Phyllis Beveridge Nissila
Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)
In the world of business, a vision statement is the raison d’être of successful corporations.
It is formulated long before Articles of Incorporation are drawn up and signed, people are hired, lights turned on, and the enterprise goes live.
In other words, before vision statements show up in multi-media presentations in the marketplace of ideas and products, the words that power the entire operation and keep it focused are carefully formulated then expanded and adapted to influence everything from corporate culture to how the product is produced and distributed.
And in some outfits the vision statements are even made into advertising jingles that will hopefully remain on the brain for hours because repetition sells. (“It’s a good idea after all; it’s a good idea after all; it’s a good idea after all; it’s a good, good idea.” See what I mean? Especially If you’ve ever been on Disney World’s “It’s A Small World” ride.)
Vision Statements can take time to formulate but the effort is essential to success.
Examples include, say, “To be the best ever website on the subject of vision statements,” or “You got 50 flavors of X? Taste the rest!”
Or to zero in on my motivation for this post in the series, I’d craft a PVS like this: “To encourage you to keep your eyes on the prize, keep your eyes on the prize, keep your eyes on the prize, in such a time as this when our real enemy wants to steal, kill, and destroy.”
Here’s how I came up with this:
- A) Jesus Christ in my life;
- B) my assignment in the Body of Christ, as far as I can tell, is primarily as an encourager;
- C) I love to enourage people;
- D) I love to write;
- E) my “tag line” is “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14) and that means ALL of us in this time are involved (so you might need some encouragement, too); and
- F) when this dark, dreary, dangerous, devilish, depressing, disinformed, deceptive world starts to get me down (sometimes every twenty minutes) I look up to the Throne Room where NOBODY is distressed, where prophecy is ticking along exactly as planned and timed until all who put their faith in God will be forever united with Him and each other in paradise (beats the streets down here, eh?). Or else, I don’t know about you, but I would be sorely tempted to slap someone (or many) back here. Figuratively speaking OF COURSE.
- G) ALL OF THE ABOVE.
ANSWER KEY: G, as in God help us all, right? (P.S. He is and He will.)
EXTRA CREDIT: draw up your own Spiritual Vision Statement. Trust me, it will help keep you, as much as possible, sane, at peace, and above the psychological and kinetic operations going on and blowing up down here, and, most importantly, your personal SVS will strengthen you in the days to come.
For here is just one taste of what’s on God’s mind for you (and I) today, part of His “vision statement,” you might say, for all those who put faith and trust in Him:
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)
Based on just that one verse alone, how about an SVS something like this: “In a fearful, weakened, and hate-filled world, I will always remember that God has given me a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind.”
(Can I hear an “Amen”?!)
3 Tips for Writing Spiritual Vision Statements
- God owns the “open share” copyright to His Word, so use my own vision statement (the verse up top) or any of the tens of thousands of inspirational passages of the writers of the books in the Bible (but cite the specific sources so others may find them, too). Open to any page, read, think, pray, and see if there is some guiding light there for you. Psalms and Proverbs are great places to start. Additionally, the epistles (letters) from the apostles to the early believers that are included in the New Testament writings are nearly all advice driven.
- Ask others you look up to how they might view your ministry to the world, so to speak.
- Take into consideration your natural talents, favorite skill sets, educational and career paths.
Questions you might ask drawn from the Scriptures include: are you an encourager, like me? Helper? Preacher, teacher, evangelist, intercessaory pray-er, etc.?
Here’s a list of encouragement from the Scriptures specificallly for church leadership–but remember: we all lead in one way or another, if not in a denomination or church fellowship per se, we lead at home, at work, at school, in social gatherings, and in our neighborhood.
So don’t forget how you can “witness” in all those settings, too, where, believe it or not, maybe even just evidence of the fruit of the Holy Spirit showing through you as you put one foot in front of the other each day will/can lead others to Christ in ways you cannot imagine just now.
This fruit is: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23)–and I guarantee as we develop those in our spiritual maturation process, we will stand out more and more. Maybe even prompt others to ask, “How in the heck can you be so (fill in the fruit)? ARE YOU PAYING ATTENTION?!”
The bombs and bombastics of the world be damned. (Don’t worry, they will be.)
In the meantime, be encouraged, my friends.
We’re in this together–for each other and for the world that all may come to faith in and remain close to the only Way, Truth, and Life, Jesus Christ. He, Who is the true light of the world. As put in the Gospel of John (8:12):
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
P.S. Another way to express my PVS comes from the encouraging, teaching, and musical ministry of Dallas Holm and Praise: