Why casting vision is so important
Without vision, you can not see where you are going, where you have been, or where others have gone right or wrong. When you don’t cast vision, no one knows where to go or where they will end up and people will often leave. People want a leader to follow and will go wherever they can find one.
As leaders, we must cast any vision that God has given us so we can lead his people.
First, ask for vision
Everything we ever do should always start with prayer. Philippians 4:6 says “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” That’s why I think it will always be a great place to start.
It’s easy to get a vision muddied with our own desires so it's best to ask God to provide you with a clear vision that needs to be cast for the team, or for their work a project, or for the next step no matter what that may be for you.
I believe God shows us whatever we ask him for, but sometimes that may not be what we were planning or hoping for so we act as if our prayer was unanswered. That is why it is important to have support in this process.
Depending on your role, maybe the person you look to for guidance could change from time to time. If you are the lead pastor and will be the one casting the vision for the entire team, look to the elders for support. If you are married, your wife can help with feedback before the vision casting.
This is a very important step. If you are a leader, go to the pastor or a co-leader, or your spouse for the extra check on what you are feeling and hearing.
Vision shows the entire picture
When you want someone to build something, you have to draw it out or write out each step in the process so that they know what you want them to do. If you fail to do this, the chance that things are done wrong becomes very, very high.
For example, if you want a house built and you simply say “I want you to build a house” to the builder, he will have no idea how many rooms to create, or bathrooms to add, or whether to include a garage. He won’t even know how big the house should be.
The builder will just build whatever comes to mind and when it doesn’t match what was in your head, you will be very upset. But, if you have the house drawn out to your specifications and you give those drawings to the builder, it will be easy for him to create the exact home you want.
When everyone knows what you are trying to accomplish and why you are trying to accomplish it, it's easy to get people to help achieve this goal.
For example, a friend’s wife used to own an animal rescue kennel. She wanted to raise money for air conditioners for the kennel so they set up a table on a busy sidewalk downtown. As people passed by, my friend and another volunteer asked them for donations.
The first day, they raised about $800, but not nearly enough to get the air conditioners. Most of the people who walked by were not willing to donate, even though it was for the animal rescue organization.
That night, my friend had an idea that came from watching people’s reactions and listening to their responses when they were asked to donate.
He created a large sign with a picture of the air conditioners and some text that explained why they were so important. He also included the total amount needed to reach their goal and purchase the equipment.
My friend also made up some flyers to hand out so people could read information about the rescue kennel along with important statistics such as how many animals the rescue group had successfully placed in permanent homes.
The next day, the volunteers went back to the same place and set the sign on a stand next to the table by the sidewalk. With the same two people in the very same place and the same amount of people walking past their table, the two volunteers raised more than $3200 and beat their goal with one more day of fundraising left.
When people couldn’t see the vision and didn’t understand why the money was important, they were much less likely to donate – even though it would help support an organization with a mission they believed in.
However, when the vision for the money was shared with potential donors, they were quick to grab their wallets and gave larger amounts because they had a clear picture and understanding of the vision.
Casting the vision to the people involved goes a long way. It helps to get things done faster and, most of the time, better.
Vision helps people get behind the mission
As in the story above, when people have a clear picture and can see the reason for something, it's easy for them to get behind it. When the entire picture is visible, people with different gifts and talents have the ability to step into the role where they can be the most help and advance the Kingdom.
A lot of the time, people are afraid to offer their help because they think they can’t be effective. Or, they don’t know how to plug themselves into the project or bring others they know in too because the big picture is not clear.
Imagine your pastor cast the vision for a new sound system and says “we are going to need people to help with Role 1 and Role 2.”
You might say to yourself, “I know someone who would be perfect for Role 2.” But, if the pastor never cast that vision and didn’t paint a clear picture, you would never know how to get that person into that perfect place.
This is the hardest part for me, and I think for most other people too.
The vision is cast and everyone knows and understands what is happening, and what they each need to do. But then, we sit and wait.
That waiting period is the hardest. Sometimes it's right at the start, and sometimes it comes after you had great momentum and then everything suddenly came to a halt while you waited for the next piece of the puzzle.
Maybe you are waiting for money, or maybe you are waiting for a person, or maybe just for an approval that is part of the process. No matter what, it is important that you be patient.
Know in your heart that God has helped you cast this vision for a reason, and he has given it to you so that you will make it will happen.
You will make it happen. Cast the vision and don’t ever give up.