PART 3 – 7 Characteristics that Make a God-Sized Vision Effective

Did you miss Part 2? Read it HERE.

By Chris Hankins || Posted September 25, 2018

Not all visions are equal.

Some visions are more effective than others. I believe there are 7 characteristics that make some God-sized visions more powerful than others.

part 3 post 2

An effective vision is:

1) Biblical

We must always ask: If our vision was fulfilled, would the mission of Jesus be accomplished? Jesus has given every church the mission of going and making disciples of all nations. If our vision does not help accomplish this mission then it is time to go back to our knees and back to the drawing board.

2) Compelling

Effective visions motivate action. We could have a vision to build the world’s largest mulch pile but that would not compel many people to give their lives to making it happen.

For a vision to be compelling it must paint a picture of the future people long for.

They must believe that if the vision became a reality the world would be a drastically better place.

3) Memorable

A vision is only effective if people can memorize and share it.

A great vision statement should be just that: a statement. It’s okay to start with a paragraph or two in the drafting stages. This helps get the creative juices flowing.  But by the time a God-sized vision is in its final form it should not be longer than one sentence. People can remember one sentence, and this is important because God-sized visions require a lot of people to achieve it.

The more people needed to achieve a vision, the more necessary it is for it to be memorable.

4) Terrifying

This might seem like a strange characteristic but if a vision is truly God-sized then it should require faith for us to say it out loud. 

A God-sized vision is so big that it is impossible to accomplish without God.

It should be so big that it is terrifies us to think what would happen if we attempted to do it in our own power.

5)  Clear

An effective God-sized vision should be clear enough that it doesn’t require a long explanation to to understand.  

It’s okay for people to think your vision is crazy, but not for them to find it confusing.

People must understand exactly what God has called the church to pursue. If it’s vague and ambiguous then the vision will lose its effectiveness.

6)  Measurable

People must be able to tell if they have achieved the vision or not.

Many churches have vision statements that are impossible to achieve or make it impossible to know if the church has achieved it. For example, a common vision statement is:

“Turn people far from God into fully devoted followers of Jesus.”

This is a noble goal, but it’s not clear how to determine when someone is a fully devoted follower of Jesus. On the other hand, here’s an example of a measurable vision from a church in Asheville, North Carolina:

“Plant 10 new churches in 10 years in 10 pockets of lostness.”    10/10/10 for short.

This is a measurable vision and everyone can know if they are achieving it or not.

7) Time Sensitive

Every effective vision should have a date attached to it.

A leadership principle we use all the time at The Point is “Dates Motivate.” Putting a date on a vision motivates people to action.  Without a date, people can become lackadaisical. Dates have an amazing way of motivating people to ask God for help and to innovate new strategies never considered.

I cannot tell you how many innovative ideas have been birthed at The Point Church as we try to fulfill our vision with limited resources. Without a date to motivate us, we would have said many times, “Let’s tackle that next year when we have more money and time.” But our vision is 30 churches by 2025. That date has pushed us forward, caused us to consistently seek God’s help, and driven us to develop new strategies to accomplish our God-sized vision.

Let me end by sharing some examples of effective God-sized visions:

Plant 30 Churches by 2025 in the Triangle.
Point Church

Plant 1000 Churches by 2040.
Summit Church

Reach 2600 people by the year 2026.
Quest Fellowship

Plant 100 Churches in North Carolina in 10 years.
Carolina Movement

Impacting 100,000 Phoenix area residents by the year 2020.
Christ Church of the Valley

Start 25 National Church Planting Movements around the world by 2021 in order to plant 350 new life giving churches.
New Churches Now

Every church can have an effective God-sized vision.

If it is biblical, compelling, memorable, terrifying, clear, measurable, and time sensitive it will be effective.

With all of this talk about God-sized visions, how do we discover God’s vision for our churches? Check out the next post to find out!  

Be sure to subscribe to the blog to get notifications of new posts.  Please feel free to comment with questions and feedback.

Start reading Part 4 HERE!