Richard Ray: Receive, share and follow God’s vision for your church

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Pastors often are put into a position to explain the vision God has given us. Just because we share the vision does not mean people will follow, at least not without an explanation. So, my question is: How does someone explain God’s vision in such a way others will follow and the Lord will be glorified? 

richard ray130Richard RayPastor Rick Warren lists seven ways to help others understand the vision. Explain: 

1. Who you are. 

2. Where you are going. 

3. Why you are going there. 

4. What it feels like to be going there. 

5. What people can do. 

6. How you are going to do it. 

7. What the rewards will be. 

“Vision-casting is an important part of your role as a pastor,” Warren states. “God has a vision for your church. Your job is to help your parishioners get behind that vision. You’ll need to communicate these seven things when you do that.” 

Although I appreciate these words of wisdom and instruction, I still find myself wondering why believers will not simply trust the one God has called to lead them. 

I understand some pastors have let their congregations down or have not lived up to the expectations of the church. But could it be this occurred only because the congregation never fully trusted in their pastor to begin with? Have we become believers who will follow their pastor’s vision for their church only when the church has dissected every part of the vision? Have churches lost faith in their pastor? Have pastors stop sharing their vision with the church? 

Scripture clearly tells us, “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18). Visions from God are necessary for the church to minister to this lost and dying world. It is not that the visions have stopped coming from God. It is the children of God who have stopped following the visions. 

Maybe we have forgotten what it is to follow a vision from God. In Acts 16:9-10, we are shown how a vision from God is followed: “During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’ After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.” Paul received a vision from God, he shared that vision with others and they all went at once to preach. 

texas baptist voices right120Pastors, I encourage you to receive the vision God has given you and share it with your church. Church, I encourage you to hear the vision God has given your pastor, and together go at once and preach. Do not let your church perish because you fail to follow the vision God has for your church. Receive the vision. Share the vision. Go and preach at once. 

Until next time, remember, the Lord has called you to serve, but he has not called you to serve alone. Visit our website,, for more information on how the Bivocational/Small Church Association can minister and serve you.

Richard Ray is executive director of the Bivocational/Small Church Association and director of missions for the Tri-Rivers Baptist Area. You can reach him at

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