Sam Rockwell

Do you ever feel that you once knew what you were called to do, but have gotten so consumed by it that you lost track of it altogether?

When you lose faith in what God is doing in you … you’ve lost faith. For all practical purposes, anyway.

I know what it feels like to “do ministry” and, by all visible accounts, still function as a credible leader. Yet because I had lost the direct sense of what God was doing in me, I was drifting and reacting to life, not engaging it.

Leaders like to talk on and on about vision, but, if you’ve lost vision for your own life, you can’t effectively inspire others toward a dream. In fact,
I think if you attempt to lead like this for too long, it exacts an emotional and psychological toll. Focusing on personal vision may seem narcissistic, but it is not. Jesus calls us as persons first, then as leaders. The order matters from the beginning, all along the way, and to the very end of our journeys.

Take Jesus, for example. The first thing He did after returning from the wilderness in Luke 4 was to stand up publicly and throw down the reputed gauntlet by asserting, in essence: “This is who I am, and this is what I do.”

Focusing on personal vision may seem narcissistic, but it is not. Jesus calls us as persons first, then as leaders. The order matters from the beginning, all along the way, and to the very end of our journeys.

Boom. Read the passage through, and you’ll see that Jesus was concrete in His words and crystal clear in His intentions. It is the proverbial “drop the mic” moment. Everything Jesus would ever do proceeded from this very personal declaration.

Do you ever feel, like I have, that I once knew what I was called to do, so I started doing it, got buried in and consumed by it, and then lost track of it altogether? Somehow the work of ministry piles up, rolls back on us, and we lose hope; above all things, you and I must have hope to offer hope. Hope is sustained, not in obsessing over the future, but in keeping an ongoing and positive relationship with it.

How? Deliberate and deep reflection, a process of looking back and looking within to see forward, is the discipline that God uses to sustain faith and hope within us. Imagining your future in vibrant detail, coupled with arranging practical preparation along the way, is the essence of faith and the sustenance of hope.

Imagine your life in six to eight years. Visualize vividly. How are you expressing your fiercest convictions and deepest joys? What does your personal life look like in detail? How does it feel? What does ministry look like in detail? How does it feel?

If these are questions you don’t have answers to, and you aren’t clear as to where God wants you to be in six to eight years, I have encouragement for you. There are many tools available. Take the time to walk through a leadership development plan, and I’m confident you’ll have a new outlook. Personal development isn’t just about acquiring new skills and knowledge; it’s about dedicating a portion of your life in an ongoing way to hope.

is supervisor coach of the Foursquare Church.
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