I am going to address what I feel is the most critical component of leadership: and that is vision. For the Bible says in Proverbs 29:18:
18 Where there is no vision, the people cast off restraint; But he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
One translation says the people run wild. And the reason we see so much immorality, the reason we see so many undisciplined teenagers, the reason we see so much unchecked activity, is that for so many of us there has never been a vision cast before our lives to bring us into alignment with the purposes of God.
So I want to talk about vision. And more specifically, I want to challenge you to be a visionary. Which, for some of you, sounds a little bombastic and possibly a little overstated. Because you think to yourself, I’m not a leader, I’m just a mom. I’m not a leader, I just work at this company; I’m low man on the totem pole. This pep talk is for somebody else. This is for CEOs, CFOs, and the big dogs.
I can assure you this series, this message is for you. There is divine potential inside of you. You’ve got to believe that, even if you don’t see it, you have to believe me when I say it. When God made you, He planted something in you that He wants to get out of you for the good of the world that is around you. And whatever that starts, whatever that entails, whatever that encompasses, God has a vision for your life.
I could get so worked up I’d want to scream it at you, but before I really get into much about how to be a visionary and how to see a vision, I want to clear up a misconception about visions and visionaries. It’s a buzz word, it’s been abused. It’s been misappropriated.
So let me clear something up right out of the gate. A visionary is different than a day dreamer. The difference between a day dream and a burning vision is the audacity to act. So vision is not simply the ability to see clearly, it’s the courage to act. It’s not simply the ability to perceive a need, but to act on the need that you perceive.
There is a big difference between seeing a need, seeing a possibility, seeing an opportunity, seeing an area that needs to improve, seeing a problem, and doing something about it. Seeing a need doesn’t make you a visionary. If you simply see the need and do nothing about it, that makes you a critic. I don’t have much time for critics.
There are so many people out there who love to see needs and to talk about needs and what they would do if they were and they should because they are. But most of them aren’t doing anything about anything because they aren’t visionaries. They’re critics. And their opinion doesn’t count.
I can give you an example of this from my own life. I didn’t have the luxury of fantasizing about what ministry could and should look like. When I gave my life over to Jesus, I had only been attending here a few months before I was thrown into having discussions with the teens. I felt a call from God and I started to learn about ministry by DOING ministry. I wasn’t shouting ideas from the sidelines at somebody who was already in the game. I had to learn as I went.
When you challenge people to act on what they know, you’ll find that most people are educated beyond the level of their obedience. And most of us don’t need some vision from the clouds about what God wants to do through our lives. We need to simply do what we know to do on the revelation that we already had. Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church. Start there and then maybe God will tell you if you should start this business or not.
Most of us don’t act on what we know. So if we don’t act on what we know, why would God reveal something on top of our disobedience because of what we’re already not doing?