By Callie Davis
Paper, glue, and markers lay scattered around the table as we crafted cards for the Church’s partner ministries. Laughing chatter filled the air as the two girls at my table filled me in on all the latest of the college experience (boy had a lot changed!). Eventually came the question, “So, what do you do?”.
I have the answer down pat. I’ve shared it so many times.
But they were so eager, so interested, so easily excited—I couldn’t stop. I had to tell them why it WAS so exciting and important. I couldn’t help but pull out the pivotal stories that had shaped why I stepped into this role. They had never traveled abroad and had limited experience with missions. “That’s terrible!” It had been too long since I had had such an engaged audience see the gaping wound of underfunding and how it was sucking families and ministry down.
You know what? They were right. Getting to do what I do, helping cast this greater vision that God isn’t limited by money, that our calling isn’t held back by funding, and that support raising is all about God calling people—not us begging for money…that is amazing. Getting the front row seat to see staff have hope and a re-inspired vision for what God could do with them and their ministry is amazing. Seeing the ripples of impact as one staff member catches the dream of being fully funded and seeing it impact their family, their team, and then all the people they minister to—that’s amazing.
It’s why I love my job, but day in and day out while I answer emails and organize and plan—the excitement seems distant. I am head down and just moving forward.
That Saturday as I sat in the Church lobby crafting, the vision got reignited. The next days and weeks following weren’t drastically different. My job hadn’t changed, but it was like someone had injected it all with a bit more purpose. I had been reminded why God called me to this, why this work is so vital, why I am so passionate about it.
I think we all can find ourselves head down and just plugging away. You are working towards policies and culture change that you have to fight every inch for. You are the one walking with staff after staff who are underfunded and overwhelmed and you are in the trenches with them. Don’t forget to lift your head up and look at the horizon, beyond your personal goals, beyond your professional goals, beyond your team’s goals. Look at what God is doing and where He is taking you. That is what fuels us.
I think one of the greatest values of sending out consistent newsletters to ministry partners is I am forced to be looking for what God is doing and telling the stories of impact and life change. Every month I am recasting that vision and passion. That responsibility to communicate with my partners is also a gift to me — to remember that God is at work in amazing ways and that I get to be a part of it.
“To make vision stick, a leader needs to pause long enough to celebrate the wins along the way. Celebrating the wins does more to clarify the vision than anything else.When you celebrate the right things, you are using the most effective form of vision casting.” -Andy Stanley
What’s celebrated is repeated— it’s not just about getting the job done. It’s about celebrating the progress, the wok God is doing and in doing so casting the big vision anew. As you are a leader of change and many of you are striving to offer upward leadership, casting vision to those in authority over you, tell the stories!
Keep that vision fresh.