Welcome back to Season 1, Episode 5 of the Convene Podcast. This week, Greg Leith sat down with Brad Dacus from the Pacific Justice Institute. PJI's mission is to defend religious freedom...without charge, and they’ve been doing so since 1997. In this episode, they discuss questions like: How do you boldly stand for Christ in the center of the workplace? What is legal and what is off-limits in terms of evangelism? What are the laws regarding how a Christian CEO leads his or her company?
Then the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie, though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” - Habakkuk 2: 2-3 (NKJV)
What’s vision has God given you for your business? How can you ensure that your team members understand the vision?
We know that the word vision is generally defined as the power of seeing; discernment; something seen in the imagination, in a dream, or in one’s thoughts. A vision statement describes the long-term aspirations of a company and offers direction for the organization by encouraging behaviors that are consistent with the achievement of the corporate mission.
Mission vs. Vision
A mission statement communicates what an organization is doing and a vision statement communicates where it is going. Your mission and vision statements should not be mutually exclusive. Accomplishing one should not preclude achieving the other. Both should be able to coexist. Your vision statement should describe a state that is a natural progression to a Higher level of excellence from the core business focus embodied in your mission statement.
Just as God reveals His mission for us, He will also reveal His vision for our lives and businesses. Vision originates from God (Acts 2:17; Ezekiel 11:24-25). The Bible says that “where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18, KJV). All of us must have a goal that is meaningful and exquisite to strive for—a dream, a vision.
The 8 Steps
The book of Habakkuk provides excellent guidelines and practical principles for putting your God-given vision into action. Let’s begin with Habakkuk 2:2-3, where God provides detailed instructions for imparting your vision. For instance, He says that your vision is:
- To be written down or recorded (v.2).
- To be made plain so that others can understand it (v.2).
- To be shared with other individuals (v.2).
- For motivating others toward a common goal (v.2).
- To be acted on or implemented (v.2).
- For a specific time in the future (v.3).
- Not to be discarded (v.3).
- Fail-proof (v.3).
Follow the above steps and principles as you as you identify, design, and communicate your vision. And, do not be overwhelmed if God gives you a vision that the world has not yet seen.
When God gives the Vision, He also offers the Provision
Be encouraged! When God gives you the vision, He also gives you the provision that you need to accomplish them (Psalm 37:5). He will give you all of the necessary resources—both tangible (e.g., professional contacts and financial resources) and intangible (e.g. grace and favor)—to make what you envision a reality.
When God gives us a vision, He not only supplies the provision, but He actually goes ahead of us to prepare a way for us to accomplish His will (Exodus 23:20; Matthew 11:10; Isaiah 45:2-3). Just as God strategically placed a mysterious man to help Joshua lead the children of Israel (Joshua 1:1-9; 5:13-15), He will also go ahead of us to place people and resources to help us on our journeys.
Just as “Jesus increased in wisdom, stature, and favor with God and men” (Luke 2:52, NKJV), the same can and will happen for you and me. Trust God’s infinite provisioning and allow the Spirit of God to work through you (Matthew 10:19-20).
Whatever God calls you to do, pursue it wholeheartedly with the confidence that you will achieve it “for He who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23, NKJV; Numbers 23:19). As Jesus says, “Because of your faith it will happen” (Matthew 9:29).
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of age. - Matthew 28: 19-20 (NKJV)
The term purpose is generally defined as intention or a reason for being. Your reason for being. God created all of us, including His Son Jesus, to glorify Him. Jesus acknowledges this when He prays: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You” (John 17:1, NKJV). Therefore, our purpose as God’s sons and daughters is to glorify Him so that His “name may be declared in all the earth” (Exodus 9:16, NKJV).
On the contrary, the term mission is typically defined as an important assignment, vocation, divine calling or personal ministry. Your divine assignment. Your personal calling. Jesus is a perfect example of an individual who stayed focused on God’s mission for His life. Jesus followed God and the Holy Spirit as He pursued His ministry. Just as God anointed Jesus to do His work, He will also anoint you to do yours in the marketplace.
Your purpose precedes your mission. One way to frame this connection is to remember:
- Your purpose tells you why you were created (i.e., to glorify God).
- Your mission tells you how you will glorify Him (e.g., through your commercial initiatives).
Our Collective Mission
Jesus tells us that just as God sent Him into the world to spread the gospel, He (Jesus) sends us into the world to spread the gospel. He declares we are to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15, NKJV). This is our ultimate collective mission as believers. For us as Christian business leaders, this means that we are sent to spread the gospel of Christ in the business world.
Identifying Your Personal Mission
In my book, Revelations in Business: Connecting Your Business Plan with God’s Purpose and Plan for Your Life, I share a step-by-step process for how to identify your individual mission and connect it with the mission of your business. And, the first step is to begin from within. If you have questions regarding exactly what your calling is as an individual, then the answers are easily accessible. The answers lie within you.
When you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, God actually anoints you with the same Holy Spirit with which He anointed Jesus. “This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves” (2 Corinthians 4:7, NLT). This is reinforced by Jesus as He declares: For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you (Luke 17:21, NKJV).
The Bible reinforces the fact that God’s Spirit lives within us in many passages including the following:
- “But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him” (1 Corinthians 6:17, NKJV).
- “And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living with you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who lives in you” (Romans 8:11, AMP).
- “That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us” (2 Timothy 1:14, NKJV).
Ponder the following questions:
- “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16, NKJV).
- “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19, NKJV).
- “Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?” 2 Corinthians 13:5, NKJV).
Because God’s Holy Spirit resides within each one of us, you only need to look inside yourself to God, Who resides within each of us, to discover your divine mission. Pray for His revelation, direction, wisdom, and power to discern the mission that He has ordained for you.
Ever notice that heroes always have a mission? Without a mission, there simply is no hero. In comic books and superhero movies the mission often involves “saving the world” or “saving millions of lives from disaster” or some other dramatic quest. Businesses and organizations often have mission statements that ideally translate into “missions” that drive and influence day-to-day behaviors and choices. Heroes in organizations are those that significantly advance the mission. Steve Jobs, Cheryl Bachelder, Jeff Bezos, Sir Richard Branson, Ewing Kaufmann might be good examples.
Then there are heroes that have a national mission such as our military veterans, Presidents (e.g, Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy), Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Ghandi.
We have religious heroes who advance and defend their faith — the saints, the Pope, Billy Graham, pastors.
Parents and grandparents theoretically have a mission related to raising their children. If done well they are viewed as heroes. “My mom is my hero.” “My dad is my hero.”
Who are your heroes? What was or is their mission? More significant … WHAT IS YOUR MISSION?
Define and state your mission … and BE A HERO!
If you don’t get this right a lot of things will happen and none of it is good! Planning, in my view, must be strategic, deliberate, premeditate, calculated, considered, and intentional. We are admonished to do everything decently and in order.
My question to you is, “How do you know what direction to take unless you plan it out?”
If there was one I believe that these people, among others, would be included in the “Planning Hall Of Fame”; those that planned strategically as they sought to carry out God’s vision for them:
1] Jethro, Moses father-in-law, mentored Moses to appoint officials over the people of Israel and had them serve as rulers to judge over the people. [Exodus 18: 17-27]. I view Jethro as history’s first organization development consultant.
2] King David knew his role in the planning for and staging of the resources needed for the building of the temple and left everything needed for Solomon to complete the building of the temple.
3] Nehemiah made careful preparation and plans for the rebuilding of the Wall around Jerusalem.
4] The apostle Paul developed a strategic missionary strategy of proclaiming the gospel and establishing churches in centers of commerce from which believers could take the gospel to outlying villages.
5] Jesus Himself was a planner. Reading the gospels I get the clear sense that Jesus operated intentionally. He was clear about His identity, His mission, and deliberately went to places like Caesarea Philippi just to ask the disciples, “Who do you say that I am”. He could have had that conversation anywhere but he intentionally traveled a long way to just to ask that question; “Why”, is the subject of another blog.
Additionally as the time approached for Jesus to complete His mission, he moved intentionally toward Jerusalem in order to complete His Father’s mission for Him. He knew His plan and was able to declare, “It is finished”.
Jesus gave the disciples a vision, provision and a plan to reach the world when He told them, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Throughout biblical history Godly people have been planners and strategic about it. Prayerful and thoughtful analysis and preparation are the keys in designing for success in the work of God.
Questions that support the need for planning include:
- “Who are we?”, is about mission and purpose
- “Where are we?”, is about analysis
- “Where are we going?”, is about vision
- “How are we going to get there?”, is about planning
- “How are we going to pay for it?”, is about cash flow generation and management
- “How are we doing?”, is about implementation and measurement and Course correction
The purpose of planning, which is the Business of Business, is to ultimately create a set of priorities that enable a CEO to act courageously and responsibly today in order to advance toward a God given future vision and legacy with an ever greater expression of God’s power in the marketplace. It is an intentional systematic effort to seek the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit in order to discern the will of God as we move into the future.
If a designated leader isn’t planning how can that person really be a leader? My experience as a business leader is that there is no substitute for good planning and preparation leading to efficient and effective implementation.
King Solomon wrote, “Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint”. Jesus says, “My people perish for lack of vision”.
Here is a question for you to ask of yourself, “What area of my life and business do I need to be more strategic about?” God wants to reveal to us not only what we are to do but give us the energy, will and determination to do it strategically, faithfully, and persistently.
“Four steps to achievement: Plan purposefully, prepare prayerfully, proceed positively, pursue persistently.” William Arthur Ward, inspirational writer
Here I am Lord send me!