The Cost of Vision


I am learning that you must be careful about what you ask for, you just might get it. That’s right, I think I am getting what I asked for.  Heaven help me!

In my quieter moments, a number of years ago, I would have told you that I would like to start something from the ground up. I think at the time I looked at things like history and tradition and fel that they were rubbish.  I still feel that way, most of the time. However, I am learning that history or backstory is important.  It provides you with a road map for the reasons why people are the way they are.  It gives you insight into ministry mindsets and culture. Backstory, history, tradition: they are important.

Important though they may be these things are the cost of vision.  If you have a vision, a dream, a desire it comes to you in power only if you are unhappy with the status quo.  There have been many times in my life when I have had vision.  I think I am in one of those times.  But vision comes at a cost, it costs the status quo.  It costs the sacred cows.  It costs comfort and ease. The one with the vision does not pay this price because they have already lost their comfort and ease as a result of their broken heart that leads them to vision. No, this cost is paid by those to whom the vision is cast.  This makes setting a new course pretty difficult, if not impossible.

A few years ago I read, Visioneering by Andy Stanley.  One of the key components in that book is that people need to hear the vision over and over and over (and then over again!). What was assumed in the book was that the one casting the vision had a pulpit, microphone, and captive audience.  So how do you this without a captive audience, microphone, or pulpit?

Well, it turns out when you are fumbling your way through you don’t do it very well. It’s something that has to change in my ministry.  I have to get the vision out to three audiences: volunteers, students, and parents.  These three audiences are vastly different.  It’s no wonder that “youth pastors” burn out so quickly. I am trusting that as I am coming to this conclusion it will help me communicate the vision, mission, and values of the movement I lead more effectively.

But, it will come at a cost.  It will come at the cost of comfort, ease, and tradition.  I understand the picture. I am the dog and the vision is the rocket. The question is: Is there a guidance system? I hope so. I need one.