As a natural born planner, I am a firm believer in the power of a plan. Vision and goals are key components of intentional leadership. It is important to know where you are going and how you and your followers will get there. That doesn’t mean you have every detail mapped out. You may or may not. It does mean you have a vision for the future, goals to support that vision, and a course set in that direction. It also means you clearly and inspirationally communicate the vision to your team so that everyone knows where they are going.
As Christians, we believe that the Lord has a plan for our lives. We agree that God desires to partner with us in establishing His kingdom and making a difference in this world. Despite those positive affirmations, I have observed two major obstacles for Christians when formulating vision and strategy for their lives and organizations.
1. Fear of Missing God’s Plan
During a coaching session, I asked a pastor to share his vision for his church. He hesitated and then said, “I try not to use the word vision, because it sounds presumptuous, like I know for certain where God is leading us. I’ve been wrong before.” I acknowledged his concerns, and then began discussing vision using different terminology. His commendable desire to be humble had also created an environment of ambiguity for his leaders and congregation.
As human beings, we will never be one hundred percent sure of God’s will. Nevertheless, we can find great assurance in Proverbs 3:5-6. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take” (NLT). The Lord delights in leading His children. When you pray, spend time in God’s Word, and seek wise counsel from others, He will show you which path to take. He will direct you in discovering His plans.
2. Failure to Acknowledge God’s Power
Too often we get stuck because we are keenly aware of our own personal limitations. We make plans according to what we can realistically accomplish ourselves, and we settle for far less than God intends. We find it hard to believe that God will show up in the “ordinary” areas of life and business. As a result, we set safe goals that require no risk or faith. In her devotional book, Jesus Calling, Sarah Young describes trust. “Rather than fearing your inadequacy, rejoice in My abundant supply. Train your mind to seek My help continually, even when you feel competent to handle something by yourself. Don’t divide your life into things you can do by yourself and things that require My help. Instead, learn to rely on me in every situation.”
The Holy Spirit has more than enough power to accomplish the vision God sets before you. “May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think” (Ephesians 3:19-20 NLT). As you rely on God, He will empower you to do much more than you can imagine.
What is God asking you to accomplish?
Have you settled for less? What can you achieve with God’s mighty power at work within you?
What will you do this week to step out in faith?
Sarah Young, Jesus Calling (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishing, 2004), 297.