Seeking Prophetic Visions: Being Transformed in the Process
The purpose of refounding is ultimately not for self-service, but for claiming a new vision with new energy to further the reign of God. A new vision fueled and informed from the fires of conversion will acquire profound energy and ownership. Additional “buy in” will come from the sweat-equity earned by your collective involvement in your efforts to refound. A new vision, born of your inner voice, will give integrity to the word “prophetic.”
Prophetic visions will not be found on the shelf of yesterday’s prophets, borrowed from a book by acclaimed authors or replicated from the visions of other communities. A great vision is built up over a course of time, through accumulated wisdom and a growing resolve to make it real. It does not come all at once, but acquires its strength by taking one next best step after another. With each step taken, more hope and ownership are engendered. At the end of the day it will only be realized if its resonance with the community’s soul is matched by the courage of its members to live it.
Leaders and members: Partners in a shared vision
I believe that if a new vision is going to be prophetic, it will require the full efforts of both leaders and members as partners. Ira Chaleff, in a book entitled Courageous Followers[i] offers a helpful reframe around leaders and members as partners “orbiting around a shared vision.” In other words, instead of thinking of leaders as creating a vision and then leading the way while members follow along, think of leaders and members as partners in the enterprise of visioning. In this way they both orbit around the vision, enabling, facilitating and empowering each other on behalf of the vision. To the degree you strengthen the partnership between leaders and members, you will strengthen whatever prophetic vision you claim during your refounding efforts.
[i] Chaleff, I. The courageous follower: Standing up to and for our leaders. San Francisco, CA: Barrett Koehler Publishers, 2003 (2nd ed.).