Robert Quinn says that in today's rapidly changing world, organizations have a binary choice between deep change and slow death. The Bible says that without vision, the people perish. There are few things sadder than people and organizations that cling to their routines and their mental models and their traditions and their habits right up to the point of self-destruction.
As a therapist, there are few things I do more important than casting vision. Holding up a vision of who a person can become, what kind of relationships a family can have, what love could look like for a couple . . . that's at least half the job right there. Without a compelling vision, people have no courage for the deep change that life requires from time to time.
In my work with congregational and other church leaders--leaders of living systems--the same thing is true. Half the job is helping people to see--to literally see through the powerful eyes of the imagination--in such a way that they will risk the discomfort that comes with change. What Jesus did so compellingly was to hold up a vision of the Kingdom of God--a vision that no one else had ever seen before--and invite people to join him there. Two thousand years later, we're still trying to live in the kingdom he described to us.
So when couples and families and churches lose vision, lose heart and lose their way, it grieves me to the core. But when they can see what is possible--enough that they will reach for it--that's the most lifegiving thing I can even imagine.