Proverbs 29:18 says “Without a vision the people perish.” And I heard in a resource I listened to by Rick Warren that the number one responsibility of leadership is to continually clarify and communicate the vision of the organization, and that you will never see your vision become a reality unless you can communicate it to others. But how exactly does one communicate the vision?
Well the book of Nehemiah has a lot to teach us about vision, specifically about how to communicate vision. Check out the following verses: Nehemiah 2:17-18a, Then I [Nehemiah] said to them [the people of Jerusalem], “You see the bad situation we are in, that Jerusalem is desolate and its gates burned by fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem so that we will no longer be a reproach.” I told them how the hand of my God had been favorable to me and also about the king’s words which he had spoken to me. From Nehemiah’s example we learn four essential things to cover when communicating the vision.
1. The situation. Nehemiah said “You see the bad situation we are in…” This represents the problem. In his case that the walls of Jerusalem were torn down.
2. The solution. Nehemiah said “Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem…” This represents the panacea, or remedy, that will fix the problem.
3. The sake. Nehemiah also shared the sake, or reason, for rebuilding the wall “…so that we will no longer be a reproach.” This represents the purpose of the vision – what will result when the vision is accomplished.
4. The specifics. After sharing the big picture (“let us rebuild the wall”) Nehemiah shared the particulars, or details, explaining “I told them how the hand of my God had been favorable to me and also about the king’s words which he had spoken to me.”
These are the guidelines I used when starting New Day and the guidelines I continue to use when announcing the next steps we need to take as a church to fulfill Jesus’ mission of making disciples and his vision of taking the gospel around the world. It’s been my experience that if you’re careful to present your vision (or any new idea) as a good solution to a real problem, while clearly explaining the benefits, people are (more than not) receptive to what you’re proposing. Could it be that people aren’t necessarily turning down your ideas, rather the way in which you present them?