There has been a lot written about the importance of “casting a clear and compelling vision.” Leaders often invest a lot of time with their leadership teams crafting words, figuring out the best way to capture the direction they sense the Lord is leading the church they serve.
And leaders often invest far too little time re-declaring the vision and continually aligning actions to the vision and values they have declared.
Jim Collins spoke of this same reality in organizational leadership:
Executives spend too much time drafting, wordsmithing, and redrafting vision statements, mission statements, values statements, purpose statements, aspiration statements, and so on. They spend nowhere near enough time trying to align their organizations with the values and visions already in place.
In other words, most leaders fail at the discipline of reminding, repeating, and re-declaring. Great thinkers and leaders have reminded leaders of the importance of reminding.
- Max Depree said, “Leadership is like the third grade, it means repeating the significant things.”
- C.S. Lewis said, “People need to be reminded more than instructed.”
- Of constantly reminding people of the gospel, Martin Luther stated, “Most necessary is that we know this article well, teach it to others, and beat it into their heads continually.”
- The apostle Paul wrote to believers in Corinth, saying, “Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand” (1 Corinthians 15:1).
Leaders often fail to remind because they “don’t want to say the same things.” They feel they need to bring something fresh, something new. This is a mistake. We all need reminding. We tend to forget. We tend to drift from what is most important. We tend to drift to activity while lacking the heart behind the activity.
Yet we can and should remind and re-emphasize in new ways. Here are three ways to re-declare the vision and values the Lord has given the team or church that you serve.
1) Involve other voices
Use new voices to declare the vision, the direction the Lord has given. By doing so, the people see that vision is not merely owned by one leader but by a team of leaders. If one person, the same person, is the only person declaring what is important, the impression can be given that only one person stewards what is most important. Empower team leaders to share the vision with the departments they lead. Consider sharing the mic with another leader or team-teach on what is most important in your culture.
2) Tell new stories
Find stories from among the people you serve that illustrate and emphasize what is important in the culture you lead. For example, if you cast a vision of impacting a local school, then tell new stories about the needs of the school that you have placed before the people, share new stories of how people have embraced and are loving on the students and teachers, and tell new stories of how people are being impacted. Weave new stories into your regular communication platforms to remind the people of the Why behind all the activity.
Plato said, “What is celebrated is cultivated.” Celebrate what the Lord is doing, even if it feels small, because the celebration will help root what is most important more deeply into the culture you are stewarding.