Leading Topics: Leadership and Vision


Discerning a New Vision to Guide Your Church Forward

In this first Special 20th Anniversary Edition of Leading Ideas we re-present some of the most pertinent and popular articles on leadership and vision.

“The very essence of leadership,” according to longtime president of Notre Dame, Father Theodore Hesburgh, is that “you have to have vision. It’s got to be a vision you articulate clearly and forcefully on every occasion.” It’s little surprise that our Leading Ideas archives contain many articles on the importance of vision and how to discern and deploy a vision to lead your congregation forward.

Two Views of Vision

The word VISIONS written in chalk on a blackboardWhat kind of vision helps a church finds its way forward? Lovett H. Weems, Jr., says a vision needn’t be grandiose, nor is the process necessarily linear. Drawing on Margaret Wheatley’s “circular” understanding of vision, he explains that visioning can involve a series of small, next-step visions that become a field of energy from which a larger vision emerges. Read more now.

Planning Inspired by the Spirit

Group of people standing and holding hands in prayerDrawing on his experience leading a strategic planning process, Pastor Myung Sun Han identifies key lessons to keep a church-wide planning exercise positive, productive, and Spirit-led. Read more now.

4 Critical Steps in Deploying Your Vision

4 hands putting together 4 puzzle pieces

Discerning a new vision is only the first step toward congregational renewal and change. Olu Brown outlines four critical steps necessary to make that new vision come alive — convening a team, sharing a new narrative, asking questions, and not being afraid to fail. Read more now.

When Is the Right Time for Strategic Planning?

Whiteboard markers

Susan Beaumont says strategic plans are meant to guide stable organizations through long periods of adaptation. In seasons of disruption and disorientation, other leadership approaches are more appropriate to spur adaptation. Read more now.

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Lewis Center resource

Discovering God’s Future For Your Church

Discovering God's Future for Your Church

Discovering God’s Future for Your Church is a turnkey tool kit to help your congregation discern and implement God’s vision for its future. This comprehensive resource guides your church in discovering clues to your vision in your history and culture, your current congregational strengths and weaknesses, and the needs of your surrounding community. Discovering God’s Future for Your Church includes engaging videos, leader’s guides, discussion exercises, planning tools, handouts, diagrams, worksheets, and more. Learn more and watch an introductory video now.

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About Author

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The Lewis Center staff has assembled and edited this material.