Bold visions are meant to help any ministry—big or small—live out gospel advancement. Nevertheless, there is a certain level of uneasiness that can be associated with building out a bold vision, due to the uncertainty of being able to actually accomplish the vision. Think about it: You spend time praying, thinking and building out your ministry’s vision. Then you cast the vision to everyone and set about fueling it. This takes time, energy and resources, and it can feel like you’re putting your own leadership abilities on the line.
No one wants to fall short of their ministry goals, which helps explain why some leaders avoid creating a bold vision in the first place. They don’t want to discourage their team or their church if they fall short. This is understandable. Ministries can be disheartened when expectations aren’t met. But just because you develop a bold vision doesn’t mean you can’t adjust it. Here are four reasons why it’s OK to prayerfully adjust your bold vision.
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Evaluate your bold vision this week and see if you need to make adjustments.
1. A Target, Not a Pathway
Think of a bold vision as a target and not a pathway. A bold vision encourages Gospel Advancing Ministries to prayerfully consider how they can strive for more, but a target isn’t a pathway. If you are struggling to meet your bold vision, then take the time to consider what you have accomplished. Look at the amount of time you have left on your calendar and see if there are ways to infuse some events or initiatives that will help. For instance, say your bold vision is to have 300 gospel conversations within a year. You could plan a student outreach event where you reach into the local community with the love of Christ. Or consider coming to Dare 2 Share’s Unshakeable tour or Dare 2 Share Live where students are motivated and mobilized to initiate gospel conversations with their friends and sent out into the local community.
2. Ministry Learning Curve
Ministry is unpredictable at times and requires a learning curve. When I first began pastoring the youth at a local church in Colorado, the youth ministry had been floundering for years. On my first day, three students showed up—and that was a good day. Coming from a prior church experience with several hundred students, I had no idea what to expect within this new ministry context. While you want to chart a bold course as you launch out, in this kind of context, it’s appropriate to reevaluate if it becomes apparent that your goals don’t fit the present state of the ministry.
3. Holy Spirit Insight
Having a vision driven calendar helps a ministry live out its bold vision. It gives everyone an expectation of what’s next, and also prepares people mentally for how they are going to get involved or even plan out their own year. I personally love that parents come up to me to ask about the next summer mission trip or youth class. But sometimes things need to change. That is, the Holy Spirit may give you insight and call you to adjust something that you originally planned for. Keep prayer a priority by regularly praying for your bold vision efforts. Ask God to show you how to make your programming drive toward your vision, and be willing to adjust your calendar OR your goals, as God leads.
4. Ever-Changing Ministry Environment
A difficulty all of us face in youth ministry is the ever-changing nature of the youth group. Unlike adult ministry where someone can be discipled for decades, you only have your students for four to six years—and maybe less, given the notorious drop-off rate with high school seniors. With this kind of 25% churn each year, driving gospel advancement may look different year to year. For example, if you get an infusion of kids who aren’t believers, or who don’t have any gospel urgency or gospel fluency, your yearly goals may need to be recalibrated. Your programming may need to focus more heavily on cultivating that fire for gospel advancement and on building gospel fluency by introducing a curriculum like Shine that teaches students how to share the gospel from takeoff to touchdown.
A bold vision gives us the focus we need to live out gospel advancement. Click To Tweet
A bold vision provides needed focus for living out gospel advancement. But it isn’t cast in stone. Take time to prayerfully evaluate your bold vision and make adjustments along the way as you continue to strive toward kingdom impact.