Having a vision is one thing; knowing how to cast so it sticks is another. Let me share with you how I did it over a twenty-four year period in the church I restarted.
Casting vision begins with having an all-consuming passion for some form of ministry. It can be any aspect of ministry. It really doesn’t matter what the vision is; what matters is whether or not it consumes you to the point that it is your basic focus and mantra. If you aren’t consumed by the vision, and you aren’t casting it daily, you won’t be able to communicate it in a way that people are captivated by it and remember it to the point they invest in implementing it.
What You Preach Flows From This Vision
My first Sunday in the church that I re-started and grew to one of the largest in South Texas, I shared my vision with the congregation. The vision was to build a church of thousands that would change the face of the city. I used Acts as my point of departure and walked them through what grew the early church from a handful of misfits to one of the most powerful faiths on earth. For the next twelve months I walked them through every aspect of Acts as seen through the lens of the vision.
Because what you bring to a text often determines the truths that you bring out of it, it is imperative you have your vision in place. For instance, if I focus on Acts 2:42 I am primarily concerned with how the congregation cares for one another but if I focus on what happen in Antioch, I focus on the growth of the church. So when attempting to cast a vision, it helps to choose texts that clearly give credence to your vision because every vision should flow from Scripture. Vision, not a lectionary, should determine what you preach.
Whatever your vision is, it must be cast in a way that captivates the imagination of the crowd. To do that, you must be able to paint a picture of the vision. I remember working with a rather large church several years ago that was moving from a ten acre site to a 200 acre site. The pastor took me to the newly acquired parcel of land and walked me through it, telling me about every building and ministry that would exist on the land once the project was completed. He painted such a grand picture that I felt as if I could actually touch the buildings and the ministries housed in them. But what really got me was the way he described the lives that would be changed in those buildings. It was like being there and experiencing the life-changing events that would occur. I left there that day feeling as if I was part of something awesome.
Series Preaching Supports Vision Casting
It helps in casting a vision to use series preaching and to stay with the same theme for a period of time. Get clear on what the vision is and then work on driving it home. It’s good to remember that most folks forget what you preached within forty-eight hours!
Nehemiah taught us that people lose vision faster than they get it. He had to constantly remind the people why they were building the wall even though they could see the enemy peeping over the hills. Psychology teaches us that people can break a habit in twenty-one days. The same applies to losing vision. People easily become distracted and lose sight of the vision. Keep it ever in front of them!
Make the Vision Part of Every Conversation
Never leave home without your vision. Cast the vision in daily conversation or when you’re at a meeting. Cast it in every setting. You will think you are overdoing it, but you won’t be. Vision can’t be over stressed – by the time you’re tired of casting it, your congregation is just starting to get it.
The Four C’s of Effective Vision Casting
Ronnie Floyd describes the essentials of vision casting in what he calls the Four C’s of Effective Vision Casting:
That just about sums it all up. If your vision contains the four C’s, it will preach.
Question: What have you done that has effectively cast a vision in the hearts and lives of your congregation? Share with us in the Comments section below.