Intro:

     I can remember a time when I was newly called to ministry. There was excitement, endless possibilities, and I was ready to absolutely WIN the world to Jesus! I didn’t have a clue about being a pastor, but I had all I needed: The Calling. Sure, I still needed an education.  I still needed mentors, experience, and a better understanding of church life.  However, I had the leading of God that was going to fuel this journey forward.

     What was it like in your early days of ministry?  Probably similar. A lot of unknowns.  A lot of excitement.  A lot to learn.

     Now let us flash forward about 10-15 years and there is a fight to keep the ministry from falling flat. Sure, there are days of excitement, but there are also many days of frustration, fear, and self-doubt.  There are days when you just feel like giving up. We’ve all seen the Gallup polls and have all read through the statistics.  Pastors are calling it quits all across America. However, in your heart of hearts you know that one thing remains: The Calling.

     Your calling is stronger than the ministry mountain you are trying to climb. The center of God’s will is the most courageous place you can find yourself. In that calling, and in the center of God’s will, He will guide you with a great vision. Proverbs 29:18 reads, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” The “vision” this passage of scripture is essentially God’s revelation and in fact the Hebrew word behind it refers to a divine communication. Simply put: We need God to divinely communicate to us and lead us to cast a vision for the future of our ministries and our churches.

     I believe this can be a struggle for many leaders in the church. You sit in your office with the weight of ministry on your shoulders and you are 100% willing to take the next step and to make the next move…but WHAT is that move?  Where do you start???

     It is all too easy to exist in any of the following worlds of ministry:

  1. You are overwhelmed, overworked, or you feel stuck in ministry. You feel the need to find SOMETHING that will get the church moving forward.
  2. The church is flat. It a routine dog and pony show week after week and year after year. The church needs a new spark.  It needs something that will be a refreshing new season of life.
  3. The church is divided and feels fragile. You find yourself just trying to keep the peace and hope that confrontation will cease. You find yourself needing to lead the ministry down a certain path (with a certain vision) and march the church from a season of division to a season of unified mission.

     Hopefully this series can help! In this series I am going to work through the 10 principles that I have used in ministry.  I have plenty to learn and many skills to strengthen, but the tone of my ministry has always been one of being a great visionary leader. I sat down and evaluated where God has led me and what has worked in ministry settings to lead with vision and to see effectiveness in ministry.  When I look at church I see a puzzle that needs assembled.  If you can hear from God enough to put the puzzle together, then you can move the ministry forward to better days. These 10 principles, at least in my head, make up the piece of the puzzle labeled “vision.”

The 10 Principles:

Principle 1: The Purity Principle

Getting into high spiritual and mental health for the task at hand.

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Principle 2: The Completeness Principle

Evaluate what is lacking, even when it hurts.

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Principle 3: The Dream Principle

Dare to dream, then shape the dreams through critique.

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Principle 4: The Research Principle

Be ever-learning of our culture, our people, and our scenarios.

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Principle 5: The Importance Principle

Everything, even small, is important.

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Principle 6: The Progress Principle

Everything is a progress, and everything takes time.

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Principle 7: The Tone Principle

It is not only important what you do, but also how you do it, word, it, and emphasize it.

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Principle 8: The Drawing Principle

Drawing people and resources to you in order to complete a big work for the Kingdom.

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Principle 9: The People Principle

Envisioning everyday people making extraordinary progress.

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Principle 10: The Partnership Principle

Finding outside partners to further your purpose.

     How do we catch the vision from God and then cast that vision forward for the church?  The vision we receive from God is filled with the core values of what a church should be and how it should function. It sets the landscape of key identifiers for the ecclesia and for our ministries. How you cast that vision is determined by the principles that govern your actions as a leader. That is why I feel these 10 principles are vitally important.

     In each release I will take one principle at a time, in order, and go in detail of how it can help you become a visionary leader. My hope is that we can all grow through this series and utilize these principles to further the kingdom of God!

-Pastor Josh