Without vision, the people perish.
Granted, that’s a bad translation of Proverbs 29:18, but the proverb itself is spot on. The problem is that most church visions teeter on a balance between insipid and impotent. Which is one of the reasons why so many congregations are going through the motions of “doing church” instead of experiencing adult baptisms, vibrant discipleship groups, and life transformations.
With a vibrant vision (I call it a Big Mouse Vision1), congregational leaders not only know what direction to steer the church, they have the motivation to pull it off.[tweetthis twitter_handles=”@billtb”]The problem is that most church visions teeter on a balance between insipid and impotent. [/tweetthis]Although there are a lot of things can go wrong when developing a Big Mouse Vision, I’ve found that most powerless visions suffer from one or more of these defects:
- They’re unmeasurable;
- They’re uninspiring; or
- They’re unimaginative.
Vibrant Visions are Measurable
A vibrant vision statement has an ultimate outcome that the organization is pursuing. For instance, Moses’ vision was to lead Israel into the Promised Land. Everyone knew “where” they were heading.
Vibrant Visions are Inspiring
A vibrant vision doesn’t just stir the heart, it enlivens the spirit, and compels a response. An inspiring vision is born when a meaningful greater good intersects with personal self-interest.
Vibrant Visions are Imaginative
My friend and colleague Tom Bandy has suggested that a vibrant vision need not be word-laden. Instead, it could be a song or an image that conveys the message. I’m convinced he’s correct, but most of us are most likely to turn to “word pictures” to cast our Big Mouse Vision. The Promised Land wasn’t just geography and a place on a map. It was a land “flowing with milk and honey.” Vibrant visions are image driven.
Creating a vivid vision isn’t something you do in one sitting. For the church, it’s a God-Thing that not everyone understands. Tapping into what God’s hope is for your church and communicating that in a compelling way is the first step to great church leadership. Find your church’s vibrant vision and you’ve taken the first step into a vibrant future.
Question: How does your church’s vision stack up? Share it in the Comments section below and let’s talk about it.
1. If you’ve got to herd cats, you need a really big mouse. Return to Reading