There’s a difference between leadership and management. Management consists primarily of three things: analysis, problem solving and planning. If you go to any management course, you’ll find it revolves around those three things. But leadership consists of communicating your Vision and Values.
If you don’t clarify the purposes as the leader, who will?
Here are a few guidelines:
Believe it or not, the bigger your vision, the easier it is to reach. People are rarely motivated by small visions. They will follow a big vision easier than a little one. People need a purpose. Giving them a grand vision will enable them to connect as some level with that vision. If your vision is narrow, you may fail to interest some people. However, if your vision is large, it will leave plenty of room for others to get involved.
Don’t worry about solving the problem before casting the vision. A good example of visionary leadership would be the United States President, John F. Kennedy. Regardless of what you think about his politics, Kennedy stood up one day in the early 1960’s and said, “We will put a man on the moon by the end of the decade.” He was clear; he was precise; and the vision was something people could look to. Now, here’s the interesting thing – when he said it, the technology to put a man on the moon hadn’t even been developed. That’s visionary leadership! Just because you don’t have all the pieces of the puzzle just yet, does not mean that you can’t share the vision. Let others come along side you who will bring those pieces to the table.
Your God determines how big your goal is. So, how big do you think God is? The issue is not who do you think you are, but who do you think God is? In your dreams for ministry, don’t limit yourself by saying, “What can I do?” Instead ask, “What can God do? What can God do in this place?” Then, use every single tool and resource that God puts in front of you – no matter what it looks like. Judging whether or not a resource if “of God” will limit God’s ability to bless you in your work for Him.
Be pragmatic even as you cast a vision. We overestimate what we can do in one year, and we underestimate what we can do in ten or twenty years. That’s very common. The trouble with most goal setting is we set our goals too low and try to accomplish them too soon. Instead, we need to set big goals – huge goals – enormous goals – but plan plenty of time in reaching those goals. Creating systematic attainable goals is better than ones that come few and far between.
Finally, make a frank appraisal of your own gifts. The Bible teaches that there are one talent people and five talent people and ten talent people. That means you may be good at several things, but you’re not good at everything. How large is your vision? As a Christian leader, you need to put it before your congregation and then keep it before them. Your talent is only limited by your ability to use the people who God gave you regardless if they appear to be ready for the task or not. Trust God to enable them for the work.