036 - How a Pastor Can Hear Vision from the Lord - Leaders.Church


036 – How a Pastor Can Hear Vision from the Lord

What’s in this Episode?

How come everybody’s got vision except me? I mean, the guy across town who pastors that church, he just oozes vision. The only thing that oozes out of me is sweat when I’m trying to walk around the block. You ever wondered how it is you really hear vision for the Lord and nobody wants you to do? Well, stay tuned to this episode. That’s exactly what we’re going to talk about today.

Read the Transcript

Dick Hardy 0:20
You know, there have been folks who have asked us a little bit how did this podcast come together and Leaders.Church and everything we’re doing. Well, this thing all started way back in 2007, where we started what was called The Hardy Group. Now this was before young Hardy was in the mix. But the Hardy group was my wife and Jesus and me that was the Hardy group. So we would do consulting with churches, and the Lord had favor on what we were doing. But at our peak, there were 18 churches we were serving. Now to put that in perspective, in the United States, there are 350,000 churches, that’s besides Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UK, South Africa and every other country all over the world. And so we were not even scratching the surface. Fast forward, I’m sitting, having a cup of coffee, have breakfast with a buddy of mine, RC Amer. And we’re just talking about business and helping grow what the Lord has given to us and he said, you know what you ought to look at doing. There’s a gal, he referenced this gal, he says, she’s got this membership site where people can be part of something that is way easier for them to be a part of then engaging a full fledged consultant. Well, that began Leaders.Church, where we would, we were hoping that maybe tens or hundreds of people would get involved. And today, I’m not going to give you the number, but let me just tell you, Leaders.Church, and this podcast, are having an impact on hundreds and thousands of churches. Not because of what we are or are doing, but it’s, I would give it in large part because there was a friend who was used of the Lord, to speak to us. So there’s always a question when someone is speaking something to you, is this from the Lord? Or is this a sound like a bright idea from them. And I truly believe that the Lord used RC to talk to me that day and ultimately began the journey of watching something very good for pastors happen. We saw something truly come from the Lord. That’s what we want to talk to you about today. When you’re leading your church, you’re frequently asking yourself, is this from the Lord? Is this really from the Lord? Or is this just some bright idea of mine? We want you to, we want to walk through about five things here today that will help you make a determination. Is what you think you’re hearing truly from the Lord or just a bright idea from you. So Jonathan why don’t you jump us into the first one.

Tip #1: Pray and Listen

Jonathan Hardy 2:59
In order for pastors to know whether they’re hearing from the Lord or not, the first thing is obvious. But it has to be said, and that is to pray and to listen. Hey, we’ve been pastors, we know we’re right there with you. We’re not locally serving in a church at the moment, but we’ve we’ve been a part of that. And obviously, we’re entrenched in that. And we know the reality is the enemy does what he can to get us distracted and cause us to not be spending the time with God that we need to. And if you’re facing that, right now, I want to encourage you, do what you can to make sure you’re spending that time with God, but not just spending the time with him, but communing with him, and then listening to him. One of the things personally that I do is and I, in fact just yesterday, I said, God, what do you want to tell me? And I just sat there. I have a journal and a pen, and I just sat and I was like, okay, Lord, I’m expecting to hear from you right now.

Dick Hardy 3:54
So start talking.

Jonathan Hardy 3:56
It’s your turn. Cause most the time, it’s our turn. I don’t know. Maybe that’s just me. But most of the time, I was like, okay, I pray for this and this and this and this. And then, you know, it’s like, okay, well, I’m done praying, and I didn’t spend any time asking God, well, what do you want to say back? You know.

Dick Hardy 4:08
Listening to him.

Jonathan Hardy 4:09
And listening. So, you have to pray and listen. And that’s going to help you know when you’re hearing from the Lord and what’s truly of him, and what’s not. And so, that’s the first thing I know that you may say, Well, yeah, thank you. Let’s go on to number two. But I want to pause because I know there are some that need to hear that.

Dick Hardy 4:29
You absolutely do. Do not. Do not just blow past that first point.

Jonathan Hardy 4:33

Tip #2: Look and Listen

Dick Hardy 4:34
If you do, it’s not going to work. Let me just tell you. Number two, look and listen. Now, what I mean by that is, pay attention to what’s happening on the ground, boots on the ground, in the church. You’re the leader. You’re the one who’s to be attuned to what’s happening here. What’s happening with the volunteers, what’s happening with your leaders. What’s happening with the Spirit of the body if you’re supposed to pay attention to that. Now, when you are thinking of things, potentially vision for the Lord, and you’re looking at the very real things, boots on the ground, vision can sometimes make a lot of sense. And sometimes not make much sense at all. But that’s where you have to be watching real things in real time. And then you’ve got to pay attention to your gut. Now, I don’t get that out of scripture per se, but it’s, it’s there in the sense of, if you’re praying, if you’re doing number one, then what’s in your gut, as you’re looking at the reality, is going to tell you an awful lot. Pay attention to what your guts telling you.

Jonathan Hardy 5:49

Tip #3: Exercise Spiritual Disciplines and Listen

Dick Hardy 5:49
And number three, I guess I got number three here.

Jonathan Hardy 5:52

Dick Hardy 5:52
Exercise spiritual disciplines and listen and honestly I tie that right into the second one. That fasting, prayer, tithing, community devotion, prayer. So you go on and on down the line of these spiritual disciplines. And if you’re doing those things, then listen to your heart and those around you. I’ll talk to pastors all the time. They say, I just don’t what to do and I’ll just be, I’ll be bold with him. I’ll just say, Are you praying? Well, yeah, I am praying. Are you tithing? Well, my wife and I are, well, okay, you know, are you fasting? Well, no, I haven’t fasted since the first year. Okay. Let me just tell you, if you want to have an assurance of what you’re hearing from the Lord, you need to be exercising the spiritual disciplines all the time, make them a part of it. And then, whatever you feel to do, will be what the Lord wants you to do, because you’re doing exactly what he asked you.

Jonathan Hardy 6:53
That’s right.

Dick Hardy 6:53
Okay, number four.

Tip #4: Listen to Spiritual Counsel

Jonathan Hardy 6:54
The next thing I’d suggest is to listen to spiritual counsel. You know, the Proverb says, plans fail for lack of counsel, but we’re many advisors they succeed. And the fact is, we need counsel. And as a pastor who’s leading a church or as a ministry leader overseeing a ministry area, you can’t just make decisions on your own. Without I mean, you can, but we would advise that because there’s there’s benefit in having the counsel, so that could be close family members, it could be close friends, could be other pastors or associates, that are other key leaders in the church could be other people that aren’t a part of the church, that you’re saying, Hey, here’s what I’m thinking about doing, what do you think? And, you know, they can help you either confirm, yes, I’m hearing from God this this thought and this vision is from the Lord or no, you know, you may have just had a bad night asleep or you know, bad pizza or something. And, that probably doesn’t sound right. Then what you do is you weigh all that out, and you say, Okay, I’ve heard from some folks, I feel like I’ve heard from God, now I have to do something.

Tip #5: Act On what you Sense and Hear from God

Jonathan Hardy 7:57
And that really leads me to the next thing which is to act on what you sense and hear from God. So, you have to get to the point where you say, Okay, I’m going to take action. Implement, ah, if you just keep hearing and you’re thinking and then you’re like, Okay, well, let me talk to some people and Okay, well, let me put a plan together. Let me get a committee together. Let me do this. Let me do that. Well, at some point, either you, you take the step and you do it, you implement, and you act on it, or you don’t. And I know this, from I can’t tell you how many churches we’ve seen.

Dick Hardy 8:27

Jonathan Hardy 8:29
They’ve got vision, and they’ve got ideas, but they don’t implement and it’s one of the most frustrating things for the other leaders of the church. People will leave the church because of it. Because it’s like, well, hey, pastor said this, and then…

Dick Hardy 8:39
All talk no action

Jonathan Hardy 8:40
Nothing happened. I can’t tell you. I mean, I’d, we’d be rich if we got a nickel for every time we heard that.

Dick Hardy 8:46
Cash that in yeah.

Jonathan Hardy 8:46
I mean, it’s just it happens all the time. And so we want to encourage you, if that’s you, pray that God would help you be an implementer. Yeah, help pray that God would help you take action, because if he speaks, we’ve got to act. I mean, just like Abraham, you know. God told him to go and he went, you know. And so same thing is when we have a vision from God, when we hear from him when we know we’ve sought counsel, all these things that we like, we know that we know that we know Okay, this is what God wants, then you have to take the action

Dick Hardy 9:14
And you take that action, you can be confident you might be a person who lacks confidence. But if you’ve done all these things we’ve just talked about, you’ve prayed, you’ve sought counsel, you’re exercising spiritual disciplines, you need to walk in confidence.

Jonathan Hardy 9:31

Dick Hardy 9:31
That you’re, you’re going exactly where the Lord wants you to. If you don’t do those things, you need to lack confidence because you’re but if you do those things, you can walk in confidence.

Jonathan Hardy 9:41

Dick Hardy 9:41
So give us a summary here Jonathan.


Dick Hardy 9:42
Yeah, let me recap here real quick. So the first thing is, when you’re hearing from the Lord, pray and listen. Second is then to look and listen. Third, exercise the spiritual disciplines and listen. Fourth is to listen to spiritual counsel and then fifth is to act on what you sense, and so when you do these five things that’s going to help you immensely. And I would just encourage you, this is a process. This is a journey as you are continuing to grow personally. And as a leader, you have to keep growing personally. And in fact, I would encourage you, if you haven’t done this yet, I encourage you to go check out the Four Secrets Masterclass that I put together, the replay is available, all you have to do is go to leaders.church/secrets. Again, that’s leaders.church/secrets, you go there and there’s less than an hour and the replays available. So you can just hop on watch it at your convenience. And it’s a very, very, I feel like helpful tool that a lot of pastors have given feedback on saying this really helped open their eyes, it helped challenge them, helped them to grow personally, as the leader they need to be. Because when growing, when there are growing pastors, that’s what’s going to lead to the growing churches and we want to keep reaching more and more people. So I’d encourage you to do that. Also, please rate and review. We’d love to hear your feedback on this episode in this podcast. And all you have to do is if you’re on Apple podcasts, is to go there and, you know, give the review. Hopefully it’s a five star review. And in fact, we did get a five star review I wanted to read for you from Joel Fun and it said this, “Great stuff from great leaders, the Hardys are great leaders and consistently inspire others toward great leadership.” Well, thank you, Joel.

Jonathan Hardy 10:35
I like Joel Fun, yeah.

Jonathan Hardy 11:14
Yes, thank you that’s a very kind comment. We appreciate that. And we want to hear from you. How is the podcast helping you? What are you learning? What are you, what are ways that you’re being challenged in, as a pastor or ministry leader? Let us know there as well. And then please subscribe, whether you’re on whatever podcast platform, you’re listening to this on. Or if you’re watching on YouTube, hit that subscribe button. We want to be able to continue to help get the great content out there for you. And with that being said, we just want to thank you so much for listening today. We’ll look forward to seeing you next time.

Jonathan Hardy 11:47
Hey, Jonathan here real quick before you go. Everything in your ministry rises and falls on your leadership. So investing in your leadership is essential to staying healthy and growing the ministry. And that’s why I want to invite you to join us inside the Leaders.Church Membership. This online streaming service for pastors gives you access to more than 300 videos plus training material to level up your leadership and improve your ministry skills. If you’d like to do that I want to invite you to go to leaders.church/boost. Again, that’s leaders.church/boost. Well thanks again for joining us on the Church Tips Podcast. We’ll look forward to seeing you next time.

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