What is your vision for your ministry?
For a long time, my personal vision was blurry. I could sense that God wanted me to use my gifts to serve Him, but putting words to it seemed impossible. I worked hard, but my direction was still to-be-determined. It was like my mental GPS was glitching. It was all activity with zero clarity.
In 2015, I found myself at a fork in the road. Soon to be married, I wanted to have a better grip on my future direction for the sake of my family. You cannot really improv your life while also having a healthy marriage, right? A dear friend encouraged me to focus on distilling my vision. I scoffed, “Wow, that’s cheesy man, do you want me to go out in the woods on a vision quest or something?” Turns out there was no camping gear required, he just gave me the book “Chazown” by Craig Groeschel about clearing up your personal vision.
With that book in hand, I spent a whole month dedicated to sculpting out a vision for my life. I prayed, journaled, spoke with mentors, and prayed some more. Eventually, I wrote out a statement that made me nervous. It went like this: I want to create content that connects people all over the world to God.
Your vision should feel totally impossible without the help of God. That’s the whole point of a God-given vision. If you can easily do it without Divine intervention, then it’s just a goal. Your vision should scare you. It should excite you. And your vision should be so big that it requires God’s help.
In Acts 22, Paul shares his testimony. It all starts with a vision on a dirt road. Let’s study how Paul describes the world-changing, deeply-spiritual vision he receives from God.
The Story of Paul’s Vision
READ: Acts 22:6-11
“About noon as I came near Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, ‘Saul! Saul! Why do you persecute me?’ “‘Who are you, Lord?’ I asked. “I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting,’ he replied. My companions saw the light, but they did not understand the voice of him who was speaking to me. “‘What shall I do, Lord?’ I asked. “Get up,’ the Lord said, ‘and go into Damascus. There you will be told all that you have been assigned to do.’ My companions led me by the hand into Damascus, because the brilliance of the light had blinded me.”
Let’s collect a little context here. This is not like a kumbaya testimony on the last day of church camp. Paul was in front of a hostile crowd in Jerusalem. They wanted to have him put to death for blasphemy. Instead of fleeing, Paul started preaching. He had already seen overwhelming success in his ministry by planting dozens of churches, training hundreds of leaders, and sparking revival all around the near east and Europe. That reality put a bullseye on his back, so now he was standing before an enraged crowd of people who rejected his message.
In the rest of the text, Paul goes on to describe the details of his call to ministry. In this story, Paul speaks of a big vision that changed the trajectory of his life and the world.
Paul demonstrates 3 Lessons For learning your vision for your ministry:
1. A big vision changes you.
Paul was forever changed when He met Jesus. A vision from God transformed everything for Paul. It altered how he saw the world, spent his time, and invested his finances. His vision changed his life and the course of human existence as we know it. From that day forward every day was dedicated to the same goal — establishing a global Church.
2. A big vision moves you.
Paul immediately started taking action. There was no countdown, no planning meeting, and no ten-step guide. Paul just moved. I imagine flashbacks consumed him. He likely lost sleep while still waking up energized to chase his God-sized dream. Why? Because his vision was directly attached to action. From that day forward, he started following Jesus and never stopped. The same is true for us, God’s vision for you is directly attached to action.
3. A Big vision requires small steps of action.
Paul didn’t know what his future held. At that moment, he had no idea Rome, Ephesus, Greece, and Corinth were on his radar. He certainly had no idea he would stand before Nero or the council at Jerusalem. He couldn’t see the whole plan, but he knew what to do next — move towards Damascus. It was a simple step with massive implications. Immediately, Paul started taking small steps towards the audacious calling God put on his life. In God’s Kingdom, our destiny unfolds gradually instead of immediately. Your vision may be big, but your next step is small. Take it.
What is your vision?
Your life’s vision is that big, audacious dream that God planted in your heart. Yes, we all have the same mission, but we also have different visions. That’s exactly how God designed it. Your purpose is deeply personal, so it’s important to distill it.
Ask yourself these questions when sculpting your vision:
- When do you feel the most fulfilled and alive?
- What breaks your heart? (work to change that!)
- What excites you so much you think about it the moment you wake up?
- How have your unique experiences shaped you?
- What difference do you want to make in your community?
What is your next step?
After Paul received his world-changing vision from God, he took the small step of going to Damascus. That wouldn’t fulfill the big picture of his new vision, but it was a logical place for him to start.
What is your Damascus? Damascus is the logical next step to get you towards the vision God has for you.
Maybe you need to start learning a new language.
Maybe you need to connect with students around your local university.
It may be time to start outlining your book.
Maybe you need to figure out how to apply for an LLC or 501c3.
Whatever your vision is, there is a small next step that you need to take. That is your Damascus. Start walking towards Damascus today–no need to wait.
Watch the 10-minute leadership Bible Study on this topic:
Who will partner with you as you plan?
If all this excites you, overwhelms you, or confuses you, then you’re in good company! Let’s talk about it. Through our Pastor Circle, we offer free coaching calls for anyone working on your vision for your ministry! Together, we will do the following:
Investigate: Let’s discover the vision God has for you. We will work through the questions above and dig through some of the same resources that radically helped me with this journey.
Navigate: Next up, we will figure out your Damascus. This is my favorite part. We will make a list of the small steps you need to take to achieve your vision.
Replicate: Lastly, we will focus on replication. A big vision is viral. Let’s invite people to join you! Just like Paul built a team of leaders, you should do the same. Help others see the future that you imagine.
What is THE PASTOR CIRCLE?
We recently asked ourselves, ‘how can we serve pastors more personally?” The Pastor Circle is the answer.
It’s a virtual small group community of pastors who understand what you’re going through and want to offer you godly support and guidance. We meet on Zoom once a month to listen to a short devotional and topic introduction, followed by a small group discussion. We hope to see you there next month! Click here to learn more.