Whether you’re consciously aware of it or not, your church vision for ministry in your community influences the choices you make about what you do for worship on Sunday and how you use your church building to support what you envision. This is why every church needs a good, concrete, and up-to-date vision.
This is the definition we use for church vision: a clear, shared, and compelling picture of the preferred future into which God is calling your congregation. While God seems to always be calling us forward, what vision is, or isn’t, is not the same for everyone.
Your Church Vision is Not by Committee
Every church has the same mission, to lead people into a saving relationship with Christ. However, each church will do that differently, and each church building will support that mission in different ways. A church vision needs to address the culture and demographics of the community and those who attend the church. (This is one place where a mismatched or outdated church building can definitely hinder the fulfillment of your church vision.)
It also has to mesh with the spiritual gifts of the church leadership. This is why you should not borrow another church’s vision for ministry. The vision needs to meet the needs of the folks where your church building is located. Ultimately, a church vision comes through prayer, not handing out a survey to the congregation. It is God-given, not wrestled out during committee meetings as a compromise between multiple human agendas.
Focus on Methods, Not Message, and Include Your Church Building
Pastor and author, Rick Warren says that we should never confuse the methods with the message. The message must never change, but the methods must change with each new generation. No vision is eternal. This is why church leaders must tie theirs to a clear understanding of what needs to change in their programs, outreach, and church building. Only then will the church speak with a unified vision.
The shut down and stay in place orders of COVID 19 clearly illustrate just how important the need for change can be. Most churches were forced to change within a week or two. Now many churches have ways of reaching people that they didn’t think they could just a month or two ago.
Understanding the Church Vision Life Cycle
So, if the methods must change for the message to be effective, it is important to understand the life cycle of every church vision. What happens when you achieve your church vision? We might think the church doesn’t die, but some churches do.
When a church reaches their vision, people stop striving to go above and beyond. They can think they’ve reached the mountaintop and they become complacent. That’s when a focus on comfort and the status quo starts to creep in. Once a vision is reached, over time, the energy for that vision fades away.
The good news is that God then gives a new vision, a new direction, to someone in the church leadership. It’s important to recognize that this will happen and to be ready for it, and be open to His direction, even including major changes to a church building.
With that new vision comes a new energy, which helps everyone move forward. It is that energy that we wish to support with our free i3 webinars, where we share the information you need to develop the best church vision for your community and to remodel or construct the best church building to support that vision.