Six Questions to Refine Your Vision

What Is a Vision?

A sculptor named Gutzon Borglum created a magnificent bust carving of Abraham Lincoln, now on view in the U.S. Capitol building under the Rotunda. The story goes that a cleaning lady swept up for Borglum every day after he worked on sculpture.

After many months the moment of the unveiling finally arrived. Gutzon Borglum invited his faithful cleaning lady to the inaugural showing as his personal guest. As the velvet drape was drawn back, the room erupted with the sounds of awestruck admirers. The beauty of this work stunned the crowd. Smooth lines, the clear features of Lincoln’s face, the jutting jaw and pronounced cheekbones, all expressed the touch of a master artist.

The evening came to a close with the artist and the cleaning woman gazing at the finished piece of art that would adorn the Capitol for generations to come.

“Well, what do you think?” the sculptor asked.

After a brief moment, the faithful worker calmly replied, “I have only one question. How did you know that Mr. Lincoln was in that rock?”

Vision is the ability to see what others may not. It is the capacity to see potential—what things could be. Vision is the ability to see what God sees and the God-given motivation to bring to pass what you see. Whether it is a personal vision or a vision for a church, vision stirs up faith. You can’t have one without the other. Faith will birth vision, and vision will fuel your faith.

Hebrews 11: 1 describes this kind of vision: “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”

Faith is required to see the unseen, and by seeing what God has in store for your future, you begin to have vision. This means seeing not only with your eyes, but also with your heart. But it is more than just having, as some define it, a “Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal” in mind. Vision may be a good exercise for getting your creative machinery rolling, but it is much more than that. It begins with the leaders toiling over and agreeing upon what God will hold you accountable for as a church on that Day.

Of all the things we can do, what is it that we must do? I suggest that you answer the following questions:

  • Why did God place this ministry in this community?
  • If this church could accomplish only four things, what would they be?
  • How much of our ministry is geared toward the harvest, and how much is designed to take care of the grain?
  • If our church had only a ten-year run and then shut down, what would its greatest priorities be?
  • If I had only ten years left, what place would I take in all of this?
  • What kind of potential lies within me that hasn’t yet been tapped for the kingdom of God?

When you can conceive a clear, compelling picture of God’s blueprint for your life or for the life of your church, you have vision! The clearer and the more compelling the picture, the more likely it is that others will catch the same vision. When everyone catches the vision, it becomes more than a vision; it is on its way to becoming a reality. What is it that you can believe God wants to do through you? Much of your future will depend on your answer.


The above is an excerpt from Pastor Wayne Cordeiro’s book, Doing Church as a Team. You can find it, and many other great resources, here

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