By Duane Arledge
When I read books written for pastors today, very few words are used as often as vision. Pastors are told, “You need to clarify the vision for your church. You need to clearly communicate the vision for your church – and you need to do it all the time.” Those are not bad statements. But I almost never hear vision used when talking about developing individual leaders.
Nearly forty years ago, I heard a pastor define vision as the ability to see beneath the surface of what a person is presently to see what they have the real potential to become if they will let God be in control. Most people do not think they can do what God has already designed them to do! When it comes to developing leaders, you must allow God to show you how to draw out greatness in people so your church can have the leaders it needs.
Every church needs more ministry leaders. Every church needs more volunteers to serve in those ministries. Often we’re so busy “casting vision” at thirty thousand feet for the whole church that we overlook the individual that is standing next to us at ground level. That person may be the next significant leader in your church. We need to have the “vision” to see what God wants to do in that person’s life. Yes, God does reveal to leaders that He is working in other’s lives – if we listen and obey. Here’s how we can obey the vision God gives us.
See people. Really look with spiritual eyes. You don’t need to see how they can help you accomplish your vision. You need to see how you can be used by God to draw out the greatness God has placed within them.
Pray for people. Ask God to let you see what He sees in that person. Ask Him to allow you to forget what you already know so you can understand what He knows.
Challenge people. Ask God to give you the right words to challenge them to take the next steps God has for them. Then ask God to give you a “green light” for the right timing to share those words with them.
Walk with people. Be willing to walk alongside as they take their first awkward steps of serving and/or leading. It may be frightening for you and them, but it will be rewarding as you see them grow into the leader they never thought they could be.
Got vision? Make sure your vision includes seeing individuals with God’s eyes. You will be blessed, others will be blessed, and the Lord’s church will be built up.
Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. (Eph. 4:12)