What Is a Vision Statement?
A vision statement is a great place for Satan to sit and wreak havoc and he is certainly doing a good job of it. This is why I use the word cattywampus to describe how the world sees vision statements, mission statements, core values and the mighty brand promise. So if you happen to be confused, tell Satan to get out of your business. I am praying that this article will help you gain some clarity.
A vision statement is a vivid idealized description of a desired outcome that inspires, energizes and helps you create a mental picture of your future. A vision statement is a short, portable, easy to understand, inspiring, empowering, detailed, people oriented, memorable, destination driven by demographic and a God-inspired target statement. Vision (Hebrew, chazon) is derived from chazah, “to perceive, to foresee.” It is sometimes a synonym for “dream.” The corresponding Greek word in Acts, horasis, means supernatural visions, usually meant to give a message to the public.
Go Big or Go Home
It is an oxymoron to say that vision is big; if it’s not big, then it’s not a vision statement. It is simply a statement. Or perhaps it falls into the mission statement category. Vision is the future while mission statements are the steps to accomplish that future. There are actually 7 types of vision categories outside of a vision statement and 6 of them are biblical. These categories include:
- Dream or Vision in the Night: Acts 16:9 God gave Paul a vision at night in his dream. Dream was for him to move on to Macedonian
- Trance Vision: Acts 10:10-16. Lord tells you symbolically what to do. Most common way God delivers a message to us when He can’t get through any other way.
- Vision Casting: Seeing outside ourselves with spiritual eyes vision-Acts 7:55. Seeing spiritual world with our spiritual eyes.
- Spontaneous Vision: Spontaneous on sought of an inner picture – Dan 4:13 light and gentle mental picture or name on your mind as you are driving home. Most common type of vision.
- Open Eyes Vision: This is a place and a need to have they eyes of our heart opened by the spirit so we can see the vision of God. Usually happens during prayer and worship. Seeking the Lord and expecting Him To fill you with vision and revelation. Scripture places great emphasis on lifting up your eyes and looking to see.
- Eyesight Vision: Seeing with your natural eyes “I have great Vision”
- Vision Statement: Clearly written image of your future. You can’t create anything if you don’t first have a picture of it. God planted a picture in Abraham’s heart. Gen 15:6. God came with a vision. Habakkuk 2:2 gives us a structure to build the vision statement.
- Seers Vision: Prophets were often called seers. These were people who saw into the spiritual world and future events. Daniel was a seers prophet as was Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.
Vision Statements are Different from Mission Statements
As noted earlier vision statements are often confused with mission statements, but they serve complementary purposes. Understanding the different categories will clarify the context by which people express their comments. A vision statement checklist includes:
- People Oriented
- Target: Demographically and Destination
15+ Examples of Great Vision Statements
The best vision statements transcend a person’s lifetime. The statement itself is usually 7 to 12 words with no conjunctions, such as and, but, or however. If you can’t remember your vision for your life or your organization then you don’t have a vision statement.
Over the years I have collected some great vision statements. Here are some examples:
- Oxfam: A just world without poverty (5)
- Feeding America: A hunger-free America (4)
- Human Rights Campaign: Equality for everyone (3)
- National Multiple Sclerosis Society: A World Free of MS (5)
- Alzheimer’s Association: Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s (7)
- Habitat for Humanity: A world where everyone has a decent place to live. (10)
- Oceana: Oceana seeks to make our oceans as rich, healthy and abundant as they once were. (14)
- Make-A-Wish: Our vision is that people everywhere will share the power of a wish. (13)
- San Diego Zoo: To become a world leader at connecting people to wildlife and conservation. (12)
- The Nature Conservancy: Our vision is to leave a sustainable world for future generations. (11)
- Ducks Unlimited: Ducks Unlimited is wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. (13)
- Anheuser Busch: To be the world’s best beer company (7)
- Bill Gates: To have a computer in every home. (7)
- Caterpillar: Be the global leader in customer value. (7)
- Chick-fil-A: To be America’s best quick service restaurant. (7)
- DuPont: To be the world’s most dynamic science company. (8)
- Heinz: To be the world’s premium food company. (7)
- Office Depot: Delivering winning solutions that inspire worklife. (6)
- Christian Alliance for Orphans: Until every child has a home. (6)
Since mission statements are the steps to the vision, they can be much longer and you can have multiple statements. The purpose of a properly written vision statement is to create a mental picture of the future charged with inspiration that can serve to energize, clarify, and inspire you, your team, donors, clients and the community around your organization. The purpose of mission statements is to provide directional steps to achieving the vision. Mission statements are the “How” while vision is the “Why” and the core values are “What” is important to the organization. Core values can come from the executive team or the original visionary. An easy place to start with the core values is to ask the question “What makes you mad?”
Your vision statement should err on the side of inspirational not factional, and stretch everyone in your organization. This stretch will allow the gates of heaven to open up and allow the holy spirit to permeate your body, donors, organization, and community with clarity and growth. Contrary to popular belief, God and the Holy Spirit entering your life and organization is a good thing. He will help you see fractions of your vision coming together from the help of people all around the world. I have seen this happen several times, and it’s overwhelming.
When God gets involved, we become aware of what is possible. We begin to realize that dreams can be achieved, challenges can be conquered, and problems can be solved. A properly written vision statement backed by mission statements and core values unifies a team, opens up a completely new set of avenues and possibilities, which by itself is a tremendous source of passion and energy.