Cast a ministry vision like JFK

 Kennedy_Giving_Historic_Speech_to_Congress_-_GPN-2000-001658I was in Dallas recently, and went to the Sixth Floor Museum, about John F. Kennedy and his presidency, assassination and legacy.

I read about the speech where he cast the vision to reach the moon in the decade of the 60s. The museum audio guide quoted a scientist who said that we had not even successfully sent an astronaut around the Earth. Yet Kennedy’s statement inspired him to do his part to make the vision come true. And, in 1969, they did succeed.

An impossible dream

Can you dream something that seems impossible? Are you brave enough to say it aloud? Edwin Friedman always recommended that clergy give their “I have a dream” speech: that they take the risk to stand up and speak their ministry vision to their congregation.

I’m sure some people thought Kennedy was crazy to imagine landing on the moon. Or that it was a waste of money. If you share your dream, some will think it’s crazy or impossible or unnecessary.

Leaders have a unique view

Remember, no one else shares your perspective. If you are the leader, you stand in a unique position. Leadership involves sharing what you see, even if no one else sees it.

Last month I also took part in a conference on Christian philanthropy at the Church of the Resurrection, in Leawood, Kansas, Adam Hamilton, the pastor, is a visionary leader. He imagined something that wasn’t there, and the results, 25 years later, are inspiring.

Of course, it takes more than a visionary to make a dream come true, People like that scientist need to catch the vision and do their part to make it happen.

You don’t have to be a super-visionary, an entrepreneurial pastor, or a natural dreamer. Just start asking yourself, “What do I want?” And as you get clear, share it with others. Invite them to want that dream, too.

You are not guaranteed you will reach it. But remember, Kennedy’s vision came true years after his death. You may never see it. But if you are brave enough to dream it and say it aloud, it’s far more likely to happen. And if even 25% of your dream came true, would you be happy?

What is your dream for your ministry? What can you do to get it clearer? And where can you say it out loud?

Here’s another brief post with an inspiring story about vision.

2 replies on “Cast a ministry vision like JFK


    Terrific piece, Margaret. BTW, love your website. Well done! Speaking of casting a vision, Laura is doing it in spades right now. This weekend she’ll speak three times at Lake City Community Church in Coeur d’Alene. You’ll be able to catch the video (or vimeo) on their website — and we’ll post snippets on Laura’s (


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