A Visionary Christian Minister
By Pst. Kimbi
A pastor was extended a letter of call by a church in one of our villages and upon his arrival, he announced the destruction of the church building at the beginning of his ministry as his to be prompt fulfilled project in church without examining the people and finances of the church. This was a building project worth six million to be carried out in a village. A year passed with little resources put in place, but with the church structure destroyed and the Christians had no permanent place of worship. The project took more than ten years to be realized, even without the presence of this minister (pastor), while the church members have gone through a lot of stress/pressure. He was later despised because his project became a burden to the Christians. This happened as a result of lack of clear vision from the side of the minister. Every action has results. If you plant to please your own desire, you’ll harvest a crop of sorrow and evil. If you plant to please God, you’ll harvest joy and everlasting life. This paper will be talking about a visionary Christian minister.
Definition of Terms
Vision: According to Webster New Encyclopedic Dictionary, a vision is “something seen in a dream, trance, or ecstasy; especially: a supernatural appearance that conveys a revelation”. Visionary: Is one who has the ability to see a vision.
Christian: Is someone who has put faith, and trust in the redemptive work of Jesus Christ through his death on the cross, subsequent resurrection and is willing to live in daily obedience to God’s Word and Will.
Minister: The Camber’s English Dictionary defines a minister as, “one who administers or proffers, in service or kindness: one who serves at the altar: a clergyman”. Minister: to give aid (Webster’s clear type dictionary).
Therefore, a visionary Christian minister is one who has accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, has been call by God for a specific task and is willing to live in daily obedience to God’s Word/Will with a clear idea of how he envisions the future in alignment to the ways of God.
Read also: A Vision Takes Process
The Consequences Of Not Having A Vision
Many Christian ministers do not have direction and this has led many church members astray from the ways of the Lord, incomplete realization of church projects, lack of church numerical growth, and so many decadence experience in the body of Christ. Aubrey Malphurs in his book title Developing a Vision for Ministry in the 21st Century says, “Ministry without vision is like a surgeon without a scalpel, a cowboy who has lost his horse, a carpenter with a broken harmer. To attempt to lead a ministry without a clear, well-articulated vision is to invite a stillbirth. Churches without God’s vision are destined to plateau and eventually die.” This paper will seek to solve the problem of lack of direction most ministers have nowadays. A minister without a vision:
Doesn’t Understand the Value of Life
Value is the monetary worth of something or is the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something. King Solomon with all his wealth realized that everything is meaningless and came to a conclusion that the whole duty of man is to fear the Lord and keep his commandments (Ecclesiastes 1:1, 12:13).God created us for his glory (Isa 43:6-7). John Piper in his book title Don’t Waste Your Life says, “Your life will be of no value and wasted when you do not live for the glory of God”. A Christian minister without a vision wastes his life and lives only to please himself.
He doesn’t Live a Life driven by Purpose and Focus on God
Purpose is the reason for which God created you and consists of the central motivating aims of one’s life. The Bible says, “It is God who directs the lives of his creatures; everyone’s life is in his power” (Job 12:10). God created you and has a good plan for your life; “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me” (Psalm 138:8a). Rick Warren says, “Knowing that God created you for a purpose (to glorify him in all sphere of life) gives; meaning to your life, simplifies your life, focuses your life, motivates your life, and prepares you for eternity”. A Christian without a vision allows himself to be driven by things outside of God’s kingdom; “You Lord, give perfect peace to those who keep their purpose firm and put their trust in you” (Isaiah 26:3). He depends on himself, doesn’t bear that life is extremely brief and earth is only a temporary residence and thinks more about himself than others (Philippians 2:3-5).
Characteristics Of A Visionary Christian Minister
A visionary Christian minister has a clear, challenging picture of the future and believes he can/must attain his goal. Characteristic is a feature or quality belonging typically to a person, place, or thing and serving to identify them. Below are some qualities that distinguish a visionary Christian minister from an ordinary Christian and a natural man:
Rick Joyner says, “Steadfastness is the ability to keep returning to the course after a deviation is necessary until the goal is accomplished and to achieve this, the goal must be more powerful in your life than the multitude of external pressures that will try to deter you from the course”. A visionary Christian is unwavering and dutifully firm to accomplish his goal.
He Uses His Spiritual Gift(s)
God gives gift(s) to everyone at point of conviction through the person of the Holy Spirit to serve His people effectively. Charles C. Ryrie in his book title Balancing the Christian Life said, “A spiritual gift is primarily an ability given to the individual and there are numerous methods which these God-given gifts can be exercised example writing.” So a visionary Christian minister makes every effort to exercise his God-given ability for God’s glory and for the growth of his disciples.
He Understands God’s Concept Of Ministry
Gbile Akanni in his book titled Tapping God’s Resources for Life and Ministry says, “Ministry is simply an assignment, a task that the Lord has given a person to do, the biblical ministry is unique and if you do it according to God’s own pattern, you will not lack the resources necessary to accomplish it”. A visionary Christian minister understands that his ministry is not competitive but co-operative, and he focuses/depends on God wholesomely for success.
He Is A Catalyst
He is an agent of change, sees with the eyes of faith and knows what God has in store for them and passionately pursues it (Ephesians 1:17-18). Brad Lamenick in his book title The Catalyst Leader said, “Being a catalyst leader means you are working to identify, understand and pursue God’s unique call on your life with passion and patience. God desires for a sense of mission to burn within us, driving us forward”. A visionary Christian minister is future-focused, always seeking the Lord and where He wants to take him next. He is a dreamer of new possibilities and opportunities. He sees the need for change and lead that change by casting a vision.
He Is An Intuitive Decision Maker
A visionary Christian minister has discernment or “the spirit of wisdom and revelation” (Ephesians 1:17) that is, he knows how to read people and situations without having complete facts. John C. Maxwell in his book title Developing the Leader Within You says, “A leader sees more than others see, sees farther than others see, and sees before others do. He knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way”.
He Inspires A Shared Vision
James M. Kouzes in his book title The Leadership Challenge says, “Leaders have a desire to make something happen, to change the way things are, to create something that no one else has ever created before”. A visionary Christian minister cannot command commitment, only inspire it. He knows his constituents and causes his followers to see the need to pursue a particular goal.
The Importance Of Having A Vision
A visionary Christian minister with a vision would live to glorify God with his life by making disciples, preaching the good news to the poor, binding up the brokenhearted, proclaiming freedom for the captives and releasing from darkness for the prisoners, who will grow up to maturity serving the Lord for God’s glory (Matt 28:19-20, Isa 61:1). Having a vision places a purpose upon your goal-setting activities. A vision gives you a clear path to follow and walk on. A vision helps you to set small attainable goals as stepping stones. Vision aids decision making and helps you maintain focus. It helps to attract, motivate talent, and gives hope/confidence to your followers. A vision bridges the present with the future while establishing a standard for excellence.
OVERCOMING CHALLENGES AND OBSTACLES OF VISION
Obstacle is something that impedes progress or achievement. Solomon stated in Proverbs 29:18, “where there is no vision, the people perish”. Every vision comes with challenges and obstacles. Where there is ignorance or rejection of God, crime and sin run rampant. To eject ignorance and sin from amongst people, requires efforts from a visionary minister. In order for nations and individuals to function well, people must know God’s ways and keep his rules. Dr. Myles Munrone in his book title The Principles and Power of Vision says, “Vision is the source of personal and corporate discipline, your vision determines your destiny”. God created each person with a unique vision and it comes with its challenges like; fear, disappointment from subordinates, busyness, imitations, distractions, and expectations from people who give in little. Stephen R, Covey in his book title The seven Habbits of Highly Effective People says, “If there isn’t deep integrity and fundamental character strength, the challenges of life will cause true
motives to surface and human relationship failure will replace short-term success”. So to accomplish your vision as a minister, you need to maintain your integrity and stay focus.
Overcome the challenge of compromising your God-given message and mission. Continually seek ways to reach your generation with the Gospel of salvation by faith through Jesus Christ and it would lead to church growth. Rick Warren says, “Ensure that the church grow warmer through fellowship, deeper through discipleship, stronger through worship, broader through the ministry, and larger through evangelism (Acts 2:42-47).” Don’t allow tradition, finances, programs, buildings, events, seekers, to influence your message and mission but remain focus on God.
Read also: Waiting on the Lord
As a visionary Christian minister, be wholesomely committed to serving the Lord in all aspects of life seeking to bring Him glory. Give yourself fully to the Lord and the goal he has set before you. The Lord will reward you as; you understand the value of life/live in fulfillment, evangelize to others, stay focused on your purpose, compromise not in your God-given assignment, and serve with excellence for His glory (Revelation 22:12, 1Corinthians 9:24-25). Be determine and ready to say at the end of your service like Apostle Paul, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, (2Timothy 4:7-8a).”
- Akanni Gbile. Tapping God’s Resources for Life and Ministry, Gboko, Nigeria, Peace House Publications, 2011.
- Akanni Gbile. Tapping God’s Resources for Life and Ministry. Gboko, Nigeria, Peace House Pre-press, 2011.
- Chamber’s English Dictionary. W and R Chambers Ltd, 1990.
- Covey Stephen R. The seven Habbits of Highly Effective People. (25th Anniversary Edition)
- Joyner Rick. Leadership the Power of a Creative Life page 104, Morningstar Publications, 2008.
- Kouzes James M. The Leadership Challenge. Jossey-Bass, 1993.
- Lamenick Brad. The Catalyst Leader. Thomas Nelson; Int edition, 2013.
- Malphurs Aubrey. Developing a Vision for Ministry in the 21st Centurity. Barker Books, 2015.
- Maxwell John C. Developing the Leader within You. Thomas Nelson Inc, 2005.
- Munrone Myles. The Principles and Power of Vision. Whitaker House, 2003.
- Piper John. Don’t Waste your Life, Published by Crossway Books, 2003.
- Ryrie Charles C. Balancing the Christian Life. Moody Chicago, 1994.
- Warren Rick. The Purpose Driven Church, Published by ZONDERRVAN, 1995.
- Warren Rick. The Purpose Driven Life, Published by Zondervan, 2002.
- Webster’s Clear type Dictionary. Thomas Nelson Inc., 1976.
- Webster’s New Encyclopedic Dictionary page 2065, USA, Published by Federal Street Press, 2002.