There is one thing constant about life. Change! Change is the only thing we can count on happening every single day. If change happens every day, imagine how much change a ministry can go through each year. Change seems to happen more rapidly when you have an aligned team working toward one goal moving toward the ministry vision. As one part of the vision is worked out, other things shift and need to be addressed in order to keep the momentum and to not lose the already accomplished gains. Vision, the establishing of the goal, is something that might happen once or twice. Re-visioning is the thing that keeps the vision moving forward. Re-visioning, or putting people in place to deal with the progression of the overall vision, is necessary for continued ministry growth.
A Vision to Rebuild
Jerusalem laid in ruins. The city had been burned to the ground. The people had been scattered. The walls had been destroyed. And Nehemiah was distraught about the lack of possibilities for his people. While many of us focus on one of Nehemiah’s goals, rebuilding the wall, I think we miss that his overarching vision was to rebuild the city. The city of Jerusalem included the wall and the gates but it also included the safety, grace, peace, prosperity, and posterity of the Israelite people. If Nehemiah was going to complete the ultimate vision, he was going to need to re-vision and re-vision again.
Gather the Resources
Nehemiah’s overall goal was to redeem the grace of the Israelite people. His first project in doing so was to rebuild the wall and gates that protected Jerusalem. He asked King Artaxerxes for time, money, and letters to accomplish the rebuilding. He gathered everything and everyone together to fulfill this portion of the vision. The rebuilding of the wall started. Nehemiah separated his team to different parts of the wall and the gates. They were resourced and organized. As the work continued, the tide shifted.
While Nehemiah had been provided with resources to accomplish the vision, the re-visioning forced Nehemiah to come up with a plan to deal with the opposition that ensued. This re-vision required that Nehemiah further separate his team, implement more team leaders, and make shifts of workers and watchers to protect what had already been done. He had to re-vision the strategy that was being used so that they could still move toward the overarching vision. He had to give away more authority and influence. He had to expand the capacity of this team. He had to re-vision the span of work that was needed to not just complete the task of rebuilding the wall and the gates but for the rebuilding of the city and the people.
Change with the People
As the team continued to work, Nehemiah noticed that the needs of the people were changing. This required Nehemiah to re-vision one more time how to strengthen and rebuild the city and the people of Israel. The wall was built. A solution had been provided to deal with the opposition that threatened the strengthening of the city. But Nehemiah knew if the city was to be strong, which was the overarching vision, he had to re-vision how to care for the needs of the people. The Israelite people had to be healed from the wounds of the past, taught how they should live, encouraged to do right, and strengthened to believe in themselves and their God all over again. Nehemiah was able to rescue Israel from disgrace because he was able to vision, re-vision, and re-vision again the needs of a nation.
[bctt tweet=”Nehemiah knew if the city was to be strong, which was the overarching vision, he had to re-vision how to care for the needs of the people.” username=”orangeleaders”]
A Lasting Purpose
Vision gives us purpose. Re-vision keeps that purpose relevant and timely in an ever-changing world. Nehemiah’s vision wanted the Israelite people back in the city while being safe and strong. Nehemiah’s re-vision of protection against opposition and meeting the people’s needs made sure that the vision would be long-lasting.
In nextgen ministry, our vision is to influence the faith of the next generation. In order to do that we have to continually re-vision the needs of our kids, students, and parents. How can we equip them to grow in their faith? How can we address relevant issues going on in our communities? How can we continually motivate the leaders who serve in our ministries? If these are the concerns of today, how can we anticipate the concerns of tomorrow? Without re-vision, vision dies! With re-vision, vision can live and be multiplied to influence the faith of not just the next generation but generations to come.
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