How to Inspire A Shared Vision

Gina-McClainRead any leadership book today and within the first few pages you’ll hear about the critical function of vision in your organization. To lead effectively without a shared vision is simply not possible.

But sharing the vision takes skill. And sewing vision into the hearts of those I lead is a skill I continue to refine.

Recently, our fpKIDS team worked together to craft 5-to-6 simple, vision-driven phrases. Why? It’s because our greatest opportunity to connect with volunteers and parents is on the weekend … amidst the hustle and bustle of church services.

In that context we don’t always have 10 minutes to unpack the vision behind why we do what we do.

So, my goal is to be able to communicate vision in 30 seconds or less. One simple phrase that I can communicate that sums up the answer to the question, “Why?”

Why do we ask volunteers to serve so often? Why not VBS or MDO? Isn’t it just babysitting?

There is typically more to explain and not enough time to explain it. Vision phrases serve you well in these moments. These are succinct statements that get right to the point. If all I have is 30 seconds, then I’ve leveraged that moment to point that volunteer &/or parent in the right direction. If I get more than 30 seconds… well, that’s just bonus.

Leaders inspire a shared vision … visions seen only by leaders are insufficient to create an organized movement or a significant change in a company. A person with no constituents is not a leader, and people will not follow until they accept a vision as their own. Leaders cannot command commitment, only inspire it.—The Leadership Challenge, Kouzes & Posner

“Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint” (Prov. 29:18) 


Gina McClain is a speaker, writer and children’s ministry director at Faith Promise Church in Knoxville, Tenn. For the original article, visit ginamclain.com.

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