Vision is my least-favorite word in the English language," said a pastor who stopped by recently. He has felt intense pressure to be visionary—from best-selling books, from colleagues, from seminars, from executives in his congregation. The demand to have vision actually caused him to feel depressed.

The depression lifted only after an unsual dream: he saw himself accosted by a mobster in a "power suit" who wounded him with a knife. Upon reflection, the pastor realized the quest for vision had become emotionally deadly. "God does not expect me to work in that mode," he said. "I've relaxed, stepped back into my creative mode, and worked with others more given to strategic planning."

So why the intensity about vision? Max DePree, chairman of the board of Herman Miller, Inc., said about vision (in the summer 1994 LEADERSHIP): "We could relax a little more than we do."


At one recent gathering of church leaders, a church planter gave an impassioned appeal ...

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