Vision Insights For Congregations – The First 75

This is an article from Goerge Bullard – Ministry Partner with The Columbia Partnership

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This is a collection of Vision Insights from George Bullard who has been involved in strategic planning with congregations, denominations, and parachurch organizations for 35 years. For the foreseeable future a new insight will be posted each Monday through Friday on

George’s Twitter account at  and on his Facebook Profile page at

Periodically an update of the full collection will be posted to his blog at

Vision Insight 001: Vision is a movement of God that is memorable rather than a statement by humankind that is memorized.

Vision Insight 002: Vision is not what leaders cast and followers catch. It is something by which leaders and followers are captivated.

Vision Insight 003: The only vision that will work is God’s vision. Neither the pastor’s vision nor the board’s vision is sufficient.

Vision Insight 004: Visionary Leadership is about who we are, what we believe, where we are heading, and how we are getting there.

Vision Insight 005: Vision plus Intentionality is the core formula for an Enduring Visionary Leadership Community to follow.

Vision Insight 006: Any similarity between the typical committee-developed vision statement and true vision is purely accidental.

Vision Insight 007: Vision is not so much written as it is experienced. Vision must be sensed and experienced rather than read or heard.

Vision Insight 008: When considering how vision comes, it may be helpful to consider how the New Testament came. By experience first, and then written.

Vision Insight 009: Vision is experienced. We reflect on it and share it orally with our full heart, soul, mind, and strength. Then we write it.

Vision Insight 010: We write down the vision we have experienced to have a consistent historic and dynamic sharing of the vision with congregation.

Vision Insight 011: Vision is the super high octane fuel that drives the spiritual strategic journey of a congregation or denomination.

Vision Insight 012: Where there is no vision a congregation is confused and travels in circles without any clear sense of direction.

Vision Insight 013: Vision is about leadership rather than management. Management should be accountable to visionary leadership.

Vision Insight 014: If congregations focus on the pastor’s vision, when the pastor leaves vision often leaves. Vision from God never leaves.

Vision Insight 015: When congregations expect the pastor to provide vision, they often mean a vision that agrees with their vision.

Vision Insight 016: When visionary leadership is not present in a congregation, it creates a vacuum into which management rushes.

Vision Insight 017: For vision to be effective in a congregation it must be owned by at least 21 percent of adults present for weekly worship.

Vision Insight 018: The founding vision in a congregation often empowers the congregation for the first generation of its life.

Vision Insight 019: Following the first generation of the life of a congregation vision must be recast and re-owned every seven to nine years.

Vision Insight 020: A congregation captivated by vision is always asking how decisions and actions will help them fulfill their vision.

Vision Insight 021: Congregations without vision become increasing susceptible to unhealthy conflict and control by a few.

Vision Insight 022: Once present in a congregation, vision is not always present. Even the best vision movements wane with time.

Vision Insight 023: Vision casting is about the future that is unfolding under God’s leadership; not the past that acts as a foundation.

Vision Insight 024: Vision casting is the responsibility of all leaders in a congregation with pastor’s initiating leadership.

Vision Insight 025: When vision is asleep in the back seat of the congregational vehicle, management drives and is happy about it.

Vision Insight 026: Management is only fully happy when it is driving the congregational vehicle. When not driving, it is trying to drive.

Vision Insight 027: Many congregations structure their life around programs rather than relationships, thus putting a drag factor on vision.

Vision Insight 028: When congregations are in the best possible relationship with God and one another they can easily feel vision.

Vision Insight 029: Too much focus on a professional vision statement takes the focus off of a real vision experience.

Vision Insight 030: Vision is so much more than a marketing statement or motto, yet these can be important in communicating vision.

Vision Insight 031: Vision is more about increasing and deepening discipleship than it is about successful and growing programs.

Vision Insight 032: To be truly missional, vision is more than pushing programs and ministries into the context around the church location.

Vision Insight 033: To begin to be truly missional, vision is about pulling the people of the congregation into the context for ministry.

Vision Insight 034: To be totally missional, vision is about leaping into the context for radical ministry, leaving the existing congregation behind.

Vision Insight 035: Programs, processes, and emphases in a congregation must have their own vision that supports the congregation’s vision.

Vision Insight 036: Leaders sold out to their congregation’s vision often think about how they can help fulfill that vision.

Vision Insight 037: Potential leaders who cannot articulate their passion for the congregation’s vision need to remain potential leaders.

Vision Insight 038: Pastors who are not passionate about the vision for their congregation are likely to become known as former.

Vision Insight 039: Pastors who are not passionate about the vision for their congregation are likely to become known as mediocre.

Vision Insight 040: Staff ministers who are not passionate about the vision for their congregation are likely to become known as former.

Vision Insight 041: Pastors and staff who feel entitled to their role with a particular congregation are not likely to empower vision.

Vision Insight 042: When it comes to vision, good enough is never good enough, adequate is never acceptable, and mediocrity is never excellent.

Vision Insight 043: If vision is too clear it may be too close to you, not challenging, prophetic, and focus on your full kingdom potential.

Vision Insight 044: Vision may always be a little fuzzy–particularly in the ways to fulfill it–if it is looking beyond the current horizon.

Vision Insight 045: Vision will always be something that is beyond your current grasp, around the corner, or over the next hill.

Vision Insight 046: Vision is not a passing fantasy or a fleeting passion. It is a long-term view of God’s calling on a congregation.

Vision Insight 047: Even though vision involves the long-view, it must be reconceptualized at least every seven to nine years or it dies.

Vision Insight 048: When does the leadership of a congregation finish casting vision? Never, or it dies. Casting is a forever activity.

Vision Insight 049: Vision and its fulfillment should positively impact every decision a congregation makes or it becomes marginalized.

Vision Insight 050: The sustainability of vision may be dependent on how well it is cast for and owned by new people in the congregation.

Vision Insight 051: Killers of a new vision in a congregation are the people who will not let go of the old vision.

Vision Insight 052: Vision is not about new buildings, but about the lives transformed through the ministries in new buildings.

Vision Insight 053: Vision fulfillment is more about empowerment than control, relationships than programs, and hope than heritage.

Vision Insight 054: Vision is always about the future. Vision is never just about the past. The past is a prelude to the emerging future.

Vision Insight 055: Vision involves forgetting what is behind, and looking forward to what is ahead. [See Philippians 3:13]

Vision Insight 056: Vision is about pressing on towards the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. [See Philippians 3:14]

Vision Insight 057: Vision is about leaving your land of heritage and going forward to a new place God will show you. [See Genesis 12:1]

Vision Insight 058: A visionary journey can be scary as it takes us to new, strange places so far away that we cannot see familiar places.

Vision Insight 059: Where there is no vision for new things God is doing people run away from opportunities and get swallowed by big fish.

Vision Insight 060: Vision does not call for the rejection of heritage. It sees it as a foundation, a prelude, a centering, and moorings.

Vision Insight 061: Moses did not see vision in the burning bush. He experienced it with his whole being and was transformed by it.

Vision Insight 062: Aaron had to accommodate to the lack of vision with am image of God people could see and touch.

Vision Insight 063: God offers transformative vision. Too often our possessions, deference to other people, and pride blind us.

Vision Insight 064: Too often earthly things, preferences, and tangible security blind us to the brilliance of God’s new vision.

Vision Insight 065: In general, the longer people are connected with a congregation, the more difficult it is to see a new vision.

Vision Insight 066: Vision is more about the transformation of the prodigals that the honoring of the elders among us.

Vision Insight 067: Myopia prohibits many long-term members from seeing the long-term benefits of new vision.

Vision Insight 068: The word vision contain neither the letter “m” nor the letter “e”. Vision is not about me. It is about God.

Vision Insight 069: Empowering vision often disrupts the status quo and who is in change. That is why some people try to kill it.

Vision Insight 070: People with vision can read Jesus’ writing in the sand, and realize what they must do. Others say “Huh?”.

Vision Insight 071: People with vision know they must leave the 99 and focus on the one. People without vision see only the faithful.

Vision Insight 072: Vision is about walking by faith in God rather than by what is in plain sight. [See 2 Corinthians 5:7]

Vision Insight 073: Vision acknowledges that the early Church that huddled too long in Jerusalem lost vision.

Vision Insight 074: During a visionary journey God at times changes our plans and heads us to a new Macedonia. [See Acts 16:9-10]

Vision Insight 075: In the Apostle Paul’s life we see that a vision of your destiny guides many choices along the road to Rome.

Important Things to Know

George Bullard is a Ministry Partner with The Columbia Partnership. He is also General Secretary [executive director] of the North American Baptist Fellowship of the Baptist World Alliance. The Columbia Partnership is a non-profit Christian ministry organization focused on transforming the capacity of the North American Church to pursue and sustain Christ-centered ministry. Travel Free Learning is a leadership development emphasis. For more information about products and services check out the web site at, send an e-mail to, or call 803.622.0923.

One Response to “Vision Insights For Congregations – The First 75”

  1. Bill:

    Thanks for sharing these insights with your audience. I hope they are beneficial to many people and congregatons.


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