1. Find out What God is Doing
Most leaders make the mistake of thinking that change happens after you get a vision and work towards making it happen. Success happens when a leader finds out what God is doing and falls in line with it.
When we saw that there were 20 people driving 20 minutes from a near by city to our former church we began to pray about how we could better serve them. The main complaint was they couldn’t get their neighbors to come to the Sunday service because they didn’t want to go to another city for church.
The idea we came up with was to open a satellite campus. This was in 2000 before we ever heard of Crag Groeshel or anyone else doing satellites. We began slowly with small groups, then a mid-week service. As the work grew over 75 people on Thursday nights we started a Sunday service. What’s my point? We saw God moving in an area and just joined in HIS vision.
2. Money Always Follows Vision
If it’s the Lord’s will, then it’s the Lord’s bill. He really will provide if you’re following His direction and being a good steward. Also people don’t give to need, they give to vision. If you don’t believe me then why don’t the ministries that have the greatest needs get the most money? When times get hard, don’t shrink back on the vision and don’t be motivated by fear (2 Tim 1:7). Remind people about the vision.
3. Make the Vision fit on a Napkin.
If you can’t explain the vision in a few short sentences then it will be too abstract to fully grasp and too complicated to remember. All your processes and department visions need to be that simple also. Our staff worked for a year to clearly define what makes a disciple. Connect to: God-Church-Other (outside church). When you do that you’re a true disciple. Simple? Yes, but deep enough contain the vision for discipleship.
4. Make Your First Answer Yes.
Worry about how you’re going to do something or how you’re going to pay for it later. If you want creative, entrepreneurial thinking…if you want people to take risks and build synergy…then take a chance and say yes to their ideas! People are filled by God with big dreams, don’t squash them! I would rather have people try and fail than never attempt anything.
On a related item, take risks on young leaders. Resist the urge to wait a few years than until they’re more experienced. David was a teen when he killed a giant and Mary was a teen when she gave birth to a savior. Your young or newly saved people haven’t learned unbelief yet and aren’t stuck in the “that’s the way we’ve always done it” mentality. You want great ideas and passion? Try new ideas from new leaders.
5. Don’t let Negative People Take Your Eyes off the Vision.
Whenever there is new vision or change taking place their will be negative people making noise about how they don’t like it. This type of “barking” is primarily to gain attention and to feel important. I even had someone leave the church because they felt our church should vote on the colors of the walls before we were allowed to paint!
Remember dogs don’t bark and parked cars! If you’re moving, going somewhere you’ll hear the yipping. If you’re sitting still it’s quiet but like a fine race car the church is meant to speed forward.