Problem with Vision

Whether intended for business, church or not-for-profit, books on management emphasize the need for having a clear vision. Every effective institution develops clear, compelling vision; communicates that vision to the constituency; then lives out it in the daily work of the institution. This visioning process is hard work, but it is absolutely essential. As an older version of the Bible translated the Proverb, “Where there is no vision….” Well, you know how the rest goes.

When I served on the conference camping board, I was confused about its vision. At times I thought the vision was just to let God decide where the board went with its work. I equated this to a non-directional vision; a sort of “Tubing down the river to see what happens” approach to leadership. Later, when the board voted to add that camping had to happen in four sites, I thought that the vision of board was focused on maintaining the camps rather than on the experience of the campers.

Then in a meeting in the Columbia conference office, the Director of Camping announced to the camping board, “I’ve had no vision for the past 10 years.”

In my humble opinion, if people were really aware of what has been going on in camping during the last decade and a half, people would understand and support the decision on the new camping Board.  That was not a rash decision. It does have a plan of action.

I personally know what it is like to lose something that developed and matured me in my faith.  There seemed to be no warning signs that Lon Morris College was going to close, except when you allow yourself to look objectively at its situation and understand its past.   The writing was on the wall.  It was inevitable because of the direction, or lack of direction. The same is true of our situation with camping in Missouri.


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