What is a Visionary Leader?
“Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18, KJV). But how does a leader develop vision? Joel Barker in his film, The Power of the Vision, indicates vision never comes from the masses, but is always initiated by leaders. A leader develops a vision. He will spend time in Bible study, prayer, and listening to the Holy Spirit. He will look carefully at the context where he is working. Who are the people? What is their condition? What is their culture? What is their need? When God spoke to Moses and told him that he would become the leader of the people of Israel, Moses knew their need, their pain, their culture and he knew their language. The leader must work to understand the full condition of the people. From this knowledge, God gives a vision.
Further, he must lead the people to get involved in owning this vision. That is, the followers must own and support the vision. If it does not become our vision, the leader will be hampered and ineffective.
This vision must be comprehensive and detailed. In the book of Exodus, there was a clear plan as to how Moses was to lead the people out of Egypt. This is true with Nehemiah also. He surveyed the city and its walls. He knew the issues and the personalities involved. He laid out a detailed plan of how to accomplish rebuilding the wall.
In growing churches, the leader has developed a plan of action to accomplish the vision. This is far more than a calendar of events, it is a strategic plan that is detailed and is communicated with and to those with whom he is working.
A vision should be challenging and inspiring. Biblical material always indicates that the mission was challenging. Leaders sought to inspire the followers. It is much more important to have too great than to have too small a vision. Just imagine how the twelve disciples felt when Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NKJV).
The leader must communicate the vision over and over to the followers. That may be done in many ways: written, verbal, and visual. The vision must become the driving force of the church. Everything the church does must fit into this vision. If it doesn’t fit, then it isn’t done. A vision helps a leader determine what is to be done and what is to be left undone.
- A Leader Must Have a Profound Sense of God’s Call
- A Leader Must Grow in Their Relationship with God
- A Leader Must Be Compassionate
- A Leader Must Be Passionate
- A Leader Must Be Visionary
- A Leader Must Become Entrepreneurial
- A Leader Must Be Contextual
- A Leader Must Be a Planner
- A Leader Must Be a Lifelong Learner
- A Leader Must Be a Delegator and Empowerer of Others