Casting a Vision

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Not long ago, while driving along the coast observing nature, I became aware of countless people fishing. I wondered what their visions or expectations were for that day. Then it dawned on me that there were parallels between fishing and visioning. Vision casting for pastors and leaders is much like going fishing.

Many visionary leaders in the church cast visions for their ministry at the start of a new year. For these leaders, as it is for those who fish, vision is a preview of things to come. It serves as a guide to what the future holds for pastors and the lay leadership, as well as those seeking to catch fish.

Metaphorically, consider the lure as a vision being cast. The lure is the God-given vision that hooks and draws believers to ministry opportunities and possibilities. The weight is the force or conviction with which a vision is shared.

Upon further reflection, I realized that both fishing and visioning required certain things in order to achieve success, often varying in clarity and receptivity. Fishing requires an assortment of equipment, two of the most important pieces being the lure and weight. How one presents or promotes a vision is akin to casting with a lure and weight. Metaphorically, consider the lure as a vision being cast. The lure is the God-given vision that hooks and draws believers to ministry opportunities and possibilities. The weight is the force or conviction with which a vision is shared.

The weights used in fishing are as important as the lure, because the two work in tandem. Weights are used to help project the lure to the desired location. Casting a vision requires the proper weight for the purpose of distance, direction and connection. A lure attracts, but the weight allows the lure to land in the right location and connects with the targeted group of people. The manner in which a vision is shared or projected determines how it is received.

The appropriate weight is needed for a desired cast. Consider a light weight. It is usually best suited for short distances because wind can affect its distance and location. Heavy weights may travel a great distance but tend to cause a big splash and scare the fish. A huge or transformational vision can have the same effect on a congregation or an organization; it may scare members in certain settings. Typically, when the climate is favorable and the proper weight and lure are used, fish will not be alarmed, and they will likely be attracted to the lure. Members are drawn to the vision for the congregation in much of the same way.

On occasion, there will be times when fishing means being willing to wade in the water to get a feel of the current or undercurrent. Currents in a congregation may affect the casting of a vision. Before casting, know the current of the body of believers into which you are casting, select the right lure and choose the right weight, so that it may reach the right location with the appropriate impact. In Luke 5, Jesus asked Simon Peter to cast the nets one more time after a day of not catching anything. It was that particular casting of the nets that brought in more fish than they could manage. Keep casting your vision until you get a hit!

 

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About Author

Melvin Amerson is Senior Area Representative and Resource Specialist with the Texas Methodist Foundation (TMF)and author of Stewardship in African American Churches and co-author of Fruit for Celebrating the Offering (both from Discipleship Resources). He is also a board member of the Ecumenical Stewardship Center.


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