I’m preparing for a meeting this morning with my church elders. At the meeting we’re going to address the vision for the church for the next stage of church life. At present we’ve got two visions shaping up. The first based on where the church ministries are at just now and the second on something new.
We have various, integrated, stand-alone kids and youth works during the week as well as work with the elderly. Our vision might be to see an integrated pathway for young and old into mature discipleship.
The second vision, based on Titus 1:5, might be to see a small group started on every street in the parish.
I’m reading Aubrey Malphurs’ “Advanced Strategic Planning” and he has seven reasons why vision is important:
- A vision provides energy. Not much happens without an inspiring, compelling vision.
- A vision creates cause. The right vision creates meaning in people’s lives, providing them with a cause and giving them a sense of divine purpose. They are a part of something bigger than themselves, something that God is accomplishing at this time and place in history. I think this is the particular need for men, who like to work on a project goal together. Church does not attract men when it is largely relational and emotional.
- A vision fosters risk taking. A shared vision fosters a congregation’s willingness to take risks.
- A vision legitimises leadership. Bill Hybels writes: “Vision is at the very core of leadership. Take vision away from a leader and you can cut our his or her heart.”
- A vision energises leadership. Bill Hybels also writes: “Vision is the fuel that leaders run on. It’s the energy that creates action.
- A vision sustains ministry. What has sustained Christians from the beginning…? One answer is a biblical, compelling vision.
- A vision motivates giving. Hybels writes: “When leaders who understand this take the time to paint pictures for people and to help them imagine the kingdom good that will result from their collective efforts, then people are free to release their resources joyfully. And generally, the grander the vision, the greater the giving.”
I’m going to run our two vision statements through those seven tests and see what we come up with.