This is part ___ (who knows) of my series about Mission, Vision, and How (Strategy). This is a practical series about these concepts. People who are much smarter than me have written about these concepts. This is just my view of how things sort out. Also; Trey is doing a series about the mission and the Bible; you should check it out.
The goal of this blog is to remain in surrender to the MISSION of Jesus, but I need to clarify the difference between mission, vision, and how.
In my last post, I talked about how to define the mission. You can’t read this post without the context of the previous post – so go there now.
Now, we need to talk a little about vision.
The working definition defined by Andy Stanley (North Point Community Church) is “a clear mental picture of what could be fueled by a passion that it should be.” (I’ve heard him say it a few different ways).
All throughout the Bible we see God giving people visions – a clear mental picture of what could be. You can look at Moses (a free Hebrew nation), Noah (a really BIG boat), Nehimiah (A rebuilt wall), Paul (a network of Churches), and many more. They all saw what could be, fueled by the passion that it should be.
Let’s take Moses for example – the mission wasn’t to have a free nation; but a nation devoted to God. The mission wasn’t to just get the Hebrews out of Egypt. The vision was to see the nation free from slavery and oppression. God got Moses and Aaron all jacked up (passionate) about heading to Egypt and ask for the freedom of the Hebrews. They saw a clear mental picture of what could be fueled by the passion that it should be. If you remember the story it all started with Moses surrendering to God. God takes our surrendered heart and drops a vision of what could be.
Let’s say that a basketball coach get’s his players to buy into the mission of the team (to win). The logical next step would to begin developing a stragety of how to win. This happens in all levels of sports, busniess, and Churches and it isn’t rocket science. The coach sees a clear mental picture of what could be, meaning he sees how the team could win, how to play the games, the practices, the plays, and the plans.
He sees the mission to win and the vision of how to win by running a full court press system or mixing up the starting line up. That is the difference; the mission is to win, and the vision is the how to win. Now it’s the how (strategy) that gets implemented by the coach and players. The strategy accomplishes the vision while surrendering to the mission.
Next time I will write about one of the biggest mistakes we often make when living out mission and vision.
By the way – I’m sure there are lots of thoughts on this topic. I’m not the source for learning about mission & vision; but I thought we might need to define the difference as we surrender to the mission.