Thursday, February 23, 2006

Passionate Vision

Zone Gathering is our online community for small group leaders at NCC. Each Thursday, I post a Leadership Lesson. Occasionally, I will re-post those articles over here. We are currently discussing the importance of vision, and today we focused on Passionate Vision.

In last week's Leadership Lesson, we talked about the importance of vision. Bill Hybels defined vision as "a picture of the future that produces passion."

Do you have a picture of the future that produces passion? Does your picture of the future produce passion in you? Does it fuel passion in others?

For the next few weeks, we will talk about the importance of vision here on the Thursday Leadership Lesson. This week, we will talk about Passionate Vision. Next week, we will talk about hearing God in order to receive vision. And finally, we will talk about how to communicate vision.

Vision is powerful. Not just because it is a goal that we can attain if we work hard enough. It is powerful because vision gives meaning to our lives and to the lives of others. It ignites energy, excitement, and momentum.

Passionate vision gives meaning to our lives. In Acts 20:24, Paul said, "But my life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus-- the work of telling others the Good News about God's wonderful kindness and love." Paul was fueled by a vision of what God had called him to do. And he was so passionate about it that he saw his whole life as pointless unless he was doing it.

Passionate vision is contagious. People with a passionate vision are contagious. When a leader communicates a passionate, heart-felt vision, people will get energized whether they want to be or not. Last night, I was hanging out with some of the folks in my Journey group, and one of the guys began to talk about his desire to introduce people to Jesus. It was coming from his gut, and I found my pulse increasing by the second as I listened to the vision that God was birthing inside of him. His passion was so contagious that I found myself wanting to drop everything and jump into whatever he was doing.

Passionate vision moves people into action. Our vision must be so contagious and so compelling that it makes people uncomfortable if they are not a part of it. We need a vision that propels people off their butts and into God's work. People are walking around with God-given fuel in their lives-- spiritual gifts, talents, interests, passions. Vision is the match that ignites that fuel.

Finally, passionate vision is big enough for God to fit into. I think sometimes God doesn't answer our prayers because they are too small. They aren't big enough for him to fit into. We need to make sure that our vision is so big that God can fit into it and so that only he can get the credit when it happens.


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