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Cultivating Ministry Vision

Cultivating Ministry Vision
 

No one loves the farm more than the farmer

Growing up I spent countless afternoons with my cousins exploring the fields, back roads and forested areas surrounding my grandparents’ house.  A neighboring farm belonged to a family connected to our home church.  The farmer, Mr. Martin was an old-school, die hard, all American farmer.  We used to hear stories of how he would work in the fields all day, well past sunset, and then sleep in the cab of his tractor.  At dawn, he would wake up and go right back to work.

When I started sharing that story of Mr. Martin with my staff, we coined the phrase, “No one loves the farm more than the farmer.”  I believe the same can be said of us as ministry leaders when it comes to vision for the ministry.  No one gets as excited or has as much passion as you do for your ministry.  No one talks about, promotes or champions for your ministry more than you.

Embrace your role and the vision

I used to think I talked too much about camp.  I even got nervous that people were getting tired of hearing me talk about all the great things God was doing at camp and where we were going next.  Over time, I realized that it is okay to be the farmer.  It’s okay to be passionate about the ministry’s focus. In fact, I’m becoming convinced that as ministry leaders we are the ones charged with casting, calling, and celebrating the vision.

VISION – the future hopes and dreams that will accomplish your mission.

As a visionary leader I tend to have two or three big crazy audacious ideas each week.  I love taking the mission God has given us here at Arrowhead, to impact lives and make disciples and dream big about what that could look like.  If I am not careful though, I can get lost in the clouds.  Even worse I can waste time working on an idea that is more of a distraction than God’s direction.

3 ways to tend the vision

I have found three ways of keeping myself grounded and using my time wisely, allowing me to be an effective visionary leader.  First, since I am never going to stop being excited about what God is doing here at Arrowhead, I strive to better communicate our mission and vision.

Second, I also find it helpful to work backwards.  A great question to ask yourself is this: “What is the ministry going to look like in five or ten years?”  Even better, “What do I want the ministry to look like in five or ten years?” and then a follow-up question is critical, “What do I need to do today, this week, this month to get there?”

Third, in an effort to keep myself from being unproductive, I have made it a habit to set goals.  The best kinds are the ones that are realistic and yet require hard work.  This is critical for me as a “dreamer” but more so for those I serve with who are not wired like me.

So love your “farm”, embrace the vision God’s given you with enthusiasm, and don’t forget to lead well. I encourage all you visionary leaders to…

  • Communicate your vision with excitement and clarity.
  • Reverse Engineer that vision to determine what needs to be done today, this week or this month.
  • Set realistic goals that require hard work.
  • Celebrate the vision as you meet your goals and accomplish the mission.

 

Ben Myers
Camp Director at Arrowhead Bible Camp
Ben Myers has served as the Camp Director at Arrowhead Bible Camp in Brackney, PA for the past 13 years. Arrowhead is a ministry committed to discipleship through its programs for adults with developmental disabilities, missions opportunities for youth groups, and mentoring of High School and College students. Ben also teaches as an adjunct professor at Lancaster Bible College and holds degrees from Cairn University and Baptist Bible Seminary.
  1. Jeremiah Dowling02-23-12

    Ben,

    I was always excited to hear about your ministry at Arrowhead. I was totally blessed the one time I got to visit.

    Thanks for the encouragement in keeping vision at the forefront of the mind. I think so often I get so caught up in my ministry that I forget to keep fueling the vision and keep assessing what God is doing, and might do in the future.

    Thanks again man!

    In Christ,
    Jeremiah

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