How to Craft a Vision Statement
Ok, so you’ve spent some time with God, you’ve been praying about the vision and future of your ministry. You can see a picture of what it will be like, you’ve been dreaming about great things happening. Now comes the fun part, enabling the team to achieve and live that vision. How can we do this? There will be a few big parts to this, for example, training, leading, managing, coaching, discussing etc. This journey might take years. There is a powerful tool, though. A tool that can motivate people and guide them. It can help people work together. It can give people an agenda to pray about. It can help people know what to do and what not to do, even when you’re not there. The powerful tool is, vision. As Andy Stanley says,
“Vision is a picture of what could be, fuelled by a passion that it should be.”
If people can hear, understand, remember, visualise, agree with, grow passion for the vision, they will commit to it and serve to see it flourish. So, the question is, if vision is so important and so powerful, how can we utilise it to maximise the results? If you can consolidate your message into a format that people can remember, that you can say in a few seconds and a format that others can repeat, it will help to stick in people’s minds, and they will be able to live it.
Here’s a few tips to help when you are crafting your vision statement. If you already have a vision statement, you could use this to reflect and maybe refine. Is your vision statement?…
Aspirational and Inspiring
Is it challenging? Is a picture in the future? If it’s not going to cost you much, or if you don’t have to give much commitment to something, it’s probably because it’s not really worth it. Don’t be scared of asking more from your team. Call them up, out of normality, implore them to invest their lives into a significant vision. Jesus called the disciples and ‘they left everything’ to follow him. “Do you want to climb Rivington Pike”, is wayyyy different to, “do you want to climb Mount Everest?” One requires much more commitment and an once in a lifetime exciting adventure, the other is a lovely Sunday afternoon walk.
Practical and Achievable
Here’s the bit that visionaries don’t like. There does come a point when we need to think about the dream becoming a reality. Ask yourself how this is going to work out physically and financially. This will then work into your mission statement, but it’s important to say at this point that crafting a vision statement that is truly impossible won’t help anyone in the long run. Try and make it clear, concise with a thought through timescale and try and remember what parts will be measurable. These will help you craft it with a practical value.
Shareable and Memorable
Is it concise enough that someone can remember it? Can you use a picture, a story, rhyming words or an acronym? Anything that will make it stick in people’s hearts and minds is excellent. It will equip them even when you’re not there to work towards it. It will also equip your group to share the vision with each other, and again, if you’re not even there, and the vision is being cast, that’s amazing. Take time to craft, like an expert builder, because the foundations will determine the size and strength of the building.
Over to you
Here’s a tip that might help. I’ll also briefly mention a mission statement which might help with context.
Vision statement – use 6 – 8 words using mainly adjectives.
Mission statement – use 2/3 sentences using mainly verbs.
These can give guidance but by no means feel restricted by it. You know your group or ministry the best, you have been appointed to lead them. Go for it, dream big dreams, give them permission to do the same, try something incredible for the glory of God and celebrate the journey as you go.
Read more on How to make Vision Stick