Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Do you agree with Dr. Gary Collins about "How to Evaluate Your Vision"?!

Let me know what you think of this list?!


Each vision is unique, but clear, God-given visions will have these similar characteristics:

Consistent with Scripture. No vision from God will violate any biblical teaching. Every vision for an individual or organization is consistent with God's plans as recorded in God's Word.

Consistent with your spiritual gifts, values, and passion.

Worthwhile. God-given visions are worth living for, sacrificing for, committing to, and maybe even worth dying for.

Clear and concise. They are easy to understand, remember, and communicate.

Characterized by high ideals. Every good vision must include commitment to excellence, integrity, respect for people, and similar values.

Ambitious. The best visions will guide, often amaze, and move people forward toward something much better than the status quo.

Scary. God-given visions can be life-changing, pulling us out of our comfort zones, instilling awe, stretching us beyond what we may see as our limits.

Unique. Does your vision really reflect who you are? If people who know you well are surprised by your vision, you probably don't have the right vision. And if your vision is the same as everyone else's vision, something is wrong.

Compelling. Visions feel right. They excite, motivate, and generate enthusiasm. The more you reflect on the vision the more you are convinced that this is what you have to do. If your vision brings a "ho-hum" response from others, something is wrong. If it doesn't inspire you, forget it. Visions that don't inspire aren't God-given visions.

Gary Collins, Helping Others Turn Potential into Reality: Christian Coaching. (NavPress, 2001): 126. [Dr. Collins is a licensed clinical psychologist and author of more than 50 books.]


Karen said...

I love this piece on evaluating your vision.

I DO agree with Dr. Collins!

As I read the post, I loved reading each section and my feeling my excitement build as I realized that he was describing where I am right now.

I have just completed the LPCCI training and am finishing up the criteria required for my certification.

At the same time, I am also still in the process of being coached as a client by an LPCCI Coach. The process has unfolded with very much the same questions along the way in the coaching regarding a vision that I feel God is developing in my heart.

It is very encouraging to see a list that will be a tool to help me to remain biblically accountable to evaluating the vision that God has placed on my heart in such a way that He is glorified...a way that is consistant with scripture.

I know that only when my vision meets these characteristics, will I be able to carry out that vision with a heart that is sincere in desire to do the will of God.

Thank you for posting this. I am grateful :-).

Kim Lawson said...

I agree with Karen. I too love this piece. I also agree that Dr. Collins is right on target with this evaluation list. It will be a tool I use now and in the future to evaluate the vision/visions God gives me for ministry.

CoachKyna said...

I do like this list. I've even copied it for a current client who is still working out her vision and was in process of writing her "master mission statement"! She,too, loved it. Gary Collins always writes such accurate and concise material on the topics he selects. I have found throughout my counseling career that I have bought and read a number of his books. They tend to be like mini-encyclopedias! Thanks for sharing it, Katie! ~Coach Kyna

Anonymous said...

Surely vision should be bigger than one's self and scary too. That's why I have to train myself some faith exercise.

Dr. Collins is brilliant when he described what vision is. It is like a step by step guidance to walk through, like a check list of things I need to work on and overcome before I reach my destination of the vision given by God for my ministry.

Thanks Katie for sharing this with us.

lyerrick said...

This is a great article and very useful in helping people understand exactly what a vision is. I agree with Dr. Collins' description of these characteristics. I wonder, however, if sometimes things aren't as "clear" for us because we are so clouded with our own stuff? "Scary" is definitely a characteristic to address - changes are hard, even when they are better!

Thanks for sharing this information!


danaestewart said...

I found in reading Dr. Collin's article that I had to print it out and disect it before establishing my level of agreement with his thoughts. The reason is that overall, I agree with the larger point he is making about vision, but there are a few areas that I would argue.
I understand that each vision is unique in that God creates each human being uniquely. At the same time I also believe that there is no such thing as a brand new idea. God speaks the message to many people around the world in order to have his kingdom purpose established, so it's not truly a unique vision, it's simply lived out through a uniquely created human being.
I also paused when Dr. Collins suggests that visions are clear and concise. I agree with this when it comes to communicating a vision for something to another person. My experience however, is that God gives me a big vision that feels uncomfortable and muddy, mostly because it's outside my current paradigms and therefore not easily understood. It is by wrestling with what God is revealing that He brings me information and people with similiar passions that help shift my thinking or open my mind to new understandings. When that happens then the foggy vision becomes clearer and clearer until it's so clear that I can communicate it to others. God given visions that force me to change my way of thinking are scary, worthwhile, and biblically aligned, but not necessary clear and concise at the get go.
I also believe that in communicating vision we need to have a compelling story. Yet, we should not depend on other people's response to dictate the accuracy of the vision. Not everyone will be excited about what God is calling me or anyone else to do, so the "ho-hum" attitude may be caused by communicating the vision to the wrong person or not communicating the vision effectively, especially if the vision is outside of the box for the hearer.
I think some God given visions create debate and discussion as they create the environment for change to occur. So assuming your vision is wrong because people oppose the vision is a sad trick of the status quo.
I don't mean to harp on Dr. Collins. I do get his point and agree that in order to be successful in this world we need to develop these attributes around our vision, but not every characteristic (in my opinion) is an indicator of a God given vision.
Is that too critical a critique?