Most renewal-oriented congregations have developed a vision statement. Vision statements identify a congregation’s “main thing” and help them focus on loving God, loving neighbor and making more and better disciples. Unfortunately, most vision statements never get rooted in a congregation’s culture which diminishes their impact on the life of God’s people.
Here are seven practices that will help root vision into congregational culture:
Practice 1: Reframe the vision
Visions root themselves in culture when they utilize memorable language of 10-15 words or less. Revisit your vision to determine if it is clear, shared and compelling.
Practice 2: Engage the imagination
Visions root themselves in culture when they stir the imagination. Before sharing words from a page, renewal leaders always paint pictures in the mind of what life will be like when vision is fully realized.
Practice 3: Connect vision to ministry activity
Visions root themselves in culture when leaders highlight how the daily doing of ministry is connected to the vision. It’s important for congregants to see how every ministry is an active living out of the vision.
Practice 4: Develop annual goals connected to vision
Visions root themselves in culture when annual goal setting flows directly from vision. Ministry departments should annually revisit the vision to determine how they can contribute to its fulfillment.
Practice 5: Create measures specifically connected to vision
Someone has correctly noted that we invest in what we measure. Vision roots itself in culture when a congregation develops and regularly monitors measurements connected to vision attainment.
Practice 6: Develop external displays as vision reminders
Prominent displays of a congregation’s vision are an important part of rooting it in culture. Those displays could include word art in the sanctuary, banners in the narthex and Power Point slides in the pre-service.
Practice 7: Celebrate progress on vision attainment
Nothing roots vision in culture like sharing stories of vision being lived out in the congregation. Every vision focused congregation is a story-telling congregation.