Do you have a vision for something in your life? You should. In fact you should have a vision for a number of things - your spiritual life, your marriage and family, your vocation, and your particular area of ministry gifting. My guess is you do have a vision for a all these things, meaning you have some grasp of where things are currently and a hope for where they will be in the future. You see what is and have a picture of what could be.
So, I'm assuming you have some vision for these things, but here's my real question: Is your vision vague?
A vague vision is almost as unhelpful as no vision because you don't really know where you're headed, so you don't ever really know if you're headed in the right direction. So, how do we know if our vision is vague and if it is, how do we move toward clarity? Here are three questions to ask yourself, your wife, your kids, or your team to determine the clarity of your vision.
1. Can I clearly communicate it?
I have the privilege of meeting with a number of church planters on a regular basis in all different phases of planting their churches. At times I walk away from these conversations certain they have no idea what God has really called them to and others are so clear in the communication of their vision that part of me wants to join them. If you're going to lead anyone (your self, your family, your team, your church, etc) you must be able to articulate where you're headed. If the vision is foggy for you, rest assured it makes no sense to the people trying to follow you. So, can you clearly communicate the vision?
2. Do I have a strategy?
The difference between a vision and a mere idea is as simple as a strategy. Waking up one morning and thinking, "I want to grow spiritually this year", "I want a deeper level of intimacy in my marriage", "I want my kids to know Jesus", or "I want to plant a church" DOES NOT make you a visionary. These are just ideas until you put a strategy to them. Vision is about more than WHAT God's called you to do. Vision is just as much about HOW God's called you to do WHAT He's called you to do. How are going to grow spiritually? How will you better serve your spouse? How are you going to teach your kids about Jesus? How are you going to make the disciples in this church God's called you to plant? Do you have a simple strategy?
3. Are my next steps clear?
Being able to explain a vision and having a strategy to accomplish for accomplishing that vision are both for nothing apart from movement toward the vision. Inspiration without implementation is daydreaming. What do you need to do next? The move from where you are to where God's called you to be is made up of a series of next steps. So, are your next steps clear?
Do you have a vision? Can you clearly communicate it? Do you have a simple strategy for accomplishing it? Are your next steps clear? If we have uncertainty in our answers to these questions we have a vague vision. Let's do the hard work of finding the answers to these questions and getting clear about all God's called us to.