How To Build A Tent: Episode 17 – Without a vision the people perish
Written by Kelli Williams on August 29, 2018
We discuss the importance of a vision and how to communicate a vision breaking it down into 3 parts.
Welcome to How to Build a Tent. This show is not about tent-building, but how to make you successful.
What is the vision for your life? What is the vision for your family? What is the vision for your career? What is the vision for your ministry? What has God called you to do on this Earth? A vision is so important because it impacts how you act. So, today we are gonna be talking about just that – vision.
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I’ve been so encouraged with you guys who have been reaching out to me with your positive encouragement and your questions. We’ve had some really good conversations, and I just want to say thank you for that. And I hope if you haven’t already, you go do that, go reach out to me. I’d love to hear from you guys. Thank you for listening and supporting the show.
So, what is a vision? In my mind, a vision is nothing more than a picture of the future, a picture of where you want to go as an individual, as an organization, and what you want that future to look like in vivid detail. Why is a vision so important? A vision is important because it impacts how you act today. What you think of the future, where you think you are going, what you think the future holds for you, is gonna determine how you act and how you behave today.
And the Bible gives us so many great examples of that, starting with Jesus. His vision was for the kingdom to come. And he, throughout the Gospels, always talked about that. He talked about the kingdom of God is at hand. The kingdom is at hand. And what did he say? He said, Repent, repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand. He understood the vision that God gave him, and he fulfilled that through his life. And he called others to buy in to that vision, to realize that vision. And he called them to repent, which is to change your mind, to stop thinking about t he future one way, to stop thinking about life one way, to stop thinking about yourself in one way, and to change that into thinking his way, based on the vision that God gave him, the kingdom of God.
You think of the apostles. Jesus gave them a vision, follow me, I’m gonna make you fishers of men. They had a vision of what they were doing following Jesus. They were gonna go become fishers of men. And what did they have to do? They left their nets. They left their tax collector booth. They left their assassins’ daggers. And they came, and they followed Jesus.
What you think about the future is gonna impact your actions today. And that is the power of a vision. You think about Paul. I love this. In Colossians Chapter 1, 21 through 23, he lays out all the perfect elements of a vision. And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him. if, indeed, you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of a gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.
I love this section, and I love Paul’s articulation of this because it gives the components of his vision, and Paul’s life can be described as someone who got the vision, who understood what Jesus was trying to communicate to his apostles. And he understood what Jesus was speaking into his life about, throughout all of his letters, he talks about how we need to lay ahold of the kingdom, to put aside all the weights. I run for the prize at hand.
A lot of his letters, he talks about how he’s already apprehended. He talks about how we’ve already inherited, that we’ve already become Christ-like. He envisioned his vision. He understood the picture that God was articulating to us about the kingdom coming. And he counted it as if it was happening already today. And so, I just love looking at Paul for this because he got what it was to have a vision, and his life was radically impacted. He changed his life because he understood that vision that he saw from Christ speaking to him on that road.
So, there’s three elements here I want to go through that make up a great vision. And the first element is understanding of where you are now. And he says, in verse 21, Paul says, who were once alienated and hostile in mind. You have to understand where you are today to be able to communicate that to the people that you lead, to the people in your family, and even to yourself. You can’t really give yourself and communicate a vision of how things are gonna be until you understand accurately and truthfully how things are today. And Paul does that where he talks about how we once were. That’s how you start off.
And before you can go somewhere, you need to know where you are. So, that’s the first element of a great vision, that you’re able to communicate how things are today. In a business, you want to be able to articulate that with numbers, with data. You need to be able to have K PIs in place where you can measure growth. You need to know where you are today, so you can communicate where you want to go tomorrow.
And a part of that is the next step, where it’s details on how you get there. So, not only should you have a good understanding and be able to communicate where you are currently, but you also – part of the vision, the second point – you want to be able to communicate the steps to get to the future goal. And Paul says that in verse 23, if you continue in the faith stable and steadfast. So, not only is he communicating where we were as we were sinners. We were unredeemed. We were full of evil deeds. But then he says, if you get this vision, if you understand it, then you’re gonna be in faith. You’re gonna walk steadfastly. You’re gonna be stable. He articulates the vision and the attributes of the process of getting from Point A to Point B.
So, if you want to communicate a vision effectively, you need to be able to communicate, to picture, to detail, to lay out the steps of how to get to that future state. Next episode, we’re gonna be talking about goals, and how to make great goals to be able to achieve that vision. So, I hope you stay tuned and will listen to that episode.
So, not only do you have to communicate where you are, not only do you have to communicate the steps on how to get to the future, but you have to effectively communicate what the vision is for the future. What is it actually gonna look like? You want to be able to communicate today as if that vision is a reality, just like Paul does. He constantly throughout the Bible talks about that. And he talks about that to present yourselves holy and blameless and above reproach before him. So, he talks about what it’s gonna be like.
And again, he talks about that through scripture as if it’s already happened. And that is the thing. So, when you’re communicating a vision, and this is where great leaders are able to effectively communicate the future goal, the future vision. This is what it’s gonna look like. When a great leader articulates a vision, you’re able to chew on it. You’re able to touch it. It’s not close to being a reality today, but you see it. You can see your organization living that vision. You can see yourself being part of that vision. You can see yourself working out in that vision. You can see all of the different elements of this vision.
Some people can only explain the future in stick figures, where if they tried to communicate where they saw things going, they would think of it as stick figures, black and white. And people wouldn’t really get it. But people that are great leaders work on communicating a vision. They practice, they study. They figure out colorful language. They use different communication styles and tactics so that you can feel like you have those Oculus Rift 3-D glasses and you’re looking around, and you feel like you’re in the environment that they’re painting.
So, the three elements of a vision that we see from Paul is 1.) You accurately articulate where you are today. Secondly, you can communicate the steps to get from where you are today to the future. And then thirdly, you can paint the picture so articulately and thoroughly and well that people can see the vision today, that they can get a taste of it today, just like God does with us with the Holy Spirit. We get elements, we get little tastes of the feeling of the Spirit where we can feel, and we can interact, and we can experience what it’s like to be in that future state in heaven.
So, let me challenge you with this. Do you know what your vision is? Do you know what your vision is for your family? You might say, I’m not a leader. I don’t need to be able to communicate a vision. But I believe that God has made all of us a leader in some area of life. And if you don’t know what your vision is, you need to go seek God and ask him to give you a vision of what he has for you. What has he called you to in life? And I’m not saying that he’s gonna lay out every step. He rarely does. But just like the disciples, just like Paul, he communicates the vision, the overall plan, and says, you’re gonna go be fishers of men. You’re going to go to the Gentiles. You’re gonna become a baby and save the world.
God has a special calling for your life and you should be seeking God to understand that overarching vision of what he’s called you to, what he’s called your family to. What has he called your marriage to?
I hope that’s helpful. Please, if you have any questions, comments, feedback, reach out to me at How To Build A Tent on Instagram and Twitter. You can email me at Matt@HowToBuildATent.com. And we’ll talk to you next time. God bless.
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