The Importance of Vision

September 13, 2009 — 11 Comments

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During my transition to FBC Murray, I have the opportunity to worship with a few churches before making the move up to Kentucky. Today my wife and I worshiped with First Baptist Orlando. We thoroughly enjoyed our experience.

Every time I pass through Orlando, I cannot help but think of the grand vision of Walt Disney. The common sermon illustration sums it up:

When Epcot Center was finished in 1982, Walt Disney had already passed away. Disney executives asked Walt’s wife to cut the ribbon at the opening ceremony. When she was called up to the podium, one of the executives said to her, “Mrs. Disney, I wish Walt could have seen this.”

She replied, “He did.”

Vision is essential for something grand. Vision is critical for the church as well. God will work through and use anyone. But without visionary leaders and pastors, I imagine there would not be churches like First Orlando. I’ve compiled a few thoughts on vision below – it’s a somewhat amorphous subject. Leaders and researchers have numerous definitions, qualities, and necessities of vision. Feel free to chime in with your ideas and comments.

Vision does not happen without leaders. Leaders cast vision. Vision involves the future. But the process of creating a vision involves more than a single person at the top prognosticating about tomorrow’s events. Vision is about people. A leader’s vision enables a group of people to organize for common purposes and future goals. This vision is a collective and emotional effort guided by leaders in which possibility becomes reality. More than unrealistic dreams and empty ideals, vision helps rally people towards something tangible. Vision unifies – revealing how people link into something bigger than themselves.

Vision excites people about taking risks. It leads people into uncharted waters, compelling them to take a chance on the uncertain. There is no overwhelming fear of failure in a compelling vision, only the realization that failures produce more opportunities to learn and move towards the next exciting place.

Vision is grounded in absolutes. It is not a patchwork of conflicting principles. These principles keep the movement of people on track. Vision embraces and welcomes dissenting views, but never to the point of detriment for the common purpose and future goal. Leaders with vision stand firmly and move resolutely. They lead by example, demonstrating a personal commitment to the spoken vision.

Vision has a hook. Vision is worthless unless it grabs people and moves them into action. Casting vision means having a big hook. An exciting vision gets people asking, “What’s next? What’s the encore? Where are we going from here?”

Vision builds upon past successes, carrying the best of what was towards something greater. It never forgets the past, but helps propel people to places they did not think possible. Vision is always collaborative. It takes into account the voice of the people. A leader’s vision incorporates the best creative ideas. Vision reinvigorates passions and stirs people to movement for long term objectives, being less about tomorrow and more about the enduring.

By the way, the diagram at the top is the first map of the Internet. In 1982, 88 computers were connected. Who knew? Well, I guess some people did. Now they own their own islands :)


Sam Rainer

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Sam S. Rainer is the president of Rainer Research and the senior pastor of Stevens Street Baptist Church in Cookeville, TN.

11 responses to The Importance of Vision

  1. Sam great post!

    Thank you for laying it out so simply and reminding me to keep going with what God is calling me to!

    God Bless

  2. Great. Can’t to hear your vision for FBC Murray.

  3. That Al Gore was truly a visionary, inventing the internet all by himself :)

  4. I like the idea that a compelling vision will nudge the risk-averse to take a chance on the uncertain. It might answer the question of why someone won’t take action… perhaps the vision isn’t compelling enough.

    Good food for thought – thanks!

  5. Great post. Where there is no vision, people perish. Keep up the good insight. Best. Larry!

  6. I like the part, Vision has a hook! Vision is nothing if people are disinterested and that they are not attracted to it or given half hearted respond. Tks, Bro!

  7. Wow. Great blog. “The vision a man has makes him a leader. Your vision is what drives you and propels you out.” http://www.Daghewardmills.org. I’m reminded of Habukkuk 2:2-3 and Proverbs 29:18. Vision mixed with great faith achieves much. God bless you

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