Stu provides us with an example of Flint McCullough from the old TV series “Wagon Train.” In this show, Ward Bond lead the journey of the wagon train, while Flint filled the role of a scout. As a scout Flint’s job was to probe out ahead of the rest, check on the coming trail, scout for the necessities (water, food) keep a discerning eye out of for dangers, and to see ahead whether it was the weather, enemies, as well as pick-out the best and safest routes for the wagon train to follow.
The whole wagon train community relied on the scout’s experience, judgement and sense of direction. Stu points out that this is similar to the role of a man as provider for his family. Stu introduces the concept of “Pro-vision” for this type of role.
The idea is that “Pro-vision” is the act of looking ahead, providing direction, anticipating needs and defining of the ultimate destination. Stu states, that "what makes a Man is a vision, and in particular a vision for something larger than himself Its a vision of something out there ahead, a place to go (to chart the course ahead, picture the future.)
A man must visualize ahead of time / think forward. A “Pro-visionary” is one who lives at and beyond the horizons. This, Stu comments, is the very essence of leadership, the "king" in every man, one who is always looking ahead, watching for for his people, and providing direction and order. To me, this is key perspective to understand in leadership.
Stu goes on to caution that we can often misplace our vision; i.e. focus on things - house, car, boat, stocks, money, generally piling things up. We imagine that we find security in these things.
Stu further points out that “there is no status or security if you don’t have relationships. Reverting to things we can see, when in fact it’s the unseen (world of spiritual / relationships) that we ought to be majoring in “Pro-vision.” These are matters of; character, heart, spirit, integrity, justice and humility - the kinds of things that will last. They are character traits that outlive a man and leave not a monument, but a legacy. One can imaging what confidence that would bring to a family, organization or a church.
At the heart of a real man’s vision is the health of the family. But what is that destination and how will you get your family there? Your family (or the group you are leading) is depending on you to set the course, determine the direction, set the pace. They are looking to you for advance warning of storms. A man can get the perspective he needs to lead the family if he is willing to humble himself and see it from the Lord God.
Pro-visionaries need to use their God given capacity for distance vision to encourage and give hope and security to their families. A pro-visionary looks down the years and asks himself questions. Based on the answers, he then looks to the future and provides what his group will need.) Clarity of vision is critical to the accomplishment of goals.
Stu adds, “A man was made for vision - leading the way, for vision-casting.” And they asks if you have developed a five year plan for your family? Are you able to dream it yourself, share it with your spouse, refine it together, communicate it to the kids, and are they catching it?
Stu end with this, “when you lose your vision, you find yourself powerless to take necessary action.” Does your family share a vision of mountain sized goals in the distance?
Here’s some questions I came up with for the group discussion:
Stu compared the concept of “Pro-vision” with that of a role of “The Scout.” Is the role of “The Scout” natural or unnatural to you? Explain?
In what specific ways do you find yourself “looking ahead” in leading (i.e. your life, your family, etc..)? How do you “give direction?”
Feel free to post comments or email with questions and your thoughts.