In my experience working with churches “vision” seems to be one of the most talked about and least understood concepts in church leadership. Most church leaders have a tendency to over-complicate or over-spiritualize vision. It doesn’t have to be that difficult. I like this definition of vision that I frequently hear a good friend of mine use, “Vision is simply understanding the times and knowing what to do.”
In church-world people are tagged a “visionary” if they are a compelling communicator or seem to generate a lot of ideas. Just because you’re good at sales and can get people to buy into your ideas doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a visionary.
On the other hand many in the church oversimplify vision when asked. I can’t tell you how many church leaders I’ve seen puff out their chest in pride and say that the vision of their church is the same as Jesus’s vision for the church, “to make disciples.”
While that sounds spiritual it’s still a bit off the mark.
Answers the Question: Why do we exist?
This is the timeless answer to why your business, organization or church is on the planet in the first place. For those of us in church-world we don’t get to pick our mission, Jesus did that for us. That’s the whole, “go and make disciples,” part.
Answers the Question: Where are we going?
This is the next hill that needs to be taken. Organizational vision typically changes every 3-5 years. Vision changes because once you get there and have taken the hill, there’s always the next hill to take.
Answers the Question: How do we get there?
Goals are just vision with a timeline. They are the actionable and attainable steps or objectives to be met that move the organization in the direction of the vision. You know you’re winning and moving in the direction of accomplishing the vision when you are meeting your goals!
Need help understanding what’s next at your church? I’d encourage you to check out how the Unstuck Group helps churches gain perspective, plan and prioritize, staff to the vision, and execute strategically!
Posted in Leadership