An airline pilot with poor eyesight managed to pass his periodic vision exam by memorizing the eye chart beforehand. One year, his doctor ordered new charts that the pilot had never seen before. Not realizing it was a new chart, the pilot proceeded to recite the old chart from memory. The stunned doctor asked, “How is it that someone with your eyesight can manage to fly, let alone land a plane?”
“Well,” said the pilot, “it’s really not that hard. All I do is bring the plane down and when I hear my co-pilot yell, ‘Vinceeeeeeent!’ I pull the nose up, and the plane lands perfectly each time.”
There are some moments in life when no one should try to “wing it.” Flying a plane is definitely one of those moments. Being able to see the sky and read the instruments (or the runway, for that matter) is necessary for keeping the plane stable. But pilots not only should have good vision to see what’s directly in front of them, they need another kind of vision: the vision to know where they are headed.
Try This! ❯
At your leader meeting this week, develop a bold vision for your youth ministry.
Gospel Advancing Ministries need a vision as well—a bold vision. Having a bold vision is one of the essential 7 Values of a Gospel Advancing Ministry, because a bold vision focuses everything. That is, a bold vision helps youth ministries (or any ministry) know what they are striving for, and encourages ministries to aim high for the sake of the kingdom of God. At Dare 2 Share, we believe every ministry should have a bold vision. Here are five reasons why a bold vision changes everything.
Jesus’ bold vision was for His disciples to go into the entire world and make new disciples, who would then make more disciples and so on. Jesus knew a vision provides a clear picture of what you are trying to accomplish. In the same way, having a bold vision for your youth ministry helps your students and leaders know exactly what you are trying to accomplish. With clarity, comes focus. And focus gives you a filter to prioritize between “good, better and best,” which helps ministries move from stagnant or even “good enough” to gospel advancing.
A bold vision gives people something to rally behind. Chris Selby, a youth pastor from Arkansas, prayed through and very purposefully set this bold vision for his youth ministry: To have 1,380 gospel conversations and 90 professions of faith, getting 50% into disciple multiplication relationships by the end of the school year. Chris believed that a vision would change the culture of his ministry, and it did.
In a year’s time, his youth group had over 1,300 gospel conversations, 140 students placed their faith in Jesus and the group doubled in size! This bold vision gave each person within the ministry something to strive towards—together as a team. The results aren’t always as explosive, but, at the very least, a bold vision gives everyone something to push for, pray for and praise God for.
3. Growth and Accountability
Without a bold vision, there is no way to know if you’re hitting the mark. After all, you can’t just fire your ministry arrows and paint the target after they’ve landed. Ministries without a bold vision have nothing to aim for. Bold visions encourage growth by causing you to reach higher. For instance, within my own ministry, we made it a goal to increase the average number of students attending each week. It was intimidating to set a number that seemed so unattainable, but we took a deep breath and started to work toward achieving the goal. Our vision encouraged us to grow and kept us accountable in achieving more for God’s kingdom.
4. Evaluation and Recalibration
You can’t find out how heavy or tall something is without the proper equipment. In the same way, you can’t know how well your ministry is doing without a vision, because a vision helps you evaluate your ministry. For instance, say your vision is to see every teen within a five-mile radius of your church engaging in a gospel conversation, but your teens are only engaging in a handful of conversations, then something is amiss. You now know that there needs to be an adjustment within the ministry, which means you can recalibrate your strategy.
5. Dependence on God
When Jesus stood before His disciples and presented them with THE Cause, He was setting them up to do the impossible. After all, how could a small group of blue-collar, Jewish men take on the world? The answer: they couldn’t. But as Jesus cascaded His bold vision to His disciples, He added a vital piece of information that oftentimes goes unnoticed: “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). When we do things in our own strength, we are likely to fail or get frustrated. But when we depend on God’s Spirit to lead us, everything changes. A bold vision requires us to depend on God because only He can make the impossible possible.A truly bold ministry vision requires dependence on God. Only He can make the impossible possible. Click To Tweet
Set out to do the impossible for Christ! If you need help developing a bold vision, consider coming to a One Day training, which are happening all across the country.
There is truth in the saying “fail to plan, plan to fail.” When you plan for the future, you are taking life seriously. This is why graduation and business books are filled with ideas and strategies for having a vision for the future. By developing a bold vision, you are indirectly signaling to everyone around you that the ministry has plans to go somewhere. It also encourages you to take a sober look at the ministry and dream about where God could take it.
When we dream big and develop a bold vision, we focus on how to make gospel advancement a reality.