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Vision Insights For Congregations – The First 75

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

 E-mail: GBullard@TheColumbiaPartnership.org; Web Site: www.TheColumbiaPartnership.org

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 www.Twitter.com/BullardJournal  and on his Facebook Profile page at www.Facebook.com/BullardJournal.

Periodically an update of the full collection will be posted to his blog at www.BullardJournal.org.

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 www.TheColumbiaPartnership.org, send an e-mail to Client.Care@TheColumbiaPartnership.org, or call 803.622.0923.

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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.

    George

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