The second imperative to making vision stick is to cast it convincingly. Once you have your vision in a form that makes it easy to communicate, you must communicate it in a way that moves people to action. In this section I’m going to give you a simple formula that will help you communicate your vision convincingly. This is not original with me. I pulled it right out of the Old Testament from the book of Nehemiah.
Around 444 BC, a Jewish man named Nehemiah was charged with the task of rebuilding the wall around the city of Jerusalem after it had lain in ruins for over a hundred years. The Jews living in Jerusalem at the time were content to live with the broken-down wall. Nehemiah’s compelling vision for their future changed their attitude. In this short but highly effective speech to the Jews still living in Jerusalem, we find a brilliant model for casting a compelling vision. As you read, look for three things: He defined the problem that his vision addressed.
He offered a solution. Then he followed with the reason why something had to be done and why it had to be done immediately.
Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.” I also told them about the gracious hand of my God upon me and what the king had said to me.
They replied, “Let us start rebuilding.” So they began this good work. (Nehemiah 2:17–18 NIV)
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.