If I were to ask you what the vision of your Church is, would you be able to repeat it? Many people confuse the vision and the mission when trying to do so. The vision is the overall picture; that is, why you’re doing ministry. The mission is how you hope to achieve this.
For example, your vision may be something like ‘seeing young people come to know Jesus and share Him with others’. This is the overall picture and goal of ministry. The mission is how we hope to achieve this, so may be something like ‘to be intentional and authentic in connecting with the lost’ .
Knowing the mission is great, but it’s really the vision that we need to focus on when making decisions about the direction of the ministry; both small and big. The question that must always come up is ‘why?’… why are we doing this? And how is this program drawing us closer to our vision?
Many ministries do programs without any regard for vision. Responses such as “that’s just how we’ve always done it” and “well, my kid likes it, so you should do it” are common when trying to enforce change; not change for the sake of it, but according to a vision. The vision needs to be the driving force behind the ministry, so it’s no surprise that there is a strong correlation between waning ministries and those that do not have a set vision.
Why is vision important? It’s the reference point for any ministry. Without a vision, anything goes, and this is a real concern as the loudest voices tend to win when it comes to making decisions.
The question I ask my youth leaders at the end of the night is ‘how did tonight get us closer to our vision?’. If there is no solid response, I would argue that we weren’t as effective as we could have been.
Chubby bunnies, slime dunking and dance parties are all good when it comes to engagement, but if we did not come closer to seeing our vision come to fruition, the night cannot be deemed a success on a broader scale.
Stakeholders in your ministry need to know the vision of your ministry to ensure everyone is on board. If you are a youth pastor, the parents, leaders and external parties (schools, local communities etc) need to know what the vision is.
Without vision, a ministry can wander aimlessly. If you do not know yours, if if you don’t have one, my advice is to get one and learn it. This will give your ministry a more specific purpose and strategy as you move forward.
Share your ministry vision below!