Give ’em an address!

“It’s hard to be excited when you don’t know where you’re going.”

Those words tumbled from my mouth this morning as Sherri and I were talking about our last day in Cincinnati.

Oh don’t get me wrong, we’re excited to move to South Carolina. We’re excited to serve God, love people, and lead the church in a new context. We’re excited to get back into the swing of ministry! There are a ton of things we’re excited about!

So what were we talking about that is “less than exciting”? Our house. The Penske truck will be pulling out of our driveway tomorrow with all of our stuff in it. We are headed to South Carolina… to stay in a Comfort Inn… until we find a house. We had “House A” and “House B.” Both fell through. And now, eight hours away from our new location, we have decided to pack, move, and locate our new home once we’re on the ground. Not ideal for sure, but it is what it is.

We were talking about the move and our current home, but when the conversation shifted to our new home, the atmosphere kind of changed. Why? Because we don’t know where we’re going! We don’t have any idea what it will look like… we just know we’re moving.

AND THEN IT HIT ME… LEADERS DO THIS ALL THE TIME!

We call people on a journey! We tell them it’s gonna be GREAT! We are excited! We are determined! We’ll spend money, invest time, make sacrices and take risks to get where we’re going… but the people aren’t always so excited.

They’ve heard the vision, “We’re gonna be…” or “We’re gonna do…”. They like the idea. They’re capable of spending money, investing time, making sacrifice, and taking risk… just like the leader. BUT they don’t know what the leader knows. They haven’t seen what the leader has seen. AND THIS IS WHY “VISION CASTING” IS SO IMPORTANT!

If Sherri and I knew what our new house looked like there would be nothing but excitement today! The truth is there is a bit of apprehension. Oh we’re moving. We’re taking risk. We’re going… but the journey would be so much more fun and the steps would be so much more confident if we had an address!

Leader! It’s not enough to tell the people “We’re moving to South Carolina!” They need an address! They need a picture! They need to know how many rooms there are in the new house! They need to know… and when they know it’s probable that their energy and excitement levels will begin moving right up the scale… just like yours!

A couple of ideas for giving people an address (i.e. helping them see the vision):

  • Time: they have to trust you! Sherri would not make this move if she didn’t trust me and your people won’t follow you if they don’t trust you! The best way to achieve trust is time! Spend time with your leaders. Listen to their heart and dreams! Show them you care about them by the time you invest in them! The investment of time will yield trust and when they trust you, they will follow you.
  • Sight: help them see what you see! Give them books that have shaped your vision. Take them on field-trips to the places that have helped shape your vision. Connect them with people who’s lives have been changed by a similar vision! Give them as much detail as possible about the destination! Leave as little as possible to the imagination
  • Action: Vision without implementation is hallucination! After a few hallucinations people will weary of your excitement and ideas. At some point you’ve gotta get started! Put the boxes in the truck and miles on the wheels! When people know the address enthusiasm for the destination increases as you leave the old and get closer to the new!

Give them an address and the journey will be a lot more fun!

What have you learned?

How have you successfully led people to a new destination?

If you had to do a leadership experience over again, what would it be and how would you do it differently?

One thought on “Give ’em an address!

  1. an address and picture is important, but so is a map of how you’re going to get there! Or at least a GPS that helps lead each step…and recalculates when you’ve run off the map or think you have a better way. Without it, you may spend a lot of wasted time wandering around, never reaching the new address.

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