible.
3. Confront Vision Drift Quickly
When we something or someone gives us a check in our spirit about moving in a given direction, we must act. When we see someone acting in a way that doesn’t support the vision, we need to be willing to have a “courageous conversation” sooner than later. Vision issues never go away on their own. They usually go from bad to worse over time! As leaders, there’s no room for cowards. We must confront vision drift quickly!
4. Beware of “Vision Hijackers”
We must daily protect the vision from vision hijackers. Hijacking is usually not something we think about happening to us, but it does. A vision hijacker can simply be a person that means well, but doesn’t understand what you’re trying to do; or, it can also be a person who has an agenda for your organization based on their preferences or past. People will knowingly or unknowingly try to take the wheel and steer us all in a different direction! If we give up the wheel, we surrender our leadership and our organization! We must courageously defend and protect the vision from being hijacked by others, even if it means being willing to let people go.
5. Live for an Audience of One
At the end of the day, God has not called us to be people pleasers. He has called us to please our Heavenly Father. We must be faithful to His vision! We must make every decision we make in an effort to please Him first and foremost! The apostle Paul said:
Obviously, I’m not trying to be a people pleaser! No, I am trying to please God. If I were still trying to please people, I would not be Christ’s servant. (Galatians 1:10)
Shawn Lovejoy is the Founder & CEO of CourageToLead.com a coaching ministry for leaders. He is the author of Be Mean About The Vision: Preserving and Protecting What Matters.