Creating a vision For the church Malphurs ASP Chapter 6
The kind of church we want to be Malphurs ASP Chapter 6
Step 3 in theStrategic Planning Process Malphurs ASP Chapter 6
Like values and mission this isessential to the church.However vision is dynamic, subjectto change - it is renewed, adaptedand adjusted according to the culturein which the church exists. Havingsaid that vision does not change atthe core but “around the edges”The core of the Gt Comm does notchange but the vision and wordsused to express it do.Vision provides us with a picture ofwhat the fulﬁlled mission will look likein a community, a picture of the portthe boat is headed to.
The idea of vision os found inboth OT and NT.Abraham - Gen 12:1-3Moses (Israel) - Ex 3:7-8, Dt8:7-10Jesus - possibly Heb 12:2, thereturn of Jesus to his father.The vision concept helps you toanswer the question: what sortof church would we like to be,what would we look like?Preparation asked “what is”The vision step asks “whatcould be?”
A reminder of the process ofstrategic planning:Values discoveryMissiondevelopmentVisiondevelopmentStrategydevelopment
The importance of a visionUnderstanding andimplementing vision is aproblem for many churches. USresearch said that only 2% ofleaders really get the idea andmany said that conﬂictingvisions was the source ofgreatest tension and the topreason that they wereterminated or forced to resign.
1. A vision provides energyNot much happens without acompelling vision - look atNehemiah, Jerusalem had longbeen in ruins but no one haddone anything.Visions excite and energisepeople - it often turns amaintenance mentality into aministry one (fueled alongsidethe values you have expressed.)
2. Vision creates causeVision gives people a sense of Godgiven meaning and purpose in theirlife. In effect they become part ofGod’s cause and plans. They arenow on a crusade to change theworld.If you were a teacher how would yousee life:“I am a teacher”“I am changing the life course ofadolescents who will somedayaccomplish great things for Christ”
3. Vision fosters risk takingWe become more preparedto take a risk - even ifsometimes this results infailure. We have a vision andit makes us move outside ofthe normal and comfortableand do different, unusual,things
4. A vision legitimizes leadership“Vision is at the very core ofleadership. Take away vision froma leader and you cut our his orher heart” Bill HybelsLeaders who cannot see where theyare going are not leaders - yet!Leaders carry around in their heart apicture of their port of call. Visionhelps them to focus on and followtheir dream of where God is takingthem and what it looks like.
5. Vision energises leadership“Vision is the fuel that leadersrun on. It’s the energy thatcreates action. It’s the ﬁrethat ignites the passion offollowers.” Bill HybelsDeveloping a vision and living itvigorously are essential in goodleadership. We see this in Jesusand the 12 who moved withGod given passion. Their visionin turn ignited Christ followersto go to the ends of the earth.
6. Vision sustains ministryAll sorts of trials anddiscouragements come againstleaders in the KOG - and oftenthese some from within thechurch.Compelling vision sustains you insuch circumstances - it keepsthe picture in front of you andtells you what could be. Thatpicture then reveals to you thatall else is insigniﬁcant comparedto what God has revealed to you.
7. Vision motivates givingMinistry requires money -andthe leader usually has toraise it. This appliesregardless of your primarygift or sense of calling.Leaders paint a picture of thevision and the effect ofpeople’s giving upon thefulﬁllment of that vision. Painthe right picture, paint it well,and people will give.
What a vision is notVision and mission in a church are often confused - butthey are not the same. They are both based on thescriptures, look to the future, are directional (going) andfunctional (doing). But the differences are greater. Thefollowing are ten differences between vision and mission
1. The mission statement is astatement of what church issupposed to be doing, while thevision is a snapshot picture of it.2. The mission is used for planningwhere the church is going; thevision is used for communicatingwhere the church is going.3. A mission statement must beshort enough to ﬁt on a T-shirt.The vision statement, however,goes into detail and can rangefrom a single paragraph to severalpages in length.
4. The purpose of the mission isto inform all of the ministry’sfunctions. The purpose of thevision is to inspire people toaccomplish the ministry’sfunctions.5. The mission involvesknowing. It helps your peopleknow where they are going. Thevision involves seeing. It helpspeople see where they aregoing. If people cannot see agoal, it probably will nothappen.
6. The mission comes from thehead―it is more intellectual in origin.It supplies knowledge. The visioncomes from the heart―it is moreemotional in origin. It suppliespassion.7. Logically, the mission precedes thevision. In their development, the visiongrows out of and develops detailaround the mission, ﬂeshing it out.8. The mission has a broad, generalfocus, while the vision has a narrowfocus. It singles out the details andspeciﬁcs of the ministry community.
9. Mission development is ascience―it can be taught. The vision,however, is an art―it is more caught.Either you catch it or you miss italtogether.10. Finally, the mission iscommunicated visually; it is writtendown somewhere. The vision iscommunicated verbally. You hear itpreached. An example in appendix Gis Martin Luther King’s “I Have aDream” vision. Hearing him preach ithas much greater impact thanreading; it off the page.
Biblical examplesGod’s mission for Moses - Ex3:10 - this meets the criteriafor a mission statement.So now, go. I am sending youto Pharaoh to bring mypeople the Israelites out ofEgypt.”God’s vision for Israel isbrought through Moses - Dt8:7-10 - this meets thecriteria for a vision statement.
Biblical examplesFor the LORD your God is bringingyou into a good land—a land withbrooks, streams, and deep springsgushing out into the valleys andhills; 8 a land with wheat and barley,vines and ﬁg trees, pomegranates,olive oil and honey; 9 a land wherebread will not be scarce and youwill lack nothing; a land where therocks are iron and you can digcopper out of the hills. 10 When you have eaten and aresatisﬁed, praise the LORD your Godfor the good land he has given you.
What a vision isVision is a clear, challengingpicture of the future of theministry, as you believe it canbe and must be.This has 6 elements:1. Clear - 1 Cor 14:8 - thevision must be clear andconcise otherwise the peoplehave no idea. Fear of thefuture stops people movingon - they live in the present orthe past. Note the responseof the people in Neh 2:18.
2. It is compelling - igniting passionthat causes people to get involved - it isa compelling challenge to their mindand spirit - from, there it draws theminto action.3. It is a picture - passion touchesemotions - vision is a seeing word- itcreates a visual image. It is how you seeyour ministry in 2, 5, 10 or 20 years - itis the future you believe God is going tocreate. Real visionaries see the ﬁnishedarticle before they even start building.When Moses stood on Nebo he saw theland ﬂowing with milk and honey - hehad seen it many times before.
4. It is the future of the ministry - apicture of the future we seek tocreate, the church’s preferred future.It is a picture of the end of theministry at the beginning of it. Theright vision also links the past andthe future - through the present.5. It can be - the potential of thevision is amazing - all because it isgrounded in reality.“Some people see things the waythey are and ask why? I see thingsthe way they could be and ask whynot?” Robert Kennedy.
6. It must be - you movefrom thinking it is possible tosaying it must be done, thishas to happen - urgency andpassion drive you (and thevision) on. Note you nowbelieve this is a “God thing” -and you are the person hehas called to accomplish it -and that it is the best thingfor the people involved(whether saved or unsaved).
The development of vision1. The vision personnel -Vision must be clear - and thiscomes in part by writing itdown, something which has tooriginate with the visionnavigator (visionary).As with the mission statementthe SLT should start theprocess of drafting the vision.Malphurs suggests using hisvisions style audit to indicateyour vision style and how yougo about forming a vision.
2. The vision process - thereare 2 steps to this:A. The preparation step -gets you ready to developyou vision, it prepares andaids your thinking for theactual process.A.1 envisioning prayer - anyvisionary leader bathes theprocess in prayer - start inprayer and do it continuallyas you go through. Neh1:4-11
A.2 thinking big - Matt28:18ff shows Jesuschallenging the disciples togo way beyond what theyhad ever though or donebefore - Jesus was thevisionary of visionaries.“Make no small plans forthey have no power to stirthe souls of men.”Ephesians 3:20 is achallenge to think and actbig.
A.3. Discovering your passion -passion is the core and key todiscovering your vision. What do youcare deeply about? What is it youare most passionate about inchurch life, what brings you to life?A.4 experience the dream - itcannot remain just a feeling you arepassionate about, as it grows youhave to feel and experience it as yousee it forming. Start to live the vision,move into your dream - this alsohelps in communicating it well.Dream casting in the future is inproportion to living the dream now.
A.5 questioning the dream - probethe vision with questions - is it clear,does it move people, is it challenging,do you have a mental picture of therealised dream, do I believe it, do Ibelieve it must be realised?“A mist in the pulpit is a fog in thepew” Howard HendricksA.6 demonstrate patience -sometimes a vision comes to you fullyformed, consider Nehemiah - howevermany visions take weeks or months toform - some of it even comes from theearly days of your ministry.
B. The process step - thereare 3 potential processes:Expand your missionstatement, build on your corevalues, model your vision afteranother’s statement: examineeach of these and decidewhich you have an afﬁnity with- then pursue that process.B.1 expanding the mission -return to the previouslydeveloped mission statement- then develop or expand itfurther
- so making disciples isﬂeshed out, added to, detailsare brought in, add values,strategy and purpose to themission statement.Keep asking” what does thislook like? Malphurs suggestsyou dream, feel, are creativeand daring at this stage.The SLT should be involvedin this process though it willend up being “edited” by thesenior leader / visionary.
B.2 building on the corevalues - again the core valueshave been deﬁned earlier.Malphurs cites the example onthe following page as a goodexample for church planting.The ﬁrst statement is a corevalue - then the rest is a visiondevelopment of that value.Working with an SLT Malphurssuggests you can give groupsone of the values and askthem to develop it.
B.3 modeling after anothervision - you will come acrossvision statements that grabyour attention - you can usethis as a pattern from which todevelop your own visionstatement.The following is an examplefrom Lakeline church:http://lakeline.s468.sureserver.com/the-dream.html
3. The vision product - remembera picture is worth a thousandwords - probably said by avisionary!Vision is a picture or image inone’s head. Vision statements thenhelp people to “see” the vision.The vision statement is theculmination of the development ofthe product. However Malphurs iskeen to say that the developmentis an ongoing process -importantly it is the community wethink God is using us to build.
4. The test of vision - having putyou vision out for people to hear thenyou have to examine and see if it isok. Look at the deﬁnition of visionthat we used and ask if your visionﬁts into it?Vision is a clear, challengingpicture of the future of theministry, as you believe it can beand must be.If your vision is good it will enﬂameyou - and your people. If it lacks youwill be able to tell from how you andothers feel about it.
The communication of the visionThe leader is critical here - his wordsor actions have a powerful effect onhow people respond to the vision.SermonsVision is best spoken verbally - it isbest heard preached, just imagineMLK jr. - it had passion andconviction, taking people with him.Leaders who preach the vision haveto communicate passionately andwith real conviction that comes fromwithin.
Other methods Small groupsFormal and informal Video or audioconversation presentationsStories “Powerpoints”Bulletins As ever the list is as longNewsletters as your imagination /Brochure creativity.