Do you ever wonder how things come about? Things like Christian colleges, seminaries, mission boards, and even churches. How do they come into existence?
Take as a case in point Christianity Today magazine. The publication has been around for well over fifty years, has sold millions of copies, has commented on Christianity and the culture since its founding, and even today, with a declining magazine market, has a circulation of 130,000 and readership of 260,000, copies per month.
But how did the magazine come about? It started with a vision.
The magazine was birthed in the heart of evangelist Billy Graham long before the first print copy rolled off the press. The idea for a Christian magazine came to Mr. Graham about two o’clock one morning. He slipped out of bed, put his thoughts in writing, and then went to work.
You may not be called by God to found and develop a Christian magazine, but if you are a leader, you will likely be asked by the Father to lead out in the implementation of a vision at some point in your life.
Here are three steps to vision:
1. Listen closely: Pay attention to what you are hearing and what is happening around you. What do you hear God saying through other people and the circumstances around you or your ministry? What need do you see that is not being addressed? Oftentimes people will come to leaders when they see a need in the church or the community in hopes that the leader they are approaching will address the need. It may be that God would have that individual do the hard work of addressing the need. However, the leader does have a responsibility to pay attention to their area of stewardship and listen to what God is saying. The Lord may allow you to see an obvious need and the path to meeting that need that others around you are not noticing. That could be the beginning of a vision.
2. Learn all you can: Start asking questions about the idea you have in mind and talk to others who have done something similar or are doing it now. If you begin to see a demand in your church for a Christian school that will help students receive a thorough education without an unwanted ideological bias being thrown in, then you will be wise to talk to those who have started Christian schools. Ask what they did right as well as what they did wrong. Ask what they wish they would have done differently and take good notes. Ask them to pray for you as you are considering this vision because they will likely know how to pray better than others who lack their experience.
3. Lean in and get to work: Your vision will require your voice and your energy and much work from you. You will have to keep watch over it, share it with others, talk about it and pray about it often. You will need to include others who have gifts and skills different from your own who can help the vision come to fruition. You will likely be called upon to deal with opposition as well as setbacks and discouragements. But if God is leading in the vision, then you must go for it.
These three steps will start you on a path to lead others into the vision God has given you. What vision has God placed on your heart? I would love to hear about it. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can pray with you about how God is leading.