As I drove home from church the other night, the question hit me, “What is my worship ministry vision?” As I pondered, I realized my vision was too nebulous and incoherent to write down, even though I previously thought I was clear and concise. I am writing this article because I assume that some of you, like myself, are equally challenged in gaining, casting and executing worship vision in tangible ways.
Samples of Worship Ministry Vision
1. Twenty five percent of the people in the congregation will be arriving early to assure they don’t miss worship.
2. During worship, Christ will be revealed with such clarity that 25 people this year will make decisions for Christ by the witness of the worship alone.
3. As a worship leader, I will create a mature congregation of worshippers, so that there will be five fewer notes to the pastor regarding the musical genre.
4. Our worship ministry will write original music for the congregation and produce a CD of our 10 most influential original songs.
Here is a test to see if you should keep reading this article: Write down your worship ministry vision in its tangible expressions, how you will get there and what help you will need in less than one or two paragraphs. OK then, if you are still reading, we are alike—both needing to sharpen our spiritual leadership.
Let’s define godly vision as a compelling image of a better future that goes beyond our abilities and available resources that is empowered and directed by God. There are two important principles in this statement. First, vision compels. The difference between a slogan and vision is that while a slogan states something in a catchy phrase, it lacks the power to compel people to strive toward a goal. Vision does just that. Martin Luther King’s statement is rather unimpressive, but when he said “I have a dream today…” people thrust themselves behind his vision. Today, nearly 30 years later, people still do. His vision is empowered by people wishing to see civil reform in the United States of America. How much more powerful and compelling is vision when God empowers it?
The second important principle of vision is it goes beyond our current abilities and resources. A good example is Joseph. He was the least in his family, yet had big dreams that exceeded all expectations and certainly his resources and abilities. When we consider vision, we must remember we serve a God who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above what we ask or think in accordance to the power that works within us. There are limitless possibilities with God, but we tend to limit what we are willing to commit to when it come to vision. Have you ever downplayed your expectations to guard against possible failure? Most of us have. What does this say about us? When we downplay a God-given goal, we should realize that we are revealing our fear that God won’t come through or our fear we will be considered unspiritual if it does not happen like we expect. If we learn anything from David, it is spiritual maturity and leadership is not the lack of mistakes, but the commitment to believe God and reveal what He promises to do through us. Risky—yes. Faith building—you bet! Scriptural? Absolutely. We can have confidence in what God promises, as Ez. 12:25 says, “For I am the Lord: I will speak, and the word that I shall speak shall come to pass; it shall be no more prolonged for in your days… I will say the word, and will perform it, saith the Lord God” (KJV). Let’s ask ourselves if our confession of the future magnifies (a Greek origin word for worships) God.
How to Develop Your Worship Ministry Vision
Worship leaders must first accept the responsibility to lead. If Proverbs 29:18 is true, “Where there is no vision, the people perish,” then we must take the responsibility to gain vision for our ministries. Since most of us do not have revelatory gifts where vision comes quickly, we must be strategically purposeful with our vision-seeking time. Do whatever it takes to get alone with God and put yourself in the spiritual environment and attitude to receive input for your worship ministry vision. There is probably little need to warn you of an overactive imagination, yet you must consider thoughts that are much bigger than yourself. Gaining vision can take a long time, as Hab 2:3 suggests: “Though it (God’s vision) tarries, wait for it.” Let me emphasize that gaining a worship ministry vision may be the single most important part of your ministry if it is to flourish and bear fruit.
Write down your worship ministry vision
Hab 2:2: “Then the Lord answered me and said: ‘Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.'” As you receive the vision, write it down. Few people are gifted or graced with a complete revelation at one time. Therefore, write down as many details as you can. Sometimes vision comes in spurts, and we must allow it to unfold over time. Don’t be surprised if you gain more vision while writing…write that revelation/inspiration down, too. If God’s hand can appear and write on the wall at Belshazzar’s feast (Dan. 5), then we should allow Him the opportunity to use our hand to write on paper. Don’t worry about forming complete sentences or good grammar; simply take notes of what is revealed. Sometimes it is useful to make special notations of what is revealed prior and during writing.