OneHope was birthed out of a vision God gave my dad, one in which he saw the children of the world being attacked by Satan, and the only way to rescue them was by giving God’s Word to every child. Today, we have reached more than 2 billion children worldwide with the Good News in partnership with local churches.
Through my dad’s testimony and my experience leading a ministry focused on the next generation, I know the importance of having a God-given vision and leading effectively with that mission in mind.
Here are three ways to be a vision-driven leader:
Embrace innovation When God gives fresh vision, He is prophetically moving His people to new action. A God-given vision is crucial, but it must be paired with innovation in order to stay relevant and effective. Striking a balance between remaining faithful to the vision and continually innovating toward the future is key to staying ahead of the curve and achieving success. In our fast-paced world, the one thing you can’t do is not change. I have seen firsthand what happens to organizations or churches that don’t change with the times—they get left behind.
Don’t get stuck in a vision trap Though having a vision is crucial, placing it in a rigid box can lead to stagnation and failure. Be open to new ways of achieving the vision, and don’t be afraid to pivot if necessary. I’ve known organizations with a similar vision to ours, but because they clung so tightly to what they believed that vision meant, they were scared to innovate their strategy, leading to their organizations going bankrupt. This could’ve happened to OneHope as well. We could’ve decided that because my dad’s vision included us physically giving God’s Word to every child, that meant we couldn’t move away from the printed word. However, finding ways to spread Scripture digitally grew our ministry exponentially in the last few years, and it allowed us to reach millions more children than we could have through using only print. It’s important to stay faithful to the calling God has given you, but being faithful doesn’t mean staying stagnant. History can guide us, but only the Spirit can lead us.
Test small Even though it’s important to respond quickly to new ideas, you also have to be good stewards of your resources. Taking risks will have a bigger negative or positive impact depending on your ministry’s size. Make sure that you have a solid understanding of your organization’s financial, physical, and human resources, and steward them wisely. A good way to stay fast but nimble is to establish a culture of experimentation within your organization in which small tests are conducted before committing to bigger initiatives. This way, there’s a safe space where failure is accepted as a necessary part of growth while still being good stewards of what God has given you and your organization. I like to do this in two primary ways; establish a cross-functional task force or empower a skunk works fairly isolated from your core activities.
It’s not always easy to know how to be a vision-driven leader throughout every season your organization confronts, but I pray that the principles above are valuable throughout that journey. By embracing innovation, avoiding the vision trap, and testing small, you can create a culture of growth while still remaining faithful to the calling. Whether you’re leading a small church or a global ministry, remember that every step you take toward fulfilling your God-given vision is a step toward transforming the world for His glory.