the shape of leadership

Ten Scriptures for Inspiring Vision

Passages to reflect on and share with your congregation

Influence Magazine on August 9, 2019

More than a catchphrase, vision is the fuel for your ministry. It is the why behind what you do each week.

At least once a year, it’s a good idea to revisit the vision of your church and recapture your audience’s commitment to it. As you craft your message or series, here are 10 Scriptures to reflect on and consider sharing:

1. Luke 4:16-21

In the beginning of Christ’s public ministry, He used a Sabbath sermon as an opportunity to share His vision. Jesus told those assembled, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” The passage Christ used from Isaiah encapsulated His vision, including proclaiming good news, healing the blind and setting prisoners free. Succinct and specific, it was a perfect message.

2. Matthew 28:19-20

If Luke 4 was Jesus’ personal vision statement, this passage is His vision statement for the church. Each local body of believers should keep this vision front and center as they carve out their own way of reaching the community.

3. Acts 2:42-47

How did the Early Church go about fulfilling the vision Jesus articled in the Great Commission? This passage provides a snapshot and a template: discipleship, fellowship, prayer, Spirit reliance, compassion, worship and evangelism.

4. Nehemiah 1:4

The entire Book of Nehemiah is a lesson in visionary leadership. Nehemiah’s journey began when he heard some bad news. He mourned, but he also fasted and prayed. Instead of allowing negativity to overtake him, Nehemiah found vision to match the injustice he saw.

We can rely on God’s presence as we share and strive toward His vision.

5. Habakkuk 2:2

God calls us to pass on His truth to others in ways that are easy for them to understand. This can include putting it in writing. Sharing a church vision statement is one way we can do that today.

6. Micah 6:8

Micah summarizes God’s will for His people this way: “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” A church’s vision should reflect these values.

7. Acts 18:9-10

We can rely on God’s presence as we share and strive toward His vision. The Lord told Paul, “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you … .” Every congregation experiences challenging times, but God’s promise to be with us is a source of comfort.

8. Psalm 37:4-5

Vision is not just about reaching a goal; it’s about fulfilling God’s desire for your church. Psalm 37:4-5 says, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this.” As we do the work of ministry, we should continually ask God to align our desires with His.

9. Ephesians 3:20

Big vision can be scary. How are we supposed to put it all into action? Remind your people that we don’t have to do it in our power. God’s power is at work in us, and He wants to do “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.”

10. Philippians 3:13-14

Vision is about forward thinking. For Paul, it wasn’t a matter of building something bigger. It was about being a part of something greater: Christ’s Body. Leaving past mistakes behind, Paul strained toward all that God had in store, focusing on eternity. Inspire your church to do the same.

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