The Great Commission provides leaders with a good example of how to arrive at a vision.
Example of mission growing out of your purpose.
If we go behind the Great Commission, we find that Jesus wants disciples of all nations because “God so loved the world” that He sent Jesus to bring all who would believe and follow Him into a relationship with Himself (Jn. 3:16). This is the purpose behind the mission – to demonstrate His love (Rom. 5:8).
God sustained His mission because His mission wasn’t His purpose. His purpose was to demonstrate His love for the world. God so loved the world that He did what it took, even the death of His Son. He went all the way in His pursuit, still seeking people to this very day (Lk. 15). He’s even withholding the final judgment to give more people opportunity to turn to Him so they don’t perish (2 Pet. 3:9).
So often we start out well doing what we claim to be our mission but fizzle out along the way. Very likely that’s because our mission isn’t deeply rooted in our purpose. We may not even know our purpose. We need a strong grasp of “why” not just “what” in order to maintain motivation.
Be able to concisely state your mission.
How much simpler could Jesus have stated the mission? — Go and make disciples of all nations. Jesus not only simply stated the mission but He also provided a clarifying example or demonstration by the way He had served among them that certainly made an impact.
Perhaps we let our mission grow out of our purpose but people aren’t coming on board or quickly forget. Very likely that’s because we haven’t put it in a format they can easily remember. Sometimes we complicate things by our cleverness or creativity. Or, inconsistencies distract people, pulling their attention off the mission.
Cast a vision for how you will accomplish your mission.
Jesus not only stated the mission, what we’re to do, but also how to do it. He gave a two-fold vision statement for how we are to go about making disciples of all nations:
- baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit
- teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you
Sometimes we may not forget or fizzle out in doing what we claim to be our mission, but we might be characterized as floundering. Very likely that’s because even though we might have a grasp of the purpose behind our mission, we don’t develop a well thought out vision for how to get there. We just do what seems good or right at the time and make it up as we go.
Set and work on specific goals that will bring the vision closer and closer to fruition.
Jesus didn’t provide details about baptizing and teaching when He gave the Great Commission but the rest of the New Testament helps to fill in the gaps, showing specific goals His followers had as they went and made disciples.
Just because we go through the first three steps in this process, doesn’t mean we will accomplish our mission. Very likely that’s because we haven’t gotten beyond talk and statements put on paper. We need specific ways to measure if we’re getting there, goals we work on that break down the vision into tangible means of accomplishing it.
Certainly we should want to fulfill our mission, not fizzle out, forget, or flounder.