Rick Warren (Saddleback Valley Community Church) is another leader who has something to say on vision. In The Purpose Driven Church he writes:
‘In Nehemiah’s story of rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem, we learn that halfway through the project the people got discouraged and wanted to give up. Like many churches, they lost their sense of purpose and, as a result, became overwhelmed with fatigue, frustration, and fear. Nehemiah rallied the people back to work by reorganising the project and recasting the vision. He reminded them of the importance of their work and reassured them that God would help them fulfil his purpose (Neh 4:6-15). The wall was completed in fifty-two days.
Although the wall took only fifty-two days to complete, the people became discouraged at the halfway point: just twenty-six days into the project! Nehemiah had to renew their vision. From this story we get what I call the ‘Nehemiah Principle’: Vision and purpose must be restated every twenty-six days to keep the church moving in the right direction. In other words, make sure you communicate your purpose at least monthly. It is amazing how quickly human beings – and churches – lose their sense of purpose.’