Thursday, October 6, 2011

Reactivating Vision Power

What if Steve Jobs was right when he admitted a key thing about his vision for Apple Computers?  He admitted, "We started out to get a computer in the hands of everyday people, and we succeeded beyond our wildest dreams." Could one of America's great visionary corporate leaders have had a vision that didn't match with the outcome?

He said it happened.  I have been blessed to attend the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection's Leadership Insititute on four occasions now.  And their visionary pastor, Rev. Adam Hamilton said he, "never imagined he'd be the pastor of a congregation of thousands of members."  And yet, there he is in Kansas City, Kansas with one of the most vibrant churches in the post modern age.

Nehemiah is always cited as a biblical example of an extraordinary, visionary leader.  And, as a pastor, I have felt the pressure to produce just like Nehemiah did.  But a great truth was revealed to me recently by  Michael Fletcher, author of Overcoming Barriers to Church Growth.  He noted, "Visioning may be the hardest but most important job of the senior pastor-finding God's vision for the local church he (she) leads."  And if we start visioning, somehow, with a particular hope, dream or end in mind its probably because that would represent good planning, right?

I remember hearing about the comedian, Dave Chappele.  Success hit for the brother!  He went from stand up in clubs, on the road, to a hilarious Comedy Central Show where he was the principal star, writer and producer.  It seemed he had everything he wanted.  The cash was flowing and he was firmly planted in one place where his televsion project was doing well.  And one day he flipped out.  He just left.  He moved to Africa (or so the rumor said) and took a break from his responsibilities on Comedy Central.

Was his vision power somehow too puny to see the success that he experienced?

How do we activate or reactivate the power of BIG visioning that turns impossible situations into miracles from on high?  I know it can't happen without prayer.  Strong leaders must emerge in churches who can stomach the threat of failure remembering Tavis Smiley's encouragement to "fail-up."  There are other hints, other clues and other answers to this question that I really would like your feedback on.  Would you help in this process?  I'd love to hear your suggestions.