Vision Casting is a trendy new phrase doing the rounds at the moment, although there are those who would suggest it has been around in various guises for thousands of years. Consider this comment on one blog:

Vision casting is Satanic and is a form of sorcery. According to our Lord Jesus in Revelation 22:14,15, these people are not among those whose robes are being washed so that they have the right to the tree of life and may enter the city by the gates. No, they are outside and will be among those whose names are not found in Book of Life and will be cast into the Lake of Fire when they are judged before the Great White Throne.

On the other hand, there are those such as Rick Warren who swear by it as a means of growing and developing the church.

I know my leadership style. I am a big-picture, vision-casting leader. . . . There is nothing inherently right or wrong about being a vision-casting leader. It is simply the way God wired me.” [http://enrichmentjournal.ag.org/200401/200401_20_pastors.cfm]

I do think we need to be careful about using this type of  “pseudo-spiritual business guru type speak” in our churches. I have some great ideas (at least I think so) for gospel ministry in Scotland’s unreached housing schemes. It would be easy to tweak that into the following;

I have a big vision to see the gospel communicated throughout Scotland’s housing schemes. I see a future where dead places are brought to life and deep wells spring up in dry places.

Do you see what I mean? Pants. It is spiritualising a common sense idea. Any fool can do it.  However, we do not want to let uneasiness over vision casting language get in the way of encouraging visionary leadership in our churches. When I think of a church planter I think of a person who has the vision to see what others cannot. A visionary leader is somebody who:

  • Is able to see potential where others see barriers
  • Is willing to take risks
  • Is able to communicate their vision clearly and persuasively so that they attracts the followers and potential leaders
  • Is able to put a process in place that gets us from A to Z
  • is able to survive any setback and overcome any obstacle
  • Is flexible enough to change and adapt the vision on the hoof as things change on the ground
  • Is able to recruit leaders who will carry on the work long-term
  • Is able to spot the difference between what is important and what is a distraction to growth and development
  • Is able to make hard decisions and knows that consensus in the decision-making process if often impossible.
  • Somebody who is believable and trustworthy – can this person really make it happen

There is a great difference between vision casting and being a visionary leader. Ultimately, God gives the increase and we must have a complete reliance on Him, by the power of His Holy Spirit, to lead us, guide, keep taking us back to Christ and being gracious to us as we seek to serve Him. I think our problem in the UK is we have too few visionaries and risk takers.

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Comments
  1. Mutley says:

    Trendy it maybe, but new……? Unless of course you are using a Wesley hymn as a comparator. Unless something has happened in the last 20 years, it is my understanding that you can’t have one without the other.

    Visionary leaders must communicate their vision with the people. I remember Terry Virgo at Stoneleigh 2001 exhorting leaders to ‘keep casting the vision’ so that the people understood it, lived it, breathed it and owned it. This in the wake of too many leaders who would say it once and wonder why no one was following.

    Don’t know who your first quote is from, but he sounds like a moron.

    As a pastor, there is a responsibility to keep reminding people of both where God has brought them from & to, and where he is taking them to.

    On your final comment, if someone is not a visionary leader, why are they leading (except to support another visionary leader)? Doesn’t there have to be at least one in a church? And second, Shouldn’t visionary leaders be continually casting the vision so that the people don’t start running off and making golden calfs?

    Maybe it is that just me?

    • mezmcconnell says:

      I agree. Too many visionless men are leading our churches..and too many clowns are casting spurious visions..I thought you would appreciate the moronic quote…I thought you would hold our for at least a day though:) enjoy the conference mate..

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