To cast a convincing vision, you have to define the problem that your vision addresses. For Nehemiah the problem was obvious. Jerusalem was in ruins! That was a problem for the Jewish people. But it wasn’t until he drew their attention to it and put forth a plan of action that they felt compelled to do something about it.

Every vision is a solution to a problem. If your vision doesn’t get traction, something that needs to happen won’t happen. A problem will continue to go unaddressed.To make your vision stick, your audience needs to understand what’s at stake. It’s the what’s at stake issue that grabs people’s hearts. Only a clear explanation of the problem will cause people to sit up and say, “Something must be done!” If your target audience doesn’t know what’s at stake, the vision will never stick.

So what problem does your vision propose to solve? Every successful organization—for profit or nonprofit—is viewed by its customers or clients as a solution to a problem. If you don’t believe me, Google “business solutions. ” You’ll get more than 440,000 results.Why? Because a business knows its future hinges on the perception that its product is a solution to someone’s problem. The same is true of your vision. Buy-in by others hinges on your ability to convince them that you are offering a solution to a problem they are convinced needs to be solved.

To cast your vision in a convincing manner, you need to be able to answer these two questions: What is the need or problem my vision addresses? and What will happen if those needs or problems continue to go unaddressed?

Andy Stanley, Making Vision Stick (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2009).

I have just completed a series of lessons based on the book of Nehemiah. They are available on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions, as well as part of my Good Questions Have Groups Talking Subscription service. For a medium-sized church, lesson subscriptions are only $10 per teacher per year. Lessons correspond with three of Lifeway’s outlines as well as the International Standard Series.