Book Review: The Power of Vision: Discover and Apply God’s Plan for Your Life and Ministry (3rd Edition), by George Barna
I read the original version of George Barna’s book on vision when it was first published in 1992. It came out the same year as Aubrey Malphurs’ book, Developing a Vision for Ministry in the 21st Century: Six Steps to Building Vision. Barna gave me a better understanding of the nature of vision and what helps to define it, grow it, and even kill it. Malphurs helped me to focus that vision in relationship to church ministry. Needless to say, my life and ministry as a pastor was shaped in foundational ways by these two books.
George Barna has now released the third edition of his book. As he explains in the Introduction, since the release of the first edition, he has conducted “more than five thousand interviews with adults, teenagers, pastors, church staff, leaders in business and government, and executives of nonprofit and parachurch organizations.” The interviews led him to several conclusions, most notably that while leaders better understand vision, few know how to cast and grow vision. While we are more aware of it, we are in greater “need than ever for a clear understanding of God’s purpose for each individual church.”
In the book, Barna describes the nature of vision, the difference between vision and mission, what helps to grow and develop vision, as well as what will kill vision. The most helpful chapter in my opinion, is Chapter 6: Capturing God’s Vision, where he walks the reader through 4 steps or components that will help one better understand God’s vision for their life and ministry. The book also contains several appendices, the most notable is a study guide of all the biblical passages each chapter is based on.
While I did not necessarily find anything new in the book, it was a helpful review of the topic.
Disclosure: I received this book free from Baker Books through the Baker Books Bloggers www.bakerbooks.com/bakerbooksbloggers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.