2012 Barna Report: Pastors Are Most Interested in Clarity of Church’s Vision & Mission

As I’ve watched conversations over the past decade, I have observed a growing interest from church leaders in getting mission and vision right.  The latest Barna Group report that studied how pastors plan to improve their churches in the coming year affirms this.  David Kinnaman, who directed the research study put it this way:

“Most pastors are open to changing their ministries, yet many of them are struggling with the foundational questions of mission and vision. In other words, they want a clear direction to pursue, not necessarily just more ministry resources, like facilities, equipment, technology or ministry tools.”

Here are a few bullets that highlight important takeaways from the Barna research.  You can read the full article here.

  • The highest priority for pastors is assessing their church’s mission and vision.(59% said they definitely will; 88% probably will)
  • The second priority is to assess the church’s reputation in the community.(38% said they definitely will; 72% probably will)
  • Conducting an assessment of spiritual transformation in their church is an important goal. (22% said they definitely will; 50% probably will)
  • Measuring demographics and spiritual needs in their local community will be a priority. (31% said they definitely will; 62% probably will)

This report continues to expose the growing interest in and need for vision consulting as higher priority is being put on vision clarity by church leaders.  It also reinforces one of the points I mentioned in a previous post, 2011 Vision and Strategy Church Trends where I observed that we are seeing a shift in priorities and needs of church leaders. It is a shift that is moving away from packaged campaigns and programs towards the ability to navigate organic and culture-savvy solutions. Indeed, help in clarifying vision has become the most common reason for a pastor to pursue a consultant.

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Will Mancini

Will Mancini

Will Mancini wants you and your ministry to experience the benefits of stunning, God-given clarity. As a pastor turned vision coach, Will has worked with an unprecedented variety of churches from growing megachurches and missional communities, to mainline revitalization and church plants. He is the founder of Auxano, creator of VisionRoom.com and the author of God Dreams and Church Unique.

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What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
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If someone wants entertainment they're going to the wrong place. Church is not a place for entertainment...or in my opinion a barrage of coffee and donuts. Why are churches today bringing the world INTO them? Then there's the thing with children...age appropriate??? These little guys can pick stuff up in service. Besides Jesus said Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Mt. 19:14.
— Laurie
I love the intentionality here as well as the challenge to look at the data. That's missing so many times. I would like to offer a contrarian's take. Church members and regular attenders have so many ways to get information: Announcements, bulletins, social channels, relationships, and email being among the options. But brand new people are likely going to check out the website and that's it. It might be wiser for churches with limited time and resources to focus their website almost exclusively to guests. This group of people isn't looking for a calendar of events but wants to know about regular programs. They probably aren't interested in watching all of the messages but instead may want to preview one of the services. For the times we need church members to go to websites (sign up for camp, join a group, etc), we're probably better off designing and promoting a specific page rather than cluttering up the homepage.
— Michael Lukaszewski (@mlukaszewski)

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