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Life Vision

Introduction

“Life Vision” is a tool to help you assess all of the resources God has given you—spiritual gifts, character, abilities, interests, formative experiences, and material possessions—so you can evaluate how you can minister to others’ needs. This tool will guide you in developing a ministry vision in every area of your life—in the world, in the church, and in the home.

In each of those areas, you have particular roles. A role is a specific position or set of responsibilities a person holds. For example, in the world you may be both an engineer and a chairperson for your Neighborhood Watch Association, while in the church you are a Sunday school teacher and a missions committee member. This tool will help you identify a vision for ministry in your various roles.

The “Life Vision” tool begins by taking inventory of all the resources you have been given. Then it leads you through a process of evaluating your various roles and the needs of others around you in each role. You’ll develop a ministry vision for several of your main roles. Your vision statements will help you focus on styles of relating that meet needs you have the resources to meet. Finally, this tool will help you set action steps for each ministry vision statement.

You’ll do the “Life Vision” exercises in private. Each exercise provides instructions. To illustrate the type of response expected for each exercise, there are sample completed worksheets written from the perspective of a fictional character. The same fictional character will be used in each exercise so you can see continuity from one exercise to the next.

In addition, there are several spiritual discipline exercises scattered throughout. These give you a chance to exercise a spiritual discipline that relates to the corresponding “Life Vision” exercise.

You’ll get out of the exercises what you put into them in terms of the amount of time and attention invested. This process can be a significant time for you to increase your understanding of your ministry as an ambassador for Christ.

Though “Life Vision” may be used profitably by individuals, it has been designed for small-group interaction. Sharing with the group will help solidify your vision for ministry in each area of your life. Also, group members can provide accountability for one another to follow through on the action steps and help each other reevaluate ministry vision in the future.

Personal Inventory, Part I

In parts I and II of “Personal Inventory,” you will assess who you are in order to see the resources you have to serve others. In part I, you’ll record observations about your spiritual gifts and character. In part II, you’ll note your abilities, interests, formative experiences, and material possessions. In some categories, you may have a great deal to record. In others, you may have little to record. We have provided examples to help you understand what is meant by each category.

Be honest about yourself. There is no pressure to come up with talents or skills that seem impressive. On the other hand, don’t fail to record aspects of yourself that seem too secular or irrelevant to ministry.

Spiritual Gifts

Spiritual gifts are personal resources that God has entrusted to you. They are used mainly in the church or among another group of believers rather than among unbelievers. While there is much debate regarding lists of spiritual gifts, the following list includes gifts that are broadly accepted:

• Exhortation

• Service

• Teaching

• Encouragement

• Giving

• Leadership

• Mercy

• Administration

To begin the process of identifying your spiritual gifts, reflect on Romans 12:1-8 and 1 Corinthians 12:1-31. Assess what gifts you have in light of the Scripture reading, counsel with other believers, and past experience. The questions on pages 78-79 will help you do this.

If you have limited experience in ministry, you may not have much to write in response to the questions. If you are unable to give any response to certain questions, keep them in the back of your mind to consider after you have gained some firsthand experience in ministry. If you are completely unclear about your spiritual gifts, you may skip this section and go on to the “Interests” section. Later, when you have more experience in ministry, you may find it helpful to come back to this section. If you have any questions about what spiritual gifts are or what a particular gift is, ask your small-group leader or pastor.

    1. What aspects of ministry do I enjoy doing? (For example, leading a third-grade Sunday school class, participating in an evangelistic outreach program, giving practical help to small-group members who need help.)

2. What aspects of ministry do others enjoy or benefit from when I am doing them?

3. What aspects of ministry have I been affirmed in by others in the community?

4. When I look at the church today, what do I see as the church’s greatest need?

Record your spiritual gifts on page 80. Indicate not merely your areas of giftedness but also how you most enjoy exercising your gifts. Here are some examples:

• Teaching: I enjoy teaching lessons to third-graders and seeing them learn biblical narratives and principles.

• Administration: I have enjoyed doing administrative work at the Pregnancy Center at my church.

• Service: I like preparing the sanctuary for worship on Sunday mornings.

• Mercy: When someone I know is in the hospital, I like to visit the person or provide meals for his or her family.

• Encouragement: I’m the person people call when they need someone to listen to a problem and care for them without being too quick with advice.

• Giving: I am fulfilled when I can help financially with special needs of youth ministries in our city.

My Spiritual Gifts

Character

Understanding the issues that help you live by your convictions or hinder you from doing so can guide you in choosing how you’ll live as a minister of Christ daily. Character strengths and weaknesses, along with personality issues, are important to bear in mind as you think about what you have to offer through service to others.

On page 81, describe the key aspects of your character. Record your past character weaknesses. For instance, maybe you’ve struggled with lying at your workplace or home, or perhaps you’ve had a poor work ethic in a position that gave great flexibility in your schedule. Also, record your character strengths. You may have had success honestly communicating your concerns with your boss while refraining from gossiping about her to coworkers. Or you may have remained committed to fulfilling your responsibilities as a parent in spite of opportunities to move up the company ladder by working longer hours.

Finally, record issues that relate to your personality, including those that affect how you tend to relate to others and do your work. For example, perhaps you like to work on tasks as a team rather than alone. Or perhaps you tend to seek resolution to conflict or tend to ignore conflict. These are not necessarily character strengths or weaknesses but rather personality traits. The following are examples of character:

• I ask questions in order to hear others, understand their needs, and serve them in appropriate ways.

• I stay committed to revealing my intentions, desires, feelings of deficiency, and personal failures to my spouse and a few close friends.

• I’m most motivated when I work with others.

• I avoid having a public or private meal alone with a member of the opposite sex.

• I limit extra commitments to the extent that I can be readily available to my spouse and kids.

• I take my complaints directly to a person rather than speaking about them to others.

• I increasingly avoid my tendency to think that my solution is always the best solution.

• I realize that what seems most productive and effective is not always what is best according to ethical principles.

• I restrain myself from becoming angry too quickly.

• I make time in my schedule to gain a biblical perspective on life and ministry.

• I focus on a few priorities that I can do excellently rather than on too many priorities that I can’t fulfill well.

My Character

Personal Inventory, Part II

You will continue with your personal inventory by recording observations about your abilities, interests, formative experiences, and material possessions. These are additional resources out of which you can serve others. Take your time recording as much as you can in each area. Even qualities that may seem irrelevant to ministry can be offered in service to others.

Abilities and Interests

Your abilities include both natural talents and learned skills. Record things you do well, whether you do them in your occupation, at church, or around the house. An ability may be a natural propensity to make people feel at ease or to make them laugh. Or you may be able to coordinate events effectively. Maybe you can type ninety words per minute. You may have developed the expertise to manage finances. Whatever your abilities are, even if you think they are trivial or irrelevant, record them on page 85. We have provided some examples, but there are many talents and skills not listed here that may apply to you. The following examples might help you identify your abilities:

• Analyze a large amount of data and provide a useful summary

• Make a space beautiful or comfortable

• Coordinate people and resources for events

• Create something artistic

• Revise and edit written documents

• Pack and store items in an organized and efficient manner

• Make people feel welcome and comfortable

• Act in dramatic productions

• Make wise decisions in the midst of great complexity

• Motivate or encourage others to start something new or stay committed

• Perform a trade (carpentry, landscaping, electrical, farming)

• Teach children or adults through a curriculum

• Manage financial resources

• Perform musically (vocal or instrumental)

• Probe or analyze in order to address quality control or integrity

• Manage and follow through with details (office administration or household management)

• Think of innovative solutions to problems

Consider your past experiences and current circumstances to also identify your interests. Record your valued interests on page 85 as well. As with your abilities, these areas may seem irrelevant to ministry. Record them anyway. They may include an interest in car maintenance and repair, fashion, sports, investments, community service, or collections (such as coins or art).

Your interests may or may not be related to your occupation. For instance, you may be an electrical engineer yet have great interest in the stock market, or you may be a nurse and be interested in video production. Also, your interests may be areas that have a direct relationship to ministry, or they may not seem related at all. This list of interests might help you come up with your own:

• Learning and using new technology

• Leading small-group discussions

• Managing finances or resources

• Experiencing cultural diversity

• Helping those who are poor and homeless

• Equipping believers to be effective witnesses in their workplaces

• Playing and coaching sports

• Enabling foreigners to adjust to American culture

• Helping with musical or dramatic performances

• Providing manual labor for setup or cleanup for events

• Camping and experiencing outdoor activities

Abilities and Interests—sample

• Fishing: I started fishing as a kid and continue my love of fishing with my wife. We fish several times a year at local lakes.

• Implementation and problem solving: I can efficiently figure out ways to reach a given objective. At work, whenever there’s a change in our line of products or our procedures, I can figure out how to overcome obstacles and make things run smoothly.

• Budgeting: I’m good at working with our home finances, determining how we can make wise investments with our savings, and keeping our spending within good limits.

• Baseball: I have a share in four season tickets with a friend. My wife and I like to go with several other couples and do tailgate parties before or after the games.

• Technology: I have always been good at working with technology, whether it’s repairing appliances around the house or building computers from parts. I can learn how to use new technology quickly.

• Landscaping and lawn maintenance: I have come to enjoy the manual labor involved in and sense of accomplishment gained from working in my yard. I have redesigned our landscaping with plants and flower beds. It gives me a chance to be outside after working in an office all day.

• Cookouts: If we aren’t at a ball game on summer weekends, we love to invite friends over to our place for a barbecue. We sit on our back porch and enjoy the conversation and good food.

My Abilities and Interests

Formative Experiences

Next you will record some of your most significant experiences that have shaped you into the person you are. These past experiences are a fundamental part of you and can be resources from which to serve others. Formative experiences include significant relationships and life-changing events or time periods. The following are examples of formative experiences:

• Spending every afternoon of my elementary school years with my grandmother, a godly Christian woman who struggled with chronic pain, increased my desire to encourage and support those who live with pain and illness.

• Failing to make the basketball team as a junior in high school led me to develop my interest in music.

• My parents’ divorce when I was in college has marked me with anxiety about marriage in my future.

• A learning disability has made me struggle with my confidence and ability to contribute whenever I’m in a new environment.

My Formative Experiences

Material Possessions

Jesus often addressed the issue of money and possessions. For example, in Luke 18:18-30 we read about an interaction between Jesus and a rich man, with the discussion revolving around the man’s wealth. Private property is of great importance in Western culture. The question for us is whether or not we hold our possessions and money loosely and let God use them in service to others.

Make a record of your material resources. Don’t worry about the monetary value of your possessions, but think about how you can use things such as your home, vehicles, finances, food, land, or other material possessions to serve others. Here are some examples:

• Two spare bedrooms in our home

• A small fishing boat

• An old Chevy Suburban (used for tailgate parties and fishing trips)

• An old desktop computer

• A large back porch and yard ideal for parties and gatherings

• Half ownership of baseball season tickets

• Deluxe, oversized barbecue grill

My Material Possessions

Spiritual Discipline Exercise—Hospitality

One of the disciplines widely recognized in the Christian tradition is the discipline of hospitality. “Personal Inventory” provides an ideal opportunity to ask yourself, How can I give of myself to others? Consider intentionally hosting some people to enjoy a meal at your house, in your backyard, at a park, or at a restaurant. Treat a person or group of people to a casual, refreshing time. Maybe God will bring someone across your path this week whom you can invite—an old friend, a new acquaintance, or a former coworker. Or this may be the time to invite someone with whom you have wanted to get together. Write down your plan for hosting and whom you will invite.

Roles and Needs

In this exercise, you will identify the roles you hold in the three primary contexts of ministry. Roles include being an employee, a husband or wife, a father or mother, a church member, a citizen, or a participant on a team. In the first column on pages 91, 93, and 95, list all of your roles. Then in the second column, write down the needs you observe in that role. The following questions may be helpful as you think through the needs in each role:

  •  What issues do other people commonly complain about in that role? (“There’s never enough water on this job site,” “I can never find the forms I’m looking for,” “This closet is totally disorganized.”)
  •  What important tasks are always neglected? (“The trash cans never get emptied,” “The details of the project are never adequately addressed,” “The instructions are never adequately communicated.”)
  •  How do people need to be treated? (“Nobody helps me when I have questions,” “New employees are rarely introduced to the group,” “Nobody ever asks me how I’m doing.”)

Ask others for their thoughts about needs in your various roles. For example, you may ask your spouse what needs she thinks your kids have, given their personalities. Or you may ask a fellow believer in a similar industry about the needs in his workplace. You may call another member of the group to ask her opinion. In these ways, you may discover needs in your own roles that you haven’t considered before. Please review the following sample charts before filling in your personal information.

In the World

Roles Needs

In the Church

Roles Needs

In the Home

Roles Needs

Ministry Vision Statement

This exercise is both the hardest one to complete and the most important. You will write a personal vision statement for your most significant roles. These vision statements will paint a picture of what you want your ministry to look like in those roles.

You will work with one role at a time and review the needs you identified in that role. Your first step will be to compare the needs you identified in the “Roles and Needs” exercise with the resources you identified in the “Personal Inventory, Part I” exercise. Try to match the needs with your resources. This process can be put in the following terms:

I will minister as a [your role] by meeting the need(s) of
with my resource(s) of _.

Some people find this step of matching needs and resources to be motivating. They find it helps them develop a vision statement. Other people are more intuitive. They prefer to come up with a ministry vision without deliberately thinking through their resources and the needs. Instead, they may approach their ministry vision by answering the question “What will I want other employees to say of me when I move on?” or “What will I want my kids to say of me as a father?”

Both approaches are helpful. Even if you take the more intuitive approach, it is imperative that you go back and think about how your vision meets needs in that particular role and confirm that you have the necessary personal resources to offer. Both approaches—the more broad-strokes, intuitive approach and the more methodical approach of matching needs with resources—will help you come up with a good vision statement. If you initially take the methodical approach, you should also think about what that will look like in the end. Will that vision be compelling to those you hope to serve? Will it contribute to spreading the knowledge of God and building up others?

For examples of developing ministry vision statements, read the following four case studies. The first two case studies use the context of ministry in the world. (Thinking about ministry in the world is often harder than thinking about ministry in the home or church because you are often restricted from serving explicitly as a representative of Christ. This will be evident in the first two case studies.) The third and fourth case studies will involve ministry in the church and in the home, respectively.

Bruce the Basketball Coach

Bruce is a high school basketball coach who notices that many of his players have no father figure or male role model. He tries to spend time with them himself, but he can do only so much because he also teaches and is married with three kids at home. Bruce’s experience with the Big Brother and Big Sister mentoring programs as a college student makes him think that his players need some sort of mentoring. Bruce considers the possibility of establishing a mentoring program for his players.

Through his relationships with members of the athletic booster club and his involvement in the community for the last eight years, he knows plenty of respected men in town who could be mentors. He has administrative skills and extra time in the summer to organize the process of connecting student-athletes with respected adults in the community. Bruce puts together a vision by matching his resources with an identified need. He comes up with the following vision statement:

“I will serve as a high school basketball coach by meeting the need for male role models in my players’ lives by establishing a mentoring program of respected men in the community. Whenever the opportunity arises, I will share with others that my motivation to serve my players in this way comes from my relationship with Christ.”

Notice that Bruce’s vision for ministry in this case study adds an entirely new dimension to his role as a coach. This will not be true for each ministry vision (see the case of “Kim the Corporate Cubical Worker” below). Also, notice that there is nothing explicitly Christian about his mentoring program, because he works at a public school. Rather, the Christian element of his vision is in his own motivation to be a witness by the manner in which he is a basketball coach. He hopes the way he fulfills his role will lead to many opportunities for him to share about his faith with his players, their parents, and members of the community.

The overarching command for every believer is to love God and love others (see Matthew 22:37-40). The question each of us must answer is “How?” Bruce has already committed himself to loving his players as their coach. The issue is how he can do so to the best of his ability with all of his available resources.

In addition, notice that Bruce’s vision statement doesn’t address how to implement his vision. In his action steps, which he will develop after he solidifies his vision, he will address the following questions: How will I communicate this program to the athletic director? What do I need to do to get permission to start the program? How will I communicate the program to my players? What will be the standards for determining whether or not someone is a “respected member of the community”? What will be the guidelines for their mentoring relationship (where they should meet, what they should discuss, and so on)? The answers to these questions will be the action steps. You will deal with action steps later.

Kim the Corporate Cubical Worker

Kim has been working at the I.M.A. corporate headquarters for four years. She has noticed that new employees who are single struggle to settle in to both the company and the community. Because the company is located in a family-oriented suburb, many employees happen to be married with children. While Kim has learned how to enjoy leading a single life in the company and the community, she has observed many singles who have left before discovering the opportunities and activities that she found over time.

Kim is committed to having an excellent work ethic and integrity in her relationships with coworkers. However, she feels she can serve new single employees informally by taking the initiative to invite them to join her and her friends in many of their activities and social events (dinner parties, church singles gatherings, concerts at the park). Kim’s inclination to find out about such opportunities and her past experience in the community give her the resources to serve in this way. She is also highly extraverted and makes people feel at ease and welcomed. She has developed good friendships with men and women so that she can invite both to gatherings without either feeling uncomfortable. Kim’s vision statement is:

“I will intentionally serve new single employees at I.M.A. by helping them adjust to the community. While I hope to serve their felt needs for experiencing a sense of community, I hope that I, my friends, or exposure to any church activities they may attend also will cause them to be drawn to faith in Christ.”

Kim’s ministry vision does not require her to add any new component to her life. She is merely trying to develop a ministry vision within the normal aspects of her life in the world. Her vision simply adds a level of intentionality and initiative with others, yet this added initiative can have significant impact on those new employees.

Ted the Church Attender

Ted has been attending Grace Church for three years. He went through the membership class and consistently gives money to the church. He realizes, though, that he hasn’t once served anyone else in the church with his time and energy. Ted hears an announcement at a service that volunteers are needed to help with the church’s caregiving ministry. This announcement makes an impression on Ted because he helped care for his uncle for several years until his uncle passed away last spring. Ted’s uncle lived close by, so Ted visited him several times a week and dropped off any groceries or medications his uncle needed. His patience with his uncle surprised even Ted.

Although Ted doesn’t know his spiritual gifts, he calls the church and asks to talk to someone with the caregiving ministry. Within a week, he joins another church member on visits to some of the elderly in the church, helping out in any way needed. Ted decides that his ministry vision statement is:

“I will serve in whatever capacity is needed for the caregiving ministry at Grace Church with an attitude of learning. I hope my service will encourage others who share in the ministry and that my service with the elderly will lead them to belief in Christ or growth in their faith.”

Ted’s example comes from the church context. Notice that Ted is convicted to take on a new ministry role at his church. You may realize there is a ministry role you should be involved in but are not. Take time to ask God if He wants you to be involved in a new ministry role.

Also, notice that Ted’s vision statement is simple and unrefined; he merely wants to jump in and help out in any way. Later Ted may refine his vision statement to focus on a specific area of service within the caregiving ministry. Perhaps he will identify that his most significant area of service is in administration or in facilitating a caregivers’ support group. But for now, a general vision is fine.

Judy the Aunt

Judy and her husband of fifteen years have been unable to have children. Judy’s sister, however, lives nearby and has two boys and two girls. Judy’s nephews are ages eight and twelve, and her nieces are ages ten and fifteen. While Judy has seen the kids during family get-togethers at Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, and the Fourth of July, she has never spent much time with them outside of those large gatherings. Judy decides she wants to develop a ministry vision for her relationship with her nieces and nephews.

Because Judy and her husband have an extensive social life, she realizes she will have to be willing to sacrifice some of her normal commitments. But one of the reasons she feels committed to her new vision is that she has long wished that she’d had an adult Christian mentor when she was a teenager. Her nieces and nephews, she notices, don’t have any adult mentors.

While she has had no experience mentoring teenagers, at work she has developed into a manager known for her ability to provide wise counsel and support for new trainees. She hopes she can learn to mentor her nieces and nephews in the same way. Her new ministry vision for her relationship with them is:

“I am committed to engaging individually with each of my nieces and nephews in order to demonstrate my love and be available to mentor them. In spite of my lack of involvement in their lives in the past, I hope that through consistent commitment to them and my testimony to Christ’s work in my life, they will be drawn to a relationship with Him.”

Judy’s case study is an example that isn’t typical for ministry in the home. Hers is a ministry to family members who don’t live with her but are nonetheless part of her family. The typical example for ministry in the home will be as a father or mother, husband or wife, brother or sister, or son or daughter. We offer this case study as an example for those who may not think they have much to offer in the way of ministry to family members.

Now that you have read through the case studies, begin to formulate your own vision statements. Start by identifying the one or two primary roles in each of your contexts, or settings—the world, the church, and the home. You have two charts for each context, although you may use just one if you have only one primary role in that context. (For example, maybe your only significant role in the world is your job.)

For each context (world, church, home), review the sample chart. Then, in the two empty charts, record the name of the role, needs in that role, resources to meet the needs, and a ministry vision statement. You will have a chance to revise your vision statements in an upcoming session, so don’t feel this is your only chance. Just focus on making a good first attempt at vision statements.

It’s also helpful to realize you are learning a process as much as you are establishing vision statements. Throughout your life, you ought to periodically revisit your vision statements (for instance, when you change jobs) to determine if your vision needs to be adjusted. In this way, you will learn and grow in your ministry to others throughout your life.

How do you want to fulfill your roles in the world? Remember always to pursue God’s glory above all else. As you seek to glorify God, celebrate the fact that He has given you unique abilities to do so. He has uniquely crafted you in preparation for your service to Him and His people (see Ephesians 2:10).

In the World—sample Role: Customer Service Consultant

Ministry Vision:

My vision is to provide opportunities for coworkers to gather in informal settings so that we can get to know each other better and increase our trust, respect, and friendliness. I hope that by offering my resources to increase interaction among coworkers, my relationships will deepen and I will have more opportunities to share my faith.

In the World Role:_______________________________

Ministry Vision:

In the World Role:_______________________________

Ministry Vision:

In the Church—sample Role: Accountability Partner

Ministry Vision:

I want to improve my relationship with my accountability partner by sharing more of our lives with each other. I hope that by doing more activities together, we will be more effective at understanding how to help each other in our spiritual growth in Christ.

In the Church Role:_______________________________

Ministry Vision:

In the Church Role:_______________________________

Ministry Vision:

In the Home—sample Role: Husband

Ministry Vision:

I am committed to learning to love my wife better by engaging with her in a focused way in our home life. I hope this vision will encourage and honor her in a manner similar to the way Christ loves me.

In the Home Role:_______________________________

Ministry Vision:

In the Home Role:_______________________________

Ministry Vision:

Spiritual Discipline Exercise—Scripture Memory

For each ministry vision statement, find several Bible verses that directly relate to it. If you have trouble finding verses, ask for help from a friend, a family member, or your pastor.

Write the verses on an index card and keep it in your pocket every day of this week. Put the verses in your car or on your bathroom mirror. Commit the verses to memory. When you are getting ready for the day, driving around doing errands, or taking a coffee break, recite the verses. Contemplate how they affect your vision for ministry.

Action Steps,
The World

In this exercise, you will identify tangible action steps for ministry in the world. However, before you work on action steps, you will:

1. Edit or revise your ministry vision statements.

2. Identify obstacles to overcome and sacrifices to make in order to attain your vision.

Take time to revisit your vision statements for ministry in the world. Revise or edit the statements in light of any feedback you received from others or new insights you have gained. Write your vision statements in the appropriate areas on pages 115-116.

Next identify any obstacles to attaining your vision. Record external dynamics that might keep you from attaining your vision. Add sacrifices you will have to make to attain your vision. Personal sacrifices are often what most hinder us from attaining our vision. If you are unwilling to make the necessary sacrifices, you need to reexamine your heart to determine whether you are truly committed to your ministry vision.

Finally, determine steps you can take to overcome obstacles and reach your vision. Make sure they are concrete actions by which you can evaluate yourself. The action steps will guide you toward realizing your ministry vision.

In the World—sample Role: Customer Service Consultant

Ministry Vision Statement

My vision is to provide opportunities for coworkers to gather in informal settings so that we can get to know each other better and increase our trust, respect, and friendliness. I hope that by offering my resources to increase interaction among coworkers, my relationships will deepen and I will have more opportunities to share my faith.

Obstacles and Sacrifices
  •  Competitive attitudes.
  •  Ongoing pressure of corporate culture to produce individually rather than as teams.
  •  People’s distrust of me.
  •  I need to choose to be committed to occasionally hosting parties with coworkers rather than always having parties with close friends from outside the office.
Action Steps
  •  Determine a date for a cookout party for coworkers at my home.
  •  Determine a date for a baseball tailgate party for coworkers, and find a location that is kid-friendly for those with children.
  •  Plan food, drinks, and activities that will be attractive to coworkers.
  •  Put together an invitation list and send out invitations for the events.
  •  As the date approaches for a gathering, begin to ask coworkers if they will be able to come and encourage them to do so.
  •  Arrange for all the food and drinks.
  •  Encourage coworkers to bring their families, friends, or dates so I can meet the important people in their lives.
  •  Pray that many coworkers respond.

In the World Role:_______________________________

Ministry Vision Statement
Obstacles and Sacrifices
Action Steps

In the World Role:_______________________________

Ministry Vision Statement
Obstacles and Sacrifices
Action Steps

Action Steps,
The Church

Repeat the exercise you completed in “Action Steps, The World” but this time think about ministry in the church.

1. Edit or revise your ministry vision statements for the church.

2. Identify obstacles and sacrifices.

3. Record action steps.

In the Church—sample Role: Accountability Partner

Ministry Vision Statement

I want to improve my relationship with my accountability partner by sharing more of our lives with each other. I hope that by doing more activities together, we will be more effective at understanding how to help each other in our spiritual growth in Christ.

Obstacles and Sacrifices
  •  Busy schedules: Because he has a busy home life with a couple of kids, it’s hard to find times and activities we can do together.
  •  Committing to spending time with him: I need to make him a priority by carving time out of my schedule.
  •  Different stages of life: I’m married without kids, whereas he’s married with two kids.
Action Steps
  •  Invite him and his family to go on a fishing trip with us.
  •  Offer to help him with his yard work and landscaping because he has mentioned his frustration with keeping his yard up.
  •  Invite him and his family to our regular tailgate parties and introduce him to our other friends.
  •  Help him figure out how he can improve his efficiency in his contractor business with new technology, such as computers and daily organizers.
  •  Find a book he and I can both read to find ways to address issues in each other’s lives in a more motivating way.

In the Church Role:_______________________________

Ministry Vision Statement
Obstacles and Sacrifices
Action Steps

In the Church Role:_______________________________

Ministry Vision Statement
Obstacles and Sacrifices
Action Steps

Action Steps,
The Home

Repeat the exercise you completed in “Action Steps, The Church” but this time, think about ministry in the home.

1. Edit or revise your ministry vision statements for the home.

2. Identify obstacles and sacrifices.

3. Record action steps.

In the Home—sample Role: Husband

Ministry Vision Statement

I am committed to learning to love my wife better by engaging with her in a focused way in our home life. I hope this vision will encourage and honor her in a manner similar to the way Christ loves me.

Obstacles and Sacrifices
  •  My difficulty at listening when there is great emotion.
  •  Immediately seeking a solution to her problem rather than engaging with her feelings.
  •  My preference to work on tasks by myself.
  •  My preference to do tasks by my own standards, not someone else’s standards.
Action Steps
  •  Ask how I can help her, and then be willing to learn the way she wants me to help instead of insisting on my way.
  •  Turn off the television and put away reading material when in conversation with her.
  •  Join with her when she is working on a task, such as cleaning up or cooking dinner.
  •  Every evening, ask how her day was and engage with her in the response she gives.
  •  Put aside anything I’m working on whenever she asks for my help.

In the Home Role:_______________________________

Ministry Vision Statement
Obstacles and Sacrifices
Action Steps

In the Home Role:_______________________________

Ministry Vision Statement
Obstacles and Sacrifices
Action Steps

Related Topics: Basics for Christians