Item description for The Power of Vision: Discover and Apply God's Vision for Your Life & Ministry by George Barna...
Overview Barna shows ministers how to discover and apply God's vision to their work. He reveals how vision differs from mission, and dispels common myths and practices.
Publishers Description In "The Power of Vision," George Barna invites church leaders to discover the power of God's vision for ministry. Readers will learn: how God has shared His vision throughout history, how vision is different than mission, common practices and beliefs that inhibit true vision, practical steps toward practicing God's unique vision for them and ways to share and promote congregational ownership of the vision. Barna's word to all Christian leaders: Uncovering God's vision for your ministry is not an option. As Barna clearly states, "To minister authentically and authoritatively, you must first clarify your vision, then embrace it and make it the focus of your life's work and the heartbeat of your church." Vision is the insight God provides to instruct and direct our paths, a reflection of what God wants to accomplish through us in building His kingdom. With this clear picture, from Him, of where you are headed, your chances of a successful journey are increased a thousandfold.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 6" Height: 8.75" Weight: 0.55 lbs.
Release Date Jan 2, 2009
Publisher Regal Books
ISBN 0830747281 ISBN13 9780830747283
Availability 0 units.
More About George Barna
A native New Yorker, George Barna has filled executive roles in politics, marketing, advertising, media, research and ministry. He founded the Barna Research Group (now The Barna Group) in 1984 and helped it become the nation’s leading marketing research firm focused on the intersection of faith and culture. The company has served several hundred parachurch ministries and thousands of Christian churches throughout the country. It has also supplied research to numerous corporations and non-profit organizations, as well as to the U.S. Navy and U.S. Army.
To date, Barna has written 48 books, mostly addressing leadership, trends, church health and spiritual development. They include best-sellers such as Revolution, Transforming Children into Spiritual Champions, The Frog in the Kettle, and The Power of Vision. His most recent book is Revolutionary Parenting. Several of his books have received national awards. He has had more than 100 articles published in periodicals and writes a bi-weekly research report (The Barna Update) accessed by more than a million people each year, through his firm’s website (www.barna.org). His work is frequently cited as an authoritative source by the media. He has been hailed as "the most quoted person in the Christian Church today" and has been named by various media as one of the nation’s most influential Christian leaders.
He is a popular speaker at ministry conferences around the world and has taught at Pepperdine and Biola Universities and several seminaries. Barna served as a pastor of a large, multi-ethnic church and has been involved in several church start-ups.
After graduating summa cum laude from Boston College, Barna earned two Master's degrees from Rutgers University. At Rutgers, he was awarded the Eagleton Fellowship. He also received a doctorate from Dallas Baptist University. He lives with his wife (Nancy) and their three daughters (Samantha, Corban, Christine) in southern California. He enjoys reading novels, watching movies, playing guitar, and relaxing on the beach.
George Barna currently resides in Glendale Oxnard, in the state of California.
Reviews - What do customers think about Power Of Vision (Updated)?
Great Book On Vision Aug 26, 2009
In my humble opinion, "The Power of Vision" by George Barna is the best book I have read on getting God's vision for your ministry. While the book is heavily slanted towards the pastor or other church leader, every Christian would benefit from the title.
The title is around 180 pages and contains 13 chapters on various aspects of vision. My personal favorite was Chapter 13 on capturing God's personal vision for your life.
Among the points I found particularly enjoyable were:
1. Your God is a personal God and He wants a growing and personal relationship with you. 2. God seems to speak most clearly to Christians when they are inactive (not lazy, mind you, but being in a state of peace and quiet makes it easier to hear God's voice). 3. God loves to stretch His people and His vision for your ministry will do just that. 4. Aggressively seek to understand what it is that God is calling you to do. 5. The heart of God's vision for your life's ministry will be serving people. 6. As you seek God's vision for your life, remember that it will be a reflection of your unique characteristics and yearnings. 7. Let your vision move you into areas of outreach that may be uncomfortable for you. 8. Use your vision as the decision making filter that determines which opportunities you pursue and which ones you reject.
An excellent book and highly recommended. Read, enjoy, and be challenged!
Power of Visions Mar 12, 2009
The sociological studies of George Barna, such as User Friendly Churches, have been widely used for some time now. The Power of Vision: How You Can Capture and Apply God's Vision for Your Ministry (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, c. 1992), emphasizes the importance of vision--"where there is no vision, the people perish" (Proverbs 29:18, KJV)--and ways to implement it. Barna himself has been deeply impressed by the Willow Creek Community Church, whose pastor, Bill Hybels, certainly is a model for many who are con¬cerned with church growth (if not build¬ing a super-church of some sort). In Barna's opin¬ion, Hybels's success is, to a large degree, the result of imple¬menting a godly vision.
The research which Barna conducts is extensive and impressive. He certainly describes the conditions which seem to make for successful churches in modern America. "In evaluating churches that are growing and healthy as compared to those that are stagnant or in decline," he finds, "one of the key distinctions that emerges is the existence of true vision for ministry" (p. 12). Such visions must be clearly articulated by a congregation's leaders and sincerely embraced by their followers. Unfortunately, Barna found, the importance of vision, widely recognized in the business world, is largely untaught in seminaries and ignored by "Chr¬istian intellectuals, theologians, teachers and authors" (p. 13). Thus he seeks, in this book, to provide pastors with a resource which may enable them to develop "the power of vision."
He builds his case by looking at examples, in the Bible and history, of visionary people--from St Paul to Mother Teresa, from Donald McGavran's church growth movement to Martin Luther King's civil rights movement. Clearly the leaders who've moved multitudes have been captivated by a vision. Recognizing its importance, Barna then defines it: "Vision for ministry is a clear mental image of a preferable future imparted by God to His chosen servants and is based upon an accurate understanding of God, self and circumstances" (p. 28). Fleshing out that vision begins with a pastor who is both enamored with the vision and sur¬rend¬ered to God's design and control of it. It then proceeds to a "vision statement," drafted and owned by the congregation, which provides a basis for the life and mission of the church.
It's important not to confuse vision with mission, however. "Mission is a general statement of ministry objectives; it is philosophic. Vision is a specific, detailed statement of direction and uniqueness; it is strategic" (p. 37). Various churches may have the same mission in a community --but they should have different visions, enabling them to truly cooperate with each other, fitting into their niche of the Kingdom. Thus a mission statement may emerge as a consensus involving the whole congregation. Vision statements ordinarily come from a visionary person, often (though not necessarily) the pastor, who senses God's guidance, a specific calling for a specific congregation in a specific time and place. "Grasping God's vision for the church's ministry is not a committee process" (p. 45). Barna insists the vision may have nothing to do with numerical growth! "The absolute goal of vision for ministry is to glorify God. It is more important to have a church of committed followers of Christ than to have a church swelled with numbers of 'social Christians,' 'nominal Christians' or Christians who demonstrate no evidence of growth in their relationship with God. If the vision is truly from God, it is one that will push the church forward towards ends that satisfy Him rather than to meet standards that result from the world" (p. 51). This means a leader must seek, above all, to capture God's vision for his congregation. This involves knowing yourself and your gifts. If you mind your divine design, if you're attentive to what God has enabled you to be and become, you'll better capture God's vision for you and your minitry. "One of the most revealing questions to ask is the identity of those matters about which you are passionate. What is it that, without fail, excites you in ministry" (p. 81). Chances are the vision God wants to give you will engage your pas¬sion!
God's vision comes from Him, so knowing Him is also important! To know Him we must get quiet long enough to hear Him! "The leaders of the American Christian church are generally people who feel they are successful only when they are active. God, however, seems to speak most clearly to Christian leaders when they are inactive; that is, when they have made a conscious effort to allow Him to lead the conversation and to impart wisdom in His own way, in His own timing" (p. 90). Coming from God, we can expect a vision to have these nine characteristics: inspiring, change-oriented, challenging, empowering, long-term, customized, detailed, people-oriented, future-promising. Any vision lacking too many of the above must be suspect. But a healthy, God-given vision can make a difference, an eternal difference, in one's ministry. Barna also gives tips on communicating the vision to the congregation, enabling people to "own" it, and the marketing the vision in the com¬munity so as to reach those who need it.
I find the book readable, persuasive, reasonably balanced in its appeal. It's a "how-to-do-it" book which insists on the unique ways God guides each pastor and church, that numerical growth is not necessarily God's only vision for churches. We're too tempted to either praise and imitate Bill Hybels or criticize and ignore him. In fact we might better seek to praise and learn from Hybels without feeling compelled imitate him. If our vision comes from God, it will be unique and specific, not a clone of some sort.
Ministry and Leadership Sep 7, 2007
This is an excellent book for those who are trying to lead churches in the 21st century. Well laid out and easy to follow. The only issue that I had with the book is that all the references and pronouns are for male pastors and male pronouns for God. It was disconcerting and a little abrasive at the end.
So you want to Lead? Aug 28, 2007
If you are looking for the best book on what exactly a vision for ministry is and how to do it...YOU FOUND IT!! This was a required textbook for one of my seminary classes, and I absolutely loved reading it. No other book that I have read so far and I've read quite a few, really explains the "HOW-TO" of vision in your ministry and your life! We all need a vision and passion given to us by the Holy Spirit if we are going to be effective disciples of Christ. I highly recommend this book to all pastors, teachers and laymen.
Visionary leadership for the church Apr 7, 2007
I wouold recommend this book highly. It offers valuable insights for the 21st century church.