Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do. (John 6:5, 6 NKJV)
Jesus had vision. When he looked at the people, he didn’t simply see a crowd. He saw a ministry opportunity. Great leaders not only see an opportunity for themselves, but their vision reveals opportunities for everyone involved.
There was an opportunity for God to be glorified. Jesus had the opportunity to solidify his claim as the Messiah. The people had an opportunity to see God at work, have their needs met, and glorify God. The disciples had the opportunity to exercise their talents and obedience, participate in a miracle, serve the people, and grow in their faith.
Jesus had ministry vision that perceived the internal needs of everyone involved. He also had a clear vision of his own abilities to perform the miracle and his disciples’ ability to participate. Simply put; he knew what he would do. He knew the outcomes. He knew how to position the crowd to receive and position his disciples for ministry success.
This clarity of vision creates expectations. When we are clear on our vision as leaders we develop healthy expectations for opportunities and success. We “see” or envision our teams, opportunities, and successes in the spirit even before they become a reality. We don’t have “pie in the sky”. Instead we have a compelling expectation that allows us to lead with confidence.
Whether you are leading yourself to life changes, leading a team, church, or business, take time to get a clear vision that allows you to lead with expectation. Here are some methods that have helped me in the past.
1. Look at everything. See every resource and opportunity from every angle to gain understanding. Vision always starts from where you are and then reveals where you will be.
2. Take inventory. As you look, make an inventory of skills, gifts, talents, key relationships, needs, and opportunities. It may help to do a quick SWOT Analysis (thats where you identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats).
3. See the path. Use all the information you’ve gathered like guardrails that give healthy limits and keep you centered on the vision. This will help you eliminate unrealistic expectations and minimize the likelihood of failure. This vision will help you determine how far to stretch yourself and/or your team to get great results without burning anyone out.