Last week in my coaching network we spent a lot of time talking about the power of a clear vision. The funny thing is there are lots of churches with vision statements, but I don’t think there are very many churches that really have a vision statement that clarifies who they are as an organization. Among other things, a solid vision:
- Clarifies the purpose of the organization
- Pursues a preferred future
- Inspires people to engage
- Makes it easier to define what the organization won’t do
Even with that, you may be wondering whether or not your organization has clearly defined and communicated its vision. Here are two surefire ways to know whether or not you’ve accomplished the goal:
- A clear vision that is properly communicated will rally people. People will look at the present situation and agree together that there’s a better future that must be pursued. People will give their time, energy, prayer, financial resources, talents and gifts to help accomplish that vision. Lots of people will do that. If people aren’t attracted to your church, your vision either isn’t strong enough or it hasn’t been communicated clearly.
- A clear vision that is properly communicated will repel people. Think of the most successful businesses or churches — Apple, Starbucks, Wal-Mart, Willow Creek, Saddleback, Billy Graham, etc. Each of these businesses or ministries have experienced huge success. If you were to Google the names of each of these organizations and the word “haters”, you’ll also find there are plenty of people who consider these organizations evil. Clarifying your vision will help some people determine they don’t want to be a part of your cause. (And, don’t be surprised if some attack.) If people aren’t leaving your church, your vision either isn’t strong enough or it hasn’t been communicated clearly.
The purpose of this post isn’t to help you establish your vision and values. I want to challenge you to think about the purpose of your ministry. Does it rally people to your cause? And, does it repel some people? Of course, a healthy vision worth pursuing must attract many more people than it turns away; however, a strong vision will always help some people determine, “That’s not for me.”
If your sense is that you have a vision that makes everyone happy, you don’t have a strong vision.