Leading the World by Supporting Christian Coaching

Visioning 101

by Dr. Rich Weigel, EdD

For many years I’ve been a huge proponent of the importance of helping individuals and organizations to establish a vision. Creating a vision is establishing the future solution to a problem that exists today. It is using your God-given insights to frame a picture of what the future can be. And in the multiple roles that I’ve had throughout my life, I would propose a vision for my role in the organization or when I was in charge, for the organization itself. Sometimes that vision played out well and at other times the vision was thwarted by people who either had a different vision or were threatened by mine.

The Bible proclaims in Proverbs 29:18, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” God gave his people the ability to imagine things that are not current reality. God gave you the power to frame a better tomorrow while still living within today’s realism. Vision casting empowers you to see what is not yet visible and that is an important part of being a Christian coach. You want to see the future for yourself and for your clients. You want to set a vision for yourself, and for your clients. You want to fix your eyes, “not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18)

Did Jesus have a vision? Of course he did and he clearly communicated that vision to everyone around him. (Matthew 6:33 (NLT) – Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.) Jesus knew who he was, what he was called to do, and he clearly had a plan, based on that vision, to help others to seek the Kingdom of God. But his vision for the future was upsetting to many people who were quite content to keep things just the way they were, and you best be prepared because that will happen to you too. Evil people will not like your vision for the future, and they will criticize or find ways to undermine it. Great visions attracts criticism, and they too often die because the vision-caster is not prepared for those attacks. But don’t let them stop you because a godly vision is an integral part of being a Christian coach.

A personal vision is the foundation for future dreams. Establishing a personal vision and following through by allowing it to be the foundation for goals, will empower the vision-caster to do incredible things. Without the clarity of that personal vision, a person may come to the end of his or her life and wonder if they’ve done anything of great importance. But when you and Holy Spirit work together to build a vision for yourself or others, despite the obstacles and questions that seem to have no answers, you set the path for influence, accomplishments, results, and successful relationships. Working toward a godly vision will also have eternal ramifications.

Now, back to the basics. Organizations always need an inspiring, focused, realistic, and well-communicated vision if they are going to thrive. That well-conceived vision provides guidance for decision making, attracts others, builds motivation, brings focus, prioritizes investment, and helps to define the culture. For example, the vision statement for Amazon is: “Our vision is to be earth’s most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.” Consider the clarity of that vision and how much of it has come to pass. It’s a very good vision statement.

But there are poorly conceived visions too, like this one; “To create a shopping experience that pleases our customers; a workplace that creates opportunities and a great working environment for our associates; and a business that achieves financial success.” Really? What are they selling? How will they measure pleasing their customers? What does it mean to have a workplace that creates opportunities? (By the way, this is from a grocery store chain.) That’s a poor vision statement and that company has struggled for many years.

Let’s look at another effective vision statement, (even though he called it a goal) made by President John F. Kenney in May of 1961 when he said, “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth. No single space project…will be more exciting, or more impressive to mankind, or more important…and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish…”

His vision was clear, inspiring, focused, unique, desirable, and easy to communicate. At that time there were plenty of detractors and the Soviet Union was leading the efforts in space. But Kennedy was undaunted by the criticisms and efforts to shut him down, and the people got behind that vision. It was a vision that put people on the moon and opened the door for much of the technology that is currently circling the earth. That’s the type of vision that effective leaders establish and work toward.

But Christian leaders take it one step further. They proclaim their vision with the support of God’s truth. For example, on August 28th, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King made a visionary speech, and while many people think they know some portions of the “I have a dream” speech, they often leave out his acknowledgment of God’s truth. He stated that he had a vision that his “four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Those are powerful words that inspire, and they are easy to communicate. But he also said, “I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.” (Isaiah 40:3-5) Dr. King’s vision was based not only on rectifying the problem of the day, but it was also inspired by the Holy Spirit.

When you create a clear picture of the future, you tap into the passion, excitement, and support of others because people want to be drawn to a picture of a better future. Therefore, as a Christian coach, you should always include God’s perspective in your vision. God backs up his word and the more your vision is aligned with his word, the more he is going to back it up. (Psalm 138:2b (NKJV) – For You have magnified Your word above all Your name.)

As a Christian coach, you want to have a strong vision for your future. You want to paint a picture that includes what you see for your future, but I encourage you to include some perspective of how your future impacts others too. And if your vision statement is limited to this life, then I encourage you to make some revisions, thinking long-term towards what you’re going to leave as a legacy related to God’s kingdom.

The power of the personal or corporate vision cannot be emphasized enough as illustrated well by both President Kennedy and Dr. King. Great visions build order, stimulate growth, bring focus, create momentum, protect unity, and boost productivity. A great Christian vision takes things to the next level, helping you and others achieve results that would be impossible without God’s help.

The Lord wants you to have a positive and uplifting vision for your future. As you establish your vision, make sure you’re including God’s insights to that vision because you want him preparing the path before you. A God-inspired vision may not come about as quickly as you would like, but when you keep God first and build a vision with him in mind, you’ll know that you’re working with the master planner who wants to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV) – For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.)

Rich Weigel has an extensive background in leadership with over twenty years leading school districts. In addition to establishing his new business as an Executive and Leadership coach, he was an adjunct professor for Olivet Nazarene University providing instruction for Strategic Leadership at the doctorate level. Rich has served as CCNI’s President since January 2020. He can be reached at proedcoach@gmail.com.

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