The Dark Side of Vision

Many tout the most important aspect of a leader is the ability to paint a clear vision of the future. If you’ve been around church-world for any length of time you’ve probably even heard a sermon or two about it, after all “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Prov. 29:18) right?  What many leaders often fail to realize is that there is another side to vision, a downside, that if not understood and artfully led through can derail the vision before it begins.

The Clearer the Vision the Louder the Critics

Many leaders often naively think that everyone is going to automatically love the vision as much as they do. They strongly and clearly cast the vision, and much to their surprise, they are often met with resistance and criticism. The truth is the clearer you articulate the vision the more criticism you will receive. There are always naysayers both inside and outside the organization. Jesus was criticized to the point it ended up costing His life. If you’re the leader and you’re not prepared for criticism, then be careful how clearly you articulate the vision.

The Clearer the Vision the More People Will Leave You

Vision is not only a rallying cry but also a jumping off point. The clearer the vision is articulated not only will people join you, but people will leave you as well. This happened to Jesus Himself when in John chapter 6 He literally goes from 1,000’s of people following him to by the end of the chapter it’s just the twelve. If you’re the leader and you’re not okay with people leaving you, be careful how clearly you articulate the vision.

I’ll be the first guy in line to say that clear vision is needed in any effective organization or church. But clear vision by itself simply isn’t enough.

Posted in Leadership


  1. Church People Can Wreck A Church Plant - Life Letter Cafe - April 24, 2018

    […] Vision both attracts and repels at the same time. The clearer you can be with unique vision that God has given you, the more likely it is that the right people will stay, and the right people will go. Don’t be naïve, there are, “the right people,” for both of those options. They key is consistently and creatively weaving your vision into everything you do so people are confronted with it early and often. The earlier they opt in or opt out the better off you will be and the better off they will be. If your vision is to build a church of disgruntled church folks and try to make them happy, then by all means embrace them (and let me be the first one to say good luck). But if the vision is to reach people who are unfamiliar with Jesus with the Gospel, then let them go, and let them go quickly. […]

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