When anything begins or start out, there’s almost always a real sense of hope for the future. Newlyweds have a real excitement about the future. New business ventures are launched with a strong expectancy of growth. Churches, ministries, home groups, etc. are launched with a desire and expectation to grow. That’s how new things begin.
However, years into the journey there is often a leakage of vision and zeal. This is especially true when problems, difficulties, strife, or tragedy occur. Often in these cases we somehow stop believing that the ministry will ever grow again. It’s important to be deeply honest with yourself here. Take off the professional “face” that you project while on the platform or chatting in the lobby. Deep inside, many of us have given up hope of actually accomplishing anything significant.
Sometimes we experience the death of a vision. It happens to most all people at one point or another. Sometimes this means we need to abandon something that God is not doing anymore and get with His present activity. But more often than not it means we need to revisit the heart of God for the mission He’s already given us! As a pastor, key leader, spouse, or business owner, you must believe your church, ministry, marriage, or business can grow. You must believe it has a future. Your heart will succumb to despair if you stop expecting the goodness of the Lord to show up in your life and ministry (Psalm 27:13).
The size of the church or ministry (or problem!) isn’t as important as what you believe in your heart. Find some other leaders who have a strong faith in what God is going to do and hang out with them. It will rub off on you! This is not just “positive thinking”; this is “iron sharpening iron” (Proverbs 27:17). Everyone needs encouragement. There are dozens of commands in the New Testament about encouraging one another. To encourage (Greek: parakaleo) literally means to “call to one’s side”. The picture is linking arms with someone else as you walk along. It helps regain vision and momentum. If you’ve lost hope and vision, don’t wait for someone with fresh vision to find you, go seek them out! It will rub off on you!
If you’ve lost vision for the future, here are some things to ponder:
- What was your original vision for the ministry that you are serving?
- What things have happened that have served to “kill” that vision? Have you failed in some way personally? Explain.
- Do you feel that you have been honest with yourself about this?
- Ask the Lord to bring to your mind a couple of key people who you could be an encouragement to you as you seek to regain footing. Call or email them today and set up a time to meet and share your heart. Ask for their prayers and counsel.