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June 02, 2011

Vision Leaks by Andy Stanley

How do you keep the church’s passion for ministry from deflating?

Vision doesn’t stick; it doesn’t have natural adhesive. Instead, vision leaks.
You’ve repeated the vision for your church a hundred times. Then someone will
ask a question that makes you think, What happened? Didn’t they hear what
we’ve said over and over? Don’t they know what this church is all about?

You can spot leakage by listening for three things:

1. Prayer requests.

What people pray for will tell you more than anything else whether they are locked into the vision and priorities of the church. When you are in a leadership meeting, are the only prayer requests for sick people? When I’m in such a meeting, I say, “Whoa, is anybody in this group burdened for an unchurched or unsaved friend? Yes, let’s pray for the sick people. Now, what else can we pray for?”
2. Stories of great things happening in people’s lives.

If there are no stories, then maybe the vision for life transformation has leaked.

3. What people complain about.

If people are complaining about the wrong stuff, then vision is leaking. When they complain about the music, or the parking, or that the church is too big, or there are too many people they don’t know, you can respond, “I know. God is blessing us.” But it’s a sign of vision leakage.

I am often tempted to get frustrated with the people who don’t understand the vision, but I have to ask myself some important questions. What do I need to do to assure that we have a compelling vision as an organization, and what must I do to make sure it doesn’t leak? If the vision is not communicated in a compelling way, then the organization is going to be unfocused. Wherever focus is lacking, only random activity is left. That’s when you wake up and find you don’t like the organization you’re leading.

It’s our job as leaders to get everyone oriented and focused on our main purpose.

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