Review: The Power of Vision by George Barna

After beginning my new role as the Minister of Youth and Family at my congregation last summer, I immediately examined the vision for the ministry I’d inherited. While I didn’t find it particularly compelling, I knew the best thing I could do was to live into it for a time. So, I did – intentionally paying attention to the ways our ministry was and wasn’t living out its vision.

Then, after being in my role for six months, I assembled a team and together we held a two-day visioning retreat during which we crafted a new vision statement for our ministry along with a set of values. The retreat was good; life-giving even. One of the things that made it so was the work I did in advance to prepare for it.

Among other things, I read The Power of Vision: Discover & Apply God’s Plan for Your Life and Ministry by George Barna. This helpful resource takes leaders through several important lessons, first explaining what vision is and then comparing and contrasting it with the often confused “mission”. The Power of Vision also explores strategies for articulating the vision to others – something that I think organizations (especially churches) often fail at.

The Power Of Vision

The Power of Vision is extremely readable and accessible – making it a helpful manual for any leader wanting to craft or reexamine its organization’s vision. Its Study Guide also provides helpful questions for leaders to work through as they begin this process.

In short, The Power of Vision is well worth the money for any leader thinking about their organization’s vision. But be forewarned – it’s a book that’s designed to be used, not merely read and forgotten about. It’ll work best in those settings where leaders take a group of people through it together in order to ensure that their organization’s vision truly reflects its collective identity and not just their own.  


Thanks to Baker Books for graciously sending me a copy of The Power of Vision to review. All opinions are my own.

Jen Bradbury on Youth Ministry

Jen serves as the Minister of Youth and Family at Atonement Lutheran Church in Barrington, Illinois. A veteran youth worker, Jen holds an MA in Youth Ministry Leadership from Huntington University. Jen is the author of The Jesus Gap: What Teens Actually Believe about Jesus (The Youth Cartel), The Real Jesus (The Youth Cartel), Unleashing the Hidden Potential of Your Student Leaders (Abingdon), and A Mission That Matters (Abingdon). Her writing has also appeared in YouthWorker Journal, Immerse, and The Christian Century. Jen is also the Assistant Director of Arbor Research Group where she has led many national studies. When not doing ministry or research, she and her husband, Doug, and daughter, Hope, can be found traveling and enjoying life together.

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A Mission That Matters: How To Do Short-Term Missions Without Long-Term Harm

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Unleashing the Hidden Potential of your Student Leaders

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The Real Jesus

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The Jesus Gap

What Teens Actually Believe About Jesus

Based on National Research

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