RELATIONAL LEADERSHIplesson 3-INFLUENCING with VISION and HOPE
INFLUENCING with VISION and HOPE
“They are clouds without rain, carried about by the winds.” Jude v12 Jude gives us a second picture of bad leadership. These bad leaders hold out hope but have nothing of substance to offer. They promise a great future but have no clear vision.
LEADERSHIP is about a VISION that EMPOWERS OTHERS
Non-leaders are “clouds without rain.” Your vision should make a difference in people’s lives. Vision is seeing tomorrow so powerfully that it shapes today.
CHRISTIAN LEADERS should have VISION of COMMUNITY
A church should include all types of people. The church at Colosse included all types of people, from slaves to slave masters. Philemon v1-25 Christian communities can handle conflict. Good leaders accept and manage conflict. Christian community is more important than our personal agendas. Leaders must always guard against the temptation to use people for their own benefit. If we manage conflict correctly, our diversity can be our greatest strength.
THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF LEADERSHIP
The first responsibility is to give direction. Good leaders define reality and say, “This is the way.” The second responsibility is to say, “Thank you,” to his followers. Without the help of followers a leader’s vision can never be fulfilled.
HOW TO DEVELOP STRATEGIC PLANNING
Strategic planning is the process of articulating a picture of the future. It causes followers to buy the vision and to see why their contribution is important. Key words to developing vision are: Purpose (primary role,) Mission (uniqueness,) Values (character,) Strategies (goals.) The more people you add to the planning process the more difficult it becomes, but without their participation they will never “buy the vision.” Planning is a process, not a democracy. The involvement of people is as important as the production of a plan. Everyone participating does not have an equal vote. The top leader must initiate change or it is a waste of everyone’s time.
LEADING IN CHANGING TIMES
Change is one of the things we can safely predict about tomorrow. We are changing from quantity of possessions to quality of possessions, from value of money to value of time, from satisfaction through work to satisfaction through leisure, from old traditions to new traditions, from commitment to flexibility, from group identity to individualism, from trusting people to trusting proven integrity.
DEVELOPING A CLEAR VISION
Articulating the vision may be the most important responsibility of the leader. Who are we? A clear missions statement gives meaning and boundaries to those inside the organization, and communicates purpose to those outside the organization. We must understand who we are before we can evaluate what we are doing. Vision keeps asking questions of renewal. What is important to us? Every organization has hidden values that reflect the true beliefs of the organization and are manifested in its behavior. Where in the world are we? This is a research question. It evaluates our strengths and weaknesses as well as our unique contribution to the Kingdom of God. The answers to these questions provide the backdrop of reality for our vision. Where do we want to be? At this stage of the planning process, the vision of the organization begins to take shape.
IMPLEMENTING THE VISION
We now shift from strategic planning to operational planning. What do we do? As the vision becomes clearly defined we focus on the future. What can we actually do in the next five years? How should we do it? We select a set of strategies, unified goals and objectives for the next few years. When will we do it? This develops a time-line so we can know when we reach our objectives, and who should be rewarded? Who will do it? Most plans fail at this point. We must delegate. We do not have a working plan until someone accepts the responsibility to see it fulfilled.
EVALUATING THE VISION
The vision shifts to the stage of accountability. How are we doing? This is the feedback that tells us if we are moving toward our vision. Is God pleased? For the Christian leader, this is the ultimate question. If our vision is not inspired of God, if our values are not shaped by Christ, if our strategies do not point people to Jesus, then we have failed and should stop what we are doing.
A COMPELLING VISION
The vision John saw on the island of Patmos is a great vision. Revelation 21:1, 10; 22:1, 5 THAT IS A GOD-GIVEN VISION!!
For $10 a month you can help spread the gospel around the world.
About the Author: Dr. Dale Yerton
Dr. Yerton serves as an overseer of a network of churches across the world. What began as a network of six church groups representing 500 churches in Mexico has grown into an international ministry.
He and Evelyn, his wife over fifty years, live in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. They have two daughters: Lora–married to the Rev. Vince Farrell, pastors of Journey Church in Hopkinsville, Kentucky–and Kari—also of Hopkinsville–and are the proud grandparents of Emma and Bennett Farrell.