Living in a city, I have always wished to own my personal farmhouse with domestic animals and the natural beauty of nature, which is hard to find in city life. Annually, when the weather was pleasant my father took us to Uncle's Jim farm when we were kids. The farm had many animals like cows, horses, goats, and chickens.
Chickens were the most in number. I always observed the caretaker had the hardest time herding chickens. He always said, "You really can't. If you try, they just scatter." But he had found a solution: give them a common focus (food) and they'll all come. It was a simple and reliable solution for him.
I think the same is the solution for youth or gathering people at church - not the food but the common focus and a shared vision for spreading God's word, for their lives, according to Bible.
"Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law" (Proverbs chapter 29 verse 18).
As a leader, you don't want to herd chickens. You aren't in the chicken herding business. So, why does it sometimes feel like that's what you are doing? As a leader, if we don't share a common vision, then no inspiration or ultimate goal is specified, and this makes it difficult for people to stick around and spread the word of the Gospel.
Not having vision results in disaster. The world understands this principle all too clearly. I may ask:
1) What business survives without a vision for the future?
2) What successful family exists without setting goals?
3) What government can so provide for the safety and freedom of her people without a vision of the future?
Leading any team
Leaders should have a vision and a mental picture of the future - it matters. Whatever the vision is, if people see and believe that it's giving value to themselves and others, they enjoy doing it. If people see and believe that getting there helps them increase or protect these core motivations, they'll pursue it. When everyone has the same vision, the same mental picture of the future, magical things happens.
The motivation of the team will increase the commitment and performance to many folds. The team knows where to end and where they can use their problem-solving skills and not simply rely on the line manager for further instructions.
I read about a company that had brilliant ideas and a great vision, but this was not shared with the team which resulted in frustration and the team feeling like they were being accused of failing a vision that they never saw or committed to.
The company leader's vision was clear. It was needed. But vision alone isn't enough.The leadership strategy to follow here is the process of learning to inspire partners to develop a shared vision. When we can accept that, then we'll find work (and life) much easier.
The recipe for the same inspiration is credibility and giving due credit to the team members. Shared aspirations mean always staying on the same page, whether it's with problems or in good times - and taking ownership of the credits and flaws of the team. The leader needs to be credible and trusted.
Those being led need to believe that their aspirations will be met through pursuing this vision given by the leader.
"Be therefore imitators of God, as beloved children. Walk in love, even as Christ also loved you, and gave himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling fragrance" (Ephesians chapter 5 verses 1-2).
Republished from Christian Today UK.