When you are looking to the future, you need to have a vision and know where you are going. Is your vision ambiguous? Do you need vision clarity? Take a minute to look at these eight ways to move from vision ambiguity to vision clarity in your church.


8 Ways to Move from Vision Ambiguity to Vision Clarity

1. Realize that people want (and are looking for) a vision.

Vision centers around a ministry’s direction. Most people want to visualize where the ministry is going. The vision provides the answer. Give them a mental picture to hold on to and look forward to.

2. Understand that most people seem to have a vision for the future of the ministry.

Even if it’s not stated on paper or as their “vision proper,’ those involved in a ministry will have at least a generic vision for where it is going. It may not be a good one, a clear one, or agreed upon by the leadership, but there is likely at least a generic vision there somewhere. It’s up to the leader/pastor to find out what the vision is for the WHOLE church and move forward with seeing the vision through.

3. Be sure to accompany the vision with a mission.

Before you set your vision statement, you must begin with a mission statement. (Make sure you know the difference between a mission statement and a vision statement.) Then, you can comprise the vision statement to accompany the mission statement. It expands it and gives it life.

4. Be able to define a vision.

What exactly is a vision? Many young pastors believe that it’s cool to have a vision statement. The problem is that they don’t know what a vision statement is. Many mistake a mission statement for a vision statement. I define a vision as a clear, challenging picture of the future of the ministry as you believe it can and must be.

Vision is a clear, challenging picture of the future of the ministry as you believe it can and must be. — @amalphurs


5. Understand the purpose of the vision, in contrast to the purpose of the mission.

The mission is a statement of where the ministry is going. The vision provides a further picture of the mission that must excite people about going there. If there is no vision, there might as well not be a mission.

6. Be aware of what a good vision looks like.

Be a collector of good vision statements, so that you have a feel for the vision results. Knowing what comprises a strong and effective vision statement gives you a foundation for where to start with yours.

7. Determine the length of your vision.

Should it be short or long? Andy Stanley’s vision is very short: To build a church that even unchurched people love to attend. That’s only one sentence. Rick Warren’s is at least a page in length. It’s my view that the latter provides more clarity than the former. So give yourself a page or two to move from vision ambiguity to vision clarity.

8. Finally, your vision is something you should carry around in your mental billfold.

Your vision should motivate your every move as a leader. It’s constantly with you and pushes you, as well as the congregation, to move toward Christ’s purpose for your church.

Having a good, clear, and succinct vision helps pastors and church leaders come together as one unified team as they move into the future. If you need to move from vision ambiguity to vision clarity, consider contacting our church vision consulting team. And if you don’t have a vision, make sure you get one….quick.


Dr. Aubrey Malphurs is the Founder and Visionary Leader of the Malphurs Group (a church consulting firm) and the Senior Professor of Leadership and Pastoral Ministry at Dallas Theological Seminary. He frequently writes on Pastoral Ministry, Church Leadership DevelopmentStrategy, and Vision and also serves churches and denominations as a Consultant and Speaker (The Malphurs Group church consulting team also provides Leadership Coaching and Sunday Secret Shopper Consultations). He is also a husband, father, grandfather, fisherman, and a diehard Florida Gator fan. @amalphurs | website