Dr. Steve Greene is now sharing his reflections and practical insights as a ministry leader on Greenelines, a new podcast. Listen at charismapodcastnetwork.com.
One of your most important roles as a pastor is as vision-caster. Sharing the vision of your church can’t be a one-time event.
The Bible says, “If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves” (Prov. 29:18, MSG).
As the leader, God has called you to help your congregation see what God is doing in your midst. That’s why you must continually put the vision of your church before your congregation—at least every 26 days. That’s the Nehemiah Principle.
In Nehemiah’s story of rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem, halfway through the project, people got discouraged and wanted to give up. Like many churches, they lost their sense of purpose and, as a result, became overwhelmed with fatigue, frustration and fear.
Nehemiah rallied the people back to work by reorganizing the project and recasting the vision. He reminded them of the importance of their work and reassured them God would help them fulfill His purpose (Neh. 4:6-15).
Although the wall took only 52 days to complete, the people became discouraged at the halfway point—just 26 days into the project! Nehemiah had to renew their vision.
You’ve got to do that too. It’s amazing how quickly human beings—and churches—lose their sense of purpose and vision. Vision-casting is not a task you do once and then forget about. You must continually clarify and communicate the vision of your church. This is the No. 1 responsibility of leadership.
But I want to challenge you to take this principle even further into the life of your congregation. Don’t just regularly communicate your church’s vision. Regularly show your ministry leaders their unique contribution to that vision. Help them see how their ministry moves the church toward its vision.
People need to see the eternal significance of ministering in Jesus’ name. Vision motivates people. Guilt and pressure discourages people. Help people see they’re investing for eternity, that there’s no greater cause than the kingdom of God.
The best-kept secret in the church is that people are dying to make a contribution with their lives. We are made for ministry! When everyone uses their unique, God-given shape to make a difference for Jesus’ sake, you’ll make a tangible, visible difference in your community. The church that understands this and continually calls people to a vision where every member can express his or her uniqueness in ministry will experience amazing vitality, health and growth.
The sleeping giant will be awakened, and it will be unstoppable.
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America’s largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times best-seller The Purpose Driven Life. His book The Purpose Driven Church was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
For the original article, visit pastors.com.
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