Effective Ministry Part 3: VISION # 2

VIDEO LINK: https://youtu.be/l6iE0oKi3xQ

In the last session I talked about vision; today I will share more about vision since it is vital to an effective ministry. Some people tell me that they do not need to write down the vision because they are just led by the Spirit. This sounds spiritual but it is not the teaching of the Word of God:

(Habakkuk 2:1-2 (NKJV)
1  I will stand my watch And set myself on the rampart, And watch to see what He will say to me, And what I will answer when I am corrected.
2  Then the LORD answered me and said: “Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it.

There is no one better organized than God -just look at the universe to see how well organized God is.

I am concerned that some who say they are “being led by the Spirit” are just using that excuse as an excuse for not doing the hard work of planning with the help of the Holy Spirit.

We need to have a written vision so we do not get “vision shift”. Many people are led off track very subtly by listening to their spirit and not the Holy Spirit.

How do we get off track? One of the most common ways is a friend or someone comes into your ministry and says: “God laid it on my heart to tell you to do this…”

For example when Ginny and I purchased a building (an old restaurant) in Shelbyville, Indiana; well-meaning people came to us and said; with this building you should feed the needy and open a thrift store. We told them NO, the Salvation Army is doing that and we will support them, but God has told us to start a Christian Book store, a teen drop-in Center and a church.

We must do what God called us to do, not what other people want. We must guard against becoming people pleasers.

Many people will try to tell you what God saying to you, but let me be frank; if God wants you to do something , who do you think He will talk to first? You! He may send others to confirm what he told you, but He will reveal it to you first.

I like what TMCI Bishop Pele tells people who suggest that He should do something in his ministry that God has not revealed to him. He asks them, “Do you believe God wants that done?” And of course they say yes. He then replies: “Good, because He obviously has called you and He has revealed it to you and not me”.

Another thing that can get us off track is trying to make the vision happen too quickly. By doing this, we can let our flesh get in the way. I know this would never happen to you, but it happens to me.

God drops a vision in my spirit and I start off in my flesh to complete it. All of sudden, I am having nothing but trouble. I shout to the Lord, “Lord you told me to do this – what is the problem?” He tells me I am the problem, I need to come back for the instructions. I have learned that anything I do in my flesh does no good for me or anyone else. A lot of time is wasted by not spending quiet time with God daily.

Another thing that can get us off track is past success which can hinder growth. Build on the past, but do not stay in the past. We must not get complacent with where we are. Complacency is the enemy of greater success. In order to have a greater future we must let God move us on to new things. We disciple someone to take our place, so God can bring us to the next level.

God will, if we let Him, grow in us a bigger vision using our God-given gifting and passion. Let me give an example.

When I accepted Christ, God gave me a great love for his people. I wanted to help everyone to have a better life. My church took the time to ground me in the Word of God.

This put a desire in my heart to share that word with God’s people to make them more mature Christians and help them in their daily walk. Then God put me in leadership in our local church and I learned to not only love the people but to serve them.

Then when he moved our family to Indiana he put me in touch with Lay Renewal Ministries who had me do leadership training in many churches in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.

God took my passion to help others grow from individuals, to Bible studies, to a church, to many churches and finally the great privilege of serving you through TMCI.

The point is: your vision, when you start, you see in part, but as you are faithful with what He given you, He will expand beyond what you imagined. I think we believers tend to put God in a box, not realizing all that he wants to do through us.

One of the key to fulfilling your vison and having an effective ministry is to invest in yourself. Constantly grow in your gifts while keeping your passion for what God called you to do. You must be willing to spend money educating yourself to fine tune your gifts. We must never stop learning. God loves a teachable spirit.

It always blesses me when I read in a monthly report of someone who has received a degree or invested in their education by going to a school to fine tune their God-given gifts or of those people who take the time to go to a successful ministry to learn their principles so they may improve their ministry.

There are many good resources that will help us improve our gifts and fulfill God’s vision in our lives.

Next time, I want to talk about bringing a team around you to help fulfill the vison. I will share some ideas on how to attract and keep volunteers.

Be blessed,
Bishop Bob Coulter

Suggested book: Put Your Dream To The Test by John C. Maxwell