The Bait and Hook – Vision a Critical Ministry Tool

While visiting our Pastor tonight who loves to fish and hunt he took the men out to the “man cave” to show them his arsenal and fly tying stations.  As you can well imagine the men came in with stories of the great collections, the bear skull, the antlers and the weaponry.  Getting them to refocus and talk about some ministry issues was no easy task.  The Pastor made a joke that if it was not about fishing he was not going to tune in so I responded with “we need to set the bait on Sunday”.  Well not only did I get a chuckle but I got their attention too!

This proves the point I want to make – bait gets the attention, when the bait holds their attention they go for it which allows the hook to be set.  What in the world am I talking about you ask.  Vision – oh I know if you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times BUT many of our Pastors and church leaders today either do not understand the value of vision or they don’t know how to cast it with the right bait.

A well prayed over, thought out and properly executed vision generates hope, excitement and peaks the interest of the congregation – leaving them wanting for more.  A well executed vision creates moment and prepares people for the works that you are going to take on.  It becomes the pulse and heartbeat of the ministry so that all areas of the church are working towards the same goals.

People follow leaders who confidently move towards goals and Pastors who passionately follow God’s plans for the church.  People are not interested in being stuck and the Bible is clear about Christians needing to constantly grow and change.  Being apart of an entity which has goals, is changing and growing spiritually helps individuals to model that in their own lives.

When you cast a vision with accuracy and grace people want to get involved – now here  is the HOOK when people get invested in a cause, become a part of the vision, when they taste ministering to others for Christ and being a part of something God has planned the hook gets set.  Healthy Christ followers are active Kingdom builders, they will either keep investing in the church they are a part of or they will go out into the world wherever God calls them to minister.

Either way they have caught the vision, become motivated and are now investing in the Kingdom.

We once worked with a Pastor who created a “Wow” vision plan.  We spent hours dreaming and documenting what ministries would look and feel like when operating at their fullest God empowered potential.  Then he went back over it, prioritizing and creating steps for the areas that needed conquering first, planning the steps to be taken to reach the goals.  Over the next several years he allowed the vision of a church running to its potential in all areas to drive everything that was done, and one ministry area at a time he cast visions and set hooks.  7 years later the church has been transformed – reaching out to the community in valuable ways, serving needs and discipling the congregation which has grown form 40 to approx 300-350.  What an honor it was to help with this vision and what a great deal we learned about the value of centering a vision on Christ’s plan and casting it effectively.

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