NCLS Research

Envision: Envision Together

Strength 3 of the 12 Leadership Strengths
(refer pages 69-75 of Lead with your Strengths)

To Envision Together

NCLS research on churches across four countries indicates that the most powerful predictor of a healthy church is having a vision for the future to which members are committed. Where there is ownership of a shared path, churches are more likely to grow and draw in newcomers.

Leaders who exercise this strength do not impose their vision on a community and win approval for it, they lead the community to envision together a shared journey.

This leadership helps the community to name and articulate a vision that inspires while remaining an achievable target. It is all about helping a group or organisation come to know more fully its reason for being. It is about dreaming, exploring and setting long-term bearings for the journey ahead. It is about purpose lived out.

In its best form, the vision names the community’s yearning, its shared dream, and in the process of naming the vision both leader and community may be changed.

Many organisations get stuck because they have defined their purpose too narrowly or their vision is too shallowly. Thinking deeply about purpose may open up new possibilities. Growing a vision requires time for a community to pause and reflect, on what its reality is and on what it is really being called to be.

Developing this strength:

  • listen to people’s hopes and concerns
  • listen to their dreams and stories
  • pray together about the future
  • lead the community to articulate the yearning in its heart
  • take time to develop a vision that is simple, short and known by all
  • emphasise the vision often, saying what the community aspires to be
  • remind people of the vision when the community may be losing direction
  • encourage people to be keepers and proclaimers of the vision

Envision together – the whole community focusing on purpose and future direction, not just on immediate issues or matters of maintenance.

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