One of the learnings I have had in leadership that shocked me was that leadership isn’t about choosing between good and bad, but between good and better. Mostly the decisions we make aren’t between something awful and sinful and something brilliant and holy. In the church context they are more like: do we use that money to feed the hungry or do we use that money to minister to school kids? Do we run a course on parenting or marriage? Soup kitchen or day care etc etc.
Life can be pretty much the same as we wade through the myriad of choices that we have in front of us. This is why personal and corporate vision is important. Proverbs 29v18 (message version) says, “If [they] can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves”. If we don’t have a clear goal as to where we are headed we go anywhere and certainly get in each other’s way. God is a visionary God and we are created in his image. We are created to ‘walk with’ God. Two visionary creatures creating the future together.
So how do you get a better understanding of where God wants you to go? To be truthful people have written long (and good) books on this subject. But here is a few keys that may help you as you clarify God’s purpose for you:
- The past is a predictor of the future. In our church vision we spent a lot of time working out how God has used us in the past and used this to determine where he is taking us into the future. Understanding your unique passions, callings and giftings are so important in launching forward.
- Scarcity brings clarity. A great question I have used is this, “If we had finances to only do one or two things, what would we do?” Ask this hard question of yourself in all areas of life, hobbies, kids sport, any areas of focus. It helps you work out what is most important.
- What do I want them to say at my funeral? When I get to the end of my life, what do I want them to read out about my life? Not just the achievements ( (although they are part of you) but the type of person you are.
- What sticks? As you begin to narrow down the direction you want to head, get specific about ideas and dreams you have. You may have a number of great ideas going forward, but as you leave it for a few days you will find a few stick in your spirit. There is a good chance that God is prompting you in that direction.
- Think God Sized. Steven Furtick says, “If your vision isn’t intimidating to you there is a good chance it is insulting to God.” I think we should always challenge ourselves to do something beyond ourselves.
- Be specific and accountable. So important to be very clear about where you are headed, what exactly it is you want to achieve and then tell somebody else. Hold yourself accountable.
I encourage you to apply some of these questions to your own life and see if God isn’t refining your own life vision.