Why You Need Vision Now More Than Ever

Six months from now, what do you want to say you’ve accomplished?

Ed Stetzer’s statement to Christian leaders regarding the coronavirus is sobering: “this is not the crisis, but it is just a few weeks away.” Stetzer challenged leaders to respond to current difficulties but to place a greater emphasis on planning for the more significant challenges to come.

This post contains affiliate links. If you click and make a purchase, I’ll get a commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.

While we continue to pray for a miracle, we have to prepare that we will be living differently for, at least, the next 3-6 months. What will your church, your career, and your family look like in six months? Take care of immediate needs and plan for short-term challenges, but think big and strategically about your future.

Six months from now, what do you want to say you’ve accomplished?

Don’t hurry to form an immediate response. We are still learning to navigate a quarantined, Zoom-laden world, so be gracious to yourself. Give yourself time to adjust to learning new communication habits. But don’t wait too long. Set a timer or circle a date on the calendar to begin. Otherwise, the tyranny of the urgent will blind you from viewing your preferred future.

Don’t let that happen.

In The Power of Moments, Chip and Dan Heath teach us backward-integrated-design. Instead of creating a teaching syllabus and then figuring out goals, they recommend reversing the process.

First, you identify your goals. Second, you figure out how you’d assess whether students had hit those goals. Third, you design activities that would prepare students to excel at those assessments” (Heath and Heath, 107).

The Heath’s model demonstrates the value of vision and why we need it now more than ever. Starting with the end in mind allows us to ask, “Six months from now, what do we want to say we’ve accomplished?”

It’s easier to keep a low profile than take a risk and potentially fail, but it’s not nearly as meaningful or fulfilling.

Tweet This

The challenge is that we are programmed to be busy. We don’t stop to explore goals and consider our best use of time. We’re more likely to shoot an arrow and then draw a bullseye around the spot where it lands. We’re reactive instead of being proactive. 

We are also creatures of habit who fear failure. “If it ‘ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is a safe mantra, allowing us to do the next thing instead of thinking about the right thing. But it comes at a cost: it’s easier to keep a low profile than take a risk and potentially fail,  but it’s not nearly as meaningful or fulfilling.

We’re not going to do that anymore.

Imagine how local churches might grow deep and wide if church leaders filled in the following blanks:

Six months from now, my congregants will know the following three things about God: ________, _________, ________. They will have developed and practiced the following habits: _________, ___________, ___________. And they would have positively interacted with others in the following ways: _________, ___________, ___________.

If church leaders took this simple exercise seriously, most would rethink why they do what they do. Church calendars would change; communication styles would transform; spiritual formation would emphasize group engagement and individual soul-care development. They might even dare to re-evaluate their church’s mission statement.

Six months from now, what do you want to say you’ve accomplished?

Tweet This

And while six months is a good exercise today, for a future goal, replace six months with five years. Most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year and underestimate what they can do in five. 

Start with the end in mind. Draw the target (goal) and then shoot the arrows (strategy). If you continue to miss the target, rethink your strategy. Don’t keep moving the target.

Church leaders, six months from now, what do you want to say you’ve accomplished?

In the next article…

  • Parents, six months from now, what do you want to say you’ve accomplished as a family?
  • Hey you, six months from now, what do you want to say you’ve accomplished in personal development?

 

QUESTION (leave a comment below)

So, six months from now, what do you want to say you’ve accomplished?

I want to help you find fulfillment in following Jesus by making disciples. Let’s make a plan for your life, for your church, or both! Contact me at hello@letsmakedisciples.org.

One thought on “Why You Need Vision Now More Than Ever

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *