Understanding the Four Horizons of Vision

Do you really understand visionary planning?

As a leader, can you clarify the difference between having a vision and having a plan? Vision is about the picture of your church’s future. A plan is about the steps to get there.

The vision answers the question, “Where is God taking us?” The plan answers the question, “What are the next best steps, and how do they relate?”

Solution – Understanding the Four Horizons of Vision

THE QUICK SUMMARY – God Dreams by Will Mancini

Is your team excited about the next big dream for your church?

You are a visionary leader and your church probably has a vision statement. Yet most churches are stuck in a trap of generic communication without a truly visionary plan. Just like a visionary restaurant needs a more specific focus than “serving food,” a visionary church needs something more than biblical generalizations like “loving God, loving people” or “making disciples and serving the world.”

When a team doesn’t share an understanding of God’s next big dream, leadership grows tired, overworked by an “all things to all people” ministry approach. Too often there’s no unified picture of what success looks like. People can feel uninspired and your church’s programming can seem more optional than ever.

Ministry without clarity is insanity. Are you ready for a better way?

In this groundbreaking work, based on Will Mancini’s 15 years and over 10,000 hours of church team facilitation, God Dreams reveals a simple and powerful planning method that will bring energy and focus to your church like never before.

First, God Dreams shows how to reclaim the role of long-range vision today by providing 12 vision templates, each with biblical, historical, and contemporary illustrations. These vision starters will dramatically accelerate your team’s ability to find complete agreement regarding your church’s future.

Second, God Dreams explains how to overcome the fruitless planning efforts that many church teams experience. With a tool called the Horizon Storyline, leaders can connect short-term action steps with the long-range dream, while leveraging the power of storytelling to make the plan “stick.” This tool will galvanize a diverse team of ministry leaders and volunteers with unprecedented enthusiasm.

Imagine leading with a refreshed sense of freedom and confidence, with a totally new way to inspire your church. Imagine the ability to harness the energy and resources of your people toward a specific dream of gospel impact, in your church and in your lifetime.

God Dreams is your passport to leading into a better future.

A SIMPLE SOLUTION

Your eyes can focus on multiple horizons. As you are reading this document, look up and notice what is in your midground – a desk and chairs, other people?

Now look to the background and note what you see. A window to look through or a bookshelf?

The document itself and your arms and hands are in your foreground.

Without moving your head, experience the ability to focus in and out of these three horizons going back and forth quickly. That’s called accommodation. It’s a natural reflex that is happening subconsciously all day long. But it’s also a voluntary process. You can consciously control it whenever you want, as you probably did while trying the exercise.

What’s natural to your daily life can also be natural to your church’s organizational life. It is possible to use the three basic distances you are zooming in and out of all day long to build a visionary planning model.

In fact, the primary reason for vision in human-body functions is to guide and direct movement. The same might be said of your visionary plan: it exists to guide and direct movement for the church body as a whole.

The Horizon Storyline is a tool to develop the right amount of vision content for the right time in the future, for the entire leadership team.

The breakthrough of the Horizon Storyline is the development of a planning tool that fits human experience. It’s natural to grasp, using the way we already see, think, and communicate. What if we could forever remove the “it’s just too complicated” barrier? What if your planning tool would intuitively and immediately make sense? What if it would actually be fun to revisit over and over again?

The Horizon Storyline is defined by how we see different “horizons” in our field of vision every day. This idea is illustrated in a landscape painting, with the background far away as the eyes can see; a focal point of the piece in the midground that draws and keeps your focus; and an object in the foreground up close, right before your eyes.

To start, we just carry over the simple idea of background, midground, and foreground using those as names for three of our four planning horizons. We will simply see them as horizons, not in three-dimensional space but into the future. They are time horizons.

Here’s how it works. The near future we will define as ninety days away. That is the foreground vision. The next horizon, the midground vision, we define as one year away. And the furthest horizon we can “see” as an organization is the background vision, defined as three years away. The eyes of your church or ministry should be able to “see” this amount of time into the future.

Now that leaves one more horizon to define. This fourth horizon is just a little farther than you can clearly see. It’s just past your visible range. I call that “beyond the horizon” as a reminder that it is far away, just over the next mountain range, so to speak. I define this time frame as anywhere between five and twenty years depending on the church’s life stage and context.

Will Mancini, God Dreams

A NEXT STEP

The horizons described above are extensions of the way your eyes naturally work.

Right now think of at least one foreground, or short-term strategic horizon for your church. Something within the next 60-90 days.

Now list one big thing you hope to accomplish in the next year.

Finally, what is a big project, idea or task that you know will need to be tackled in the next few years of your leadership?

Rate the connectedness and continuity between these strategic initiatives. Bring the team together and ask, what could be done to bring these three natural horizons of visionary planning into alignment?

 


More energy. Greater resources. Better synergy. Would you like to have that right now at your church? Would you have guessed that the first step toward these improvements is defining your specific vision as a church?

If you don’t have a clear vision, you certainly won’t have a culture that matches. And if you don’t have a strong culture, then what are people in your church really doing?

Why are they there?

Taken from SUMS Remix 32-2, published January 2016


This is part of a weekly series posting content from one of the most innovative content sources in the church world: SUMS Remix Book Summaries for church leaders. SUMS Remix takes a practical problem in the church and looks at it with three solutions; and each solution is taken from a different book. As a church leader you get to scan relevant books based on practical tools and solutions to real ministry problems, not just by the cover of the book. Each post will have the edition number which shows the year and what number it is in the overall sequence. (SUMS provides 26 issues per year, delivered every other week to your inbox). 

> Subscribe to SUMS Remix <<

Download PDF

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| What is MyVisionRoom? > | Back to Vision >

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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.

See more articles by >

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Recent Comments
Sorry, the author of this content has removed the links at the original source!
 
— VRcurator
 
The hypertext link is broken for the pdf download - can it be fixed? Thanks!
 
— Steve Elliott
 
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
 
— Debra
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

9 Forms of Generic Church Vision that Lead You to Do the Wrong Thing for the Right Reason

Most pastors are visionaries. But to fully realize the vision of a church, a pastor needs more than a generic sense of the future.

When it comes to vision, the biggest challenge to success is not your obstacles. The biggest challenge to overcome is settling for a lesser vision and not knowing it. If you grab on to a faulty tool—in this case the tool of vision—everything you to try to build with that tool will be limited.

Once you move past a generic sense to a vivid vision, you will still have many obstacles to overcome, but those are the natural challenges of implementation. You still have the hard work to do. But every action and every point of communication is more powerful with the vivid and compelling picture of the future in view.

If you are living with generic vision, and I believe most pastors are, more of your implementation challenges have to do with clarity than you realize. In the last week alone, I have seen issues like staff hiring decisions, children’s programming decisions, and campus launch decisions all present major dilemmas only because of unclear vision. Yet the lead pastor didn’t recognize it as such.

How then, can we apprehend the generic church vision that plagues our churches? In my book, God Dreams, I have identified nine forms generic vision to help you name it in your church. The nine stem from three healthy biases. That is to say, we empower generic vision with good motives most of the time. We do the wrong thing for the right reason. It’s a good motive taken a little too far in application.

The three healthy biases are: accuracy, growth and efficiency. I will briefly describe each bias with the three forms of generic vision they create. Also, I will invite you to receive free God Dreams resources when they are available at the link below. The next resource is a worksheet to help your team identify its specific form of generic vision.

 #1 – ACCURACY BIAS

A healthy bias toward accuracy can lead us to confuse Biblical statements with Biblically informed vision.

The story of church vision in the last two decades could be described as the great misuse of the Great Commandment (Mt. 22:34-40) and the Great Commission (Mt. 28:19-20). Most people have heard some variation of the following as a vision statement for a local church:

  • “Our vision is to love God and love others.” (Love God vision)
  • “Our vision is to make disciples of Jesus Christ.” (Make disciples vision)
  • “Our vision is to glorify God.” (Glorify God vision

These are biblical imperatives that should apply to all churches, but not as a vision statement. Why? When Jesus summarized the law, He was not giving churches a vision statement. This is a meaningful summary of the law, but it’s not an answer to the question: if we’re a church, what should our vision be for the next three to twenty years?

To summarize the problem, in our efforts to be biblical we fail to be imaginative, by cut-n-pasting verses as vision.

#2 – GROWTH BIAS

A healthy bias toward growth can lead us to substitute a grow-only vision for a growth-minded vision. 

Some church leaders equate growth with vision. “If we experience momentum, we must have vision,” they reason. Here are three examples of how growth becomes an end in itself as generic kinds of vision statements for a local church:

  • “Our vision is to reach more people for Christ.” (Reach more vision)
  • “Our vision is to build a bigger facility or launch more campuses in order to take the gospel to more places.” (Build more vision)
  • “Our vision is to change world.” (More change vision)

Every church should be reaching more people and multiplying disciples. And an increased response can certainly lead to more facilities and more campuses.

A healthy bias for growth might undergird a vision, but statements like these are weak by themselves. “Reaching more” and “changing the world” are too vague. And buildings and campuses might be important tools, but they are means to something greater, not an end in themselves.

#3 – EFFICIENCY BIAS

A healthy bias toward efficiency can lead to a done-for-you vision that neglects adequate do-it-yourself vision ownership. 

Church leaders across the centuries have been drawn to learn from other churches where good things seem to be happening. Often this happens with the best of motives: they suspect God is at work and they want to be part of it. They appreciate the encouragement, the ideas, the tools, and the training from the other churches’ leadership. They follow the spirit of 1 Corinthians 11:1 where the Apostle Paul said, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” A noble intent for sure.

But the passion that says, “We don’t want to reinvent the wheel,” while wisely seeking to improve efficiency, can lead to a debilitating blockage of the imagination. Who wants to leverage the learning of others to the point of sacrificing the thrill of having a God-given, handcrafted vision?

This bias shows up in several approaches to vision. But unlike the accuracy bias and the growth bias, the efficiency bias doesn’t usually express itself in a written vision statement, but in the mindset of the leaders. I would label three expressions of this intent as follows:

  • Serve as a franchise vision (be the first)
  • Offer the most vision (i.e., more programs)
  • Be the best vision (model church, top 10, etc.) 

Of course I have much more to say about these nine forms of generic vision in God Dreams. But I bet this is enough to begin a meaningful conversation with your team.

The post will be unpacked in greater detail in God Dreams, my fourth book. The subtitle is 12 Templates for Finding and Focusing Your Church’s Future. 

I invite you to sign up for pre-release specials before the book is published in 2016 (link below). The biggest one will be a free visual summary that you won’t want to miss! The next tool I am providing is a generic vision worksheet.

Get on the list for pre-release specials for God Dreams here.

> Read more from Will.


Would you like to learn more about avoiding a generic sense of the future? Connect with an Auxano Navigator and start a conversation with our team.

Download PDF

Tags: , ,

| What is MyVisionRoom? > | Back to Vision >

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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.

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
Sorry, the author of this content has removed the links at the original source!
 
— VRcurator
 
The hypertext link is broken for the pdf download - can it be fixed? Thanks!
 
— Steve Elliott
 
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
 
— Debra
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

How 12 Templates for Church Vision Will Transform Your Leadership

The 12 Templates for Church Vision as a resource made the subtitle of God Dreams. God Dreams is toolbox for installing a visionary planning model in your church. The master tool of the book is called the Horizon Storyline and it fits inside of the Vision Frame–more on that to come.

At this year’s Exponential Conference in Orlando April 24-27, members of the Auxano team and I will be leading multiple breakout sessions – all based on the resources provided in God Dreams. Find out more information here.

SO WHAT ARE THE 12 TEMPLATES?

The Horizon Storyline will engage your thinking on church vision 5-20 years into the future depending on the age and life stage of your ministry. When it comes to thinking this far away, I have found that it is very difficult getting people on the same page. Vision that distance into the future can seem fuzzy or unnecessary to think about.  The 12 templates were designed as an on-ramp to vibrant imagination and dialogue as a leadership team.

Think of the 12 templates as a vision typology. When believers sit together and dream about the impact they want to have in the world, I believe any dream can be ultimately defined by one of the templates. It’s church vision made that simple.

In fact, that’s how the templates emerged in my mind. About 4 years ago I had crossed the 10,000 hour mark of facilitating with church teams. I began to see the patterns crystallize in my mind. We have been using these tools for about 4 years at Auxano, and a year ago, I decided that we needed to put it in a book. The visuals and definitions of the 12 templates are available on the free download below.

HOW WILL THEY TRANSFORM YOUR LEADERSHIP?

Most teams select and relate the top two templates for their church. For example, New Break in San Diego uses the “leadership multiplication leading to targeted transformation” as their picture idea. From there you build out a vivid description of your long-range vision horizon. (God Dreams walks through this process). In the end, the transformative nature of having a long-range vision comes from the brand new ability to:

  • Increase your confidence as a leader
  • Shape the destiny of the whole congregation
  • Create deeper meaning for individuals
  • Cultivate heroic sacrifice among people
  • Focus the resource base of the church 
  • Guide the development of long-term strategy

The state of church vision is so anorexic with regard to this kind of long-range thinking that it’s hard to recognize it any more. We are trafficking in such general ideas, we no longer recognize the lack of meaning of anything beyond sermon series planning or the next annual budget. Where does that leave our people? They are not emotionally connected to anything that our church represents or the impact we can have, beyond the next weekend service or small group.

Let me ask you: What kind of dramatic gospel impact will your church have in your community, in your lifetime? 

Download the 12 Templates Overview

Templates that ADVANCE (arrow)

  • Geographic (Gospel) Saturation
  • Targeted Transformation
  • People-group Penetration

Templates that RESCUE (cross)

  • Institutional Renovation
  • Need Adoption
  • Crisis Mobilization

Templates that BECOME (circle)

  • Spiritual Formation
  • Presence Manifestation
  • Obedient Anticipation

Templates that OVERFLOW (wave)

  • Leadership Multiplication
  • Cultural Replication
  • Anointing Amplification

> Read more from Will.


Would you like to know more about the 12 Vision Templates or the Horizon Storyline? Connect with an Auxano Navigator and start a conversation with our team.

Download PDF

Tags: , , ,

| What is MyVisionRoom? > | Back to Vision >

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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.

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
Sorry, the author of this content has removed the links at the original source!
 
— VRcurator
 
The hypertext link is broken for the pdf download - can it be fixed? Thanks!
 
— Steve Elliott
 
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
 
— Debra
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Do You Recognize Your Generic Vision?

Are you a visionary but just not sure the vision is connecting?

Imagine that the role of vision in your church is like an axe. When skillfully used, it makes a path clear. It removes obstacles. It broadens the path for others to follow. It enables greater accomplishment.

Most pastors regularly pick up the axe of vision in their ministry. Some quickly set it back down, having never been trained in its effective use. Others swing like crazy, unaware that they wield a dull edge. Too often they become frustrated or confused by too little return for their tireless work.

Solution – Recognize your generic vision

THE QUICK SUMMARY – God Dreams by Will Mancini

Is your team excited about the next big dream for your church?

You are a visionary leader and your church probably has a vision statement. Yet most churches are stuck in a trap of generic communication without a truly visionary plan. Just like a visionary restaurant needs a more specific focus than “serving food,” a visionary church needs something more than biblical generalizations like “loving God, loving people” or “making disciples and serving the world.”

When a team doesn’t share an understanding of God’s next big dream, leadership grows tired, overworked by an “all things to all people” ministry approach. Too often there’s no unified picture of what success looks like. People can feel uninspired and your church’s programming can seem more optional than ever.

Ministry without clarity is insanity. Are you ready for a better way?

In this groundbreaking work, based on Will Mancini’s 15 years and over 10,000 hours of church team facilitation, God Dreams reveals a simple and powerful planning method that will bring energy and focus to your church like never before.

First, God Dreams shows how to reclaim the role of long-range vision today by providing 12 vision templates, each with biblical, historical, and contemporary illustrations. These vision starters will dramatically accelerate your team’s ability to find complete agreement regarding your church’s future.

Second, God Dreams explains how to overcome the fruitless planning efforts that many church teams experience. With a tool called the Horizon Storyline, leaders can connect short-term action steps with the long-range dream, while leveraging the power of storytelling to make the plan “stick.” This tool will galvanize a diverse team of ministry leaders and volunteers with unprecedented enthusiasm.

Imagine leading with a refreshed sense of freedom and confidence, with a totally new way to inspire your church. Imagine the ability to harness the energy and resources of your people toward a specific dream of gospel impact, in your church and in your lifetime.

God Dreams is your passport to leading into a better future.

A SIMPLE SOLUTION

Most pastors and churches are living with generic vision, and because of that, more of their implementation challenges have to do with clarity than they realize. Issues like staff hiring decisions, children’s programming decisions, and campus launch decisions all present major dilemmas only because of unclear vision. Yet in most cases, the lead pastor didn’t recognize it as such.

Once you move past a generic sense to a vivid vision, you will still have many obstacles to overcome, but those are the natural challenges of implementation. You still have the hard work to do. But every action and every point of communication is more powerful with the vivid and compelling picture of the future in view.

Vision is probably the most talked about and least understood term in the church’s leadership lexicon.

Churches today miss their potential not because they lack vision but because they embrace a lesser kind of vision, unaware of doing so. That lesser vision is a generic one.

Most churches have a generic sense of their vision rather than a clearly defined and contextually crafted vision. In the world of vision, generic is an enemy. Specific is your friend. Setting for generic will suck the life out of a church, and the people won’t even know it.

Generic means “to have no distinctive quality.” It’s predictable, common, unoriginal, nondescript, plain, undecorated, and mediocre.

Will Mancini, God Dreams

A NEXT STEP

How can we apprehend the generic church vision that plagues our churches?

The answer begins by identifying nine forms of generic vision that will help you name generic vision that is likely present in your church. The nine stem from three healthy biases. That is to say, we empower generic vision with good motives most of the time. We do the wrong thing for the right reason. It’s a good motive taken a little too far in application.

The three healthy biases are: accuracy, growth, and efficiency.

#1 – ACCURACY BIAS

A healthy bias toward accuracy can lead us to confuse Biblical statements with Biblically informed vision.

The story of church vision in the last two decades could be described as the great misuse of the Great Commandment (Mt. 22:34-40) and the Great Commission (Mt. 28:19-20). Most people have heard some variation of the following as a vision statement for a local church:

  •  “Our vision is to love God and love others.” (Love God vision)
  •  “Our vision is to make disciples of Jesus Christ.” (Make disciples vision)
  • “Our vision is to glorify God.” (Glorify God vision) 

These are biblical imperatives that should apply to all churches, but not as a vision statement. Why? When Jesus summarized the law, He was not giving churches a vision statement. This is a meaningful summary of the law, but it’s not an answer to the question: if we’re a church, what should our vision be for the next three to twenty years?

To summarize the problem, in our efforts to be biblical we fail to be imaginative, by cut-n-pasting verses as vision.

#2 – GROWTH BIAS 

A healthy bias toward growth can lead us to substitute a grow-only vision for a growth-minded vision. 

Some church leaders equate growth with vision. “If we experience momentum, we must have vision,” they reason. Here are three examples of how growth becomes an end in itself as generic kinds of vision statements for a local church:

  • “Our vision is to reach more people for Christ.” (Reach more vision)
  • “Our vision is to build a bigger facility or launch more campuses in order to take the gospel to more places.” (Build more vision)
  • “Our vision is to change world.” (More change vision)

Every church should be reaching more people and multiplying disciples. And an increased response can certainly lead to more facilities and more campuses.

A healthy bias for growth might undergird a vision, but statements like these are weak by themselves. “Reaching more” and “changing the world” are too vague. And buildings and campuses might be important tools, but they are means to something greater, not an end in themselves. 

#3 – EFFICIENCY BIAS

A healthy bias toward efficiency can lead to a done-for-you vision that neglects adequate do-it-yourself vision ownership. 

Church leaders across the centuries have been drawn to learn from other churches where good things seem to be happening. Often this happens with the best of motives: they suspect God is at work and they want to be part of it. They appreciate the encouragement, the ideas, the tools, and the training from the other churches’ leadership. They follow the spirit of 1 Corinthians 11:1 where the Apostle Paul said, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” A noble intent for sure.

But the passion that says, “We don’t want to reinvent the wheel,” while wisely seeking to improve efficiency, can lead to a debilitating blockage of the imagination.

Who wants to leverage the learning of others to the point of sacrificing the thrill of having a God-given, handcrafted vision?

This bias shows up in several approaches to vision. But unlike the accuracy bias and the growth bias, the efficiency bias doesn’t usually express itself in a written vision statement, but in the mindset of the leaders. The three expressions of this intent can be labeled as follows:

  • Serve as a franchise vision
  • Offer the most vision (i.e., more programs)
  • Be the best vision (model church, top 10, etc.) 

When you round up the possibilities of the done-for-you vision, the real problems aren’t the motives driving the leader; it’s the temptation to bypass a meaningful visioning process that pushes through to the personally specific. Only through do-it-yourself ownership is vivid vision really lived out.

To continue this discussion with your team, use the chart below to rank where you and your church are tempted to go generic.

GodDreamsChart1

Once you have completed the above exercise, spend another 30-45 minutes with your team to talk through the implications of the above discovery. Name one to two areas of generic vision and create a plan to develop a vivid description of your God-given vision.


Life is too short and ministry is too hard to swing all day with a blunt-edged vision.

Taken from SUMS Remix 31-2, published January 2016


This is part of a weekly series posting content from one of the most innovative content sources in the church world: SUMS Remix Book Summaries for church leaders. SUMS Remix takes a practical problem in the church and looks at it with three solutions; and each solution is taken from a different book. As a church leader you get to scan relevant books based on practical tools and solutions to real ministry problems, not just by the cover of the book. Each post will have the edition number which shows the year and what number it is in the overall sequence. (SUMS provides 26 issues per year, delivered every other week to your inbox). 

> Subscribe to SUMS Remix <<

Download PDF

Tags: , ,

| What is MyVisionRoom? > | Back to Vision >

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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.

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
Sorry, the author of this content has removed the links at the original source!
 
— VRcurator
 
The hypertext link is broken for the pdf download - can it be fixed? Thanks!
 
— Steve Elliott
 
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
 
— Debra
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

20 Unavoidable Requirements for Vision Breakthrough

As leaders, we are naturally praying for breakthrough in one or more areas…

  • In our family
  • In our health
  • In our relationships
  • In our congregation
  • And especially in God’s vision for our church

But vision breakthrough requires change.

And in just a few short weeks, the warm, hopeful desire for vision breakthrough will stand toe-to-toe with the cold, hard reality of the sacrifice demanded to achieve change. Only what we are truly committed-to, and convicted-of, will remain standing.

For most of us, spending another year talking about what should be different will be as effective in this year as it was in the last.

There is profit in all hard work, but endless talk leads only to poverty. Proverbs 14:23

It might seem obvious, but healthy change and Biblical growth will not “just happen” without work.

Lasting breakthrough in your church consists of at least 20 unavoidable requirements, because in the end…

…vision takes Effort – As followers of Christ, we have no model nor Biblical map for the path of least resistance.

…vision takes Money – Extending the life of a dying church costs very little, revitalizing hope for the future takes thoughtful & intentional investment.

…vision takes Time – God has gifted us with a mind to dream about “what if,” and the time to be about “what next.”

…vision takes Risk – The riverbanks are safer than the rapids, but the full beauty of the river cannot merely be observed, it must be experienced.

…vision takes Courage – Courage is not the absence of fear, it is the presence of fear and then moving forward in faith anyway.

…vision takes Recklessness – Following a Savior who gave His life will likely involve moments of leadership in which we risk ours.

…vision takes Fear – An honest appraisal of the stakes involved in pastoring a church should strike fear in the heart of any experienced leader.

…vision takes Control – A pastoral calling in the local church requires active leadership engagement, not passive membership observation.

…vision takes Prayer – Depending on prayer for breakthrough, means setting aside enough time for a season, not just enough to start a meeting.

…vision takes Truth – Understanding the current state of the church is the only start, if effectiveness and health are truly the destination.

…vision takes Reality – Communication of “what could be” apart from “what is” creates a precarious gap. Excessive aspiration breeds active cynicism.

…vision takes Collaboration – Successful leadership is not measured by what you get accomplished, but by what gets accomplished without you.

…vision takes Help – Every leader naturally thinks they can “do it themselves” when it comes to vision – if you could have, you would have by now.

…vision takes Commitment – It’s much easier to start something new than to revitalize something in existence. New isn’t always better, ask Coke.

…vision takes Humility – Owning and understanding what we presently do not know catapults the process of understanding and owning God’s preferred future.

…vision takes Understanding – Lasting leadership impact does not happen because you developed great solutions, but because you asked great questions.

…vision takes Perspective – The longer you are a part of a system or organization, the harder it becomes for you to see things as they actually are.

…vision takes Immediacy – There are as many reasons to start tomorrow as there are wishes we had started yesterday. Today is all we have.

…vision takes Patience – You cannot microwave vision, it is as healthy & nutritious for the church body as a microwave burrito is for your physical body.

…vision takes Jesus – If the Gospel of Christ is not the primary catalyst and the singular focus of our effort, let’s change the name and charge membership fees.

Visionary breakthrough will demand much, but reward much more. Will Mancini’s book God Dreams is a great place to begin. Here is a recent post from Will on the importance of breakthrough church vision.

If you are ready to start a breakthrough vision conversation with an Auxano team member, or learn more about scheduling a 2-Day Vision Retreat this year, let us know here.

In the meantime… get to work.

> Read more from Bryan.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bryan Rose

As Lead Navigator for Auxano, Bryan Rose has a strong bias toward merging strategy and creativity within the vision of the local church and has had a diversity of experience in just about every ministry discipline over the last 12 years. With his experience as a multi-site strategist and campus pastor at a 3500 member multi-campus church in the Houston Metro area, Bryan has a passion to see “launch clarity” define the unique Great Commission call of developing church plants and campus, while at the same time serving established churches as they seek to clarify their individual ministry calling. Bryan has demonstrated achievement as a strategic thinker with a unique ability to infuse creativity into the visioning process while bringing a group of people to a deep sense of personal ownership and passion.

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Sorry, the author of this content has removed the links at the original source!
 
— VRcurator
 
The hypertext link is broken for the pdf download - can it be fixed? Thanks!
 
— Steve Elliott
 
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
 
— Debra
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

5 Reasons Why Scheduling a Leadership Retreat This Year Will Increase Attendance This Year

When was the last time you experienced a dynamic 2-day offsite retreat that refreshed and refocused your team? This week is a great time to calendar, block, and schedule a retreat with your key leaders.

But some leaders might wonder, “Things are going so well, do we really need to go through the trouble of extra vision and planning days?” It’s a great question. I fundamentally believe that much greater progress can come with actionable reflection. Yet, I thought I would explore the connection between taking time to envision the future and increasing attendance in your church.

Here are five reasons why pausing to plan will result in more people being attracted to your church.

Reason #1: Communicating the retreat that you schedule this week indirectly sets a tone of expectation for ministry results in 2017. This kind of leadership move has a domino effect on the team and your leaders will be more likely to decide and act in ways that link to more people coming. For example, your student ministry director might think ahead on student events so that they are done faster and better. After all, the retreat is coming and his or her ministry will be discussed.

Reason #2: Creating harmony and flow among the leaders who implement ministry makes ministry environments more attractive. Years ago I learned that a perfectly executed worship service with frustrated or burned out leaders isn’t really as much of a “win” as I thought. “Who we are” as we do the ministry is just as important as “what we do” and people attending are adept as sensing the atmosphere.  Taking time to listen, relax and focus on the future will refresh a sense of community that others seeing that community from a distance can feel.

Reason #3: Focusing attention and resources on one area of impact will positively effect the whole system. The idea here is that your church needs one big goal at a time. Even if that goal is not directly aimed to increase attendance, it will likely have a positive impact. The church as the “body of Christ” is a set of systems. Strengthening one part, helps the whole.

Reason #4: Making room to diagnose problems and consider alternative perspectives will create new ideas. Every organization gets stuck in ruts in how they operate. There are always ruts. The only question is, how are you identifying and tackling them? The best idea  for increasing attendance at your church may never come if you don’t create the time and space to birth it.

Reason #5: Resetting the vision is essential for inspiring greatness and creating energy. It’s easy to forget how monotonous ministry is on the front line. What are we ultimately supposed to be doing? Why do we do what we do? Where are we headed as a church? Your leaders ARE asking these questions whether you are aware of it or not. Why not involve them in helping see the future again? Increasing clarity creates energy to get more done and lifts the spirits of the people as they work. Do you think that increasing the energy and enthusiasm of your top 20 leaders will lead to increased attendance this year? You bet it will.

Sometimes having a facilitator for a 2-day retreat makes a huge difference. Our team at Auxano is ready to help you this year. We have a strong retreat agenda developed based on my latest book, God Dreams. Why not invite us in to help you?  Learn more.

> Read more from Will.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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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Sorry, the author of this content has removed the links at the original source!
 
— VRcurator
 
The hypertext link is broken for the pdf download - can it be fixed? Thanks!
 
— Steve Elliott
 
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
 
— Debra
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Asbury UMC Moves from Coasting to Making a Difference

Restarting the Conversation for Long-range Vision

When it comes to vision statements, many church leaders have lost interest. And for good reason–most vision statements are generic and useless. I like to say that your church really doesn’t need a vision statement, it needs a visionary state of mind. Yet, there needs to be a way to cultivate that state of mind. Your team does need some ideas on paper to become a sort of “mental charging station” for themselves and other leaders.  Think of a vivid vision statement as “base camp” for the team to assemble around, in order to take “vision casting treks” and “meaning excursions” all day long; that is the daily work of ministry.

So how do you get this vision thing right? What does success look like?  I answer the question for you in my new book God Dreams. More than that, I created a step-by-step guide for church teams.

To inspire you along the way, here is a case study from Asbury United Methodist Church in Raleigh, NC, led by Terry Bryant. Before we jump into their “Coasting or Difference Making?” vision, let’s clarify what it is we are looking at.

First, it is a vivid description example of a long-range vision or what I call a “beyond-the-horizon” vision. Many have abandoned thinking long as discipline as a result of the constant changes of culture and technology. But for the church, there are many foundational reasons why leadership should think long-range. Here are twelve of them.

Second, it is only one fourth of what you need to have a complete visionary plan. This is the start – the long-range context to visionary plan. There are three other horizons to develop and the plan is eventually anchored in four immediate action initiatives in the next 90 days. To see the model for visionary planning check out how the Horizon Storyline works.

Asbury’s Vision: Coasting or Difference Making?

Summary: In the next five years, every person who calls our church home will be linking arms in difference-making relationships. We will focus efforts on two needs—hunger and education—in the three concentric-circle ministry areas (in the geography of Acts 1:8).

We live in a highly educated, thriving, and dynamic culture in North Raleigh. What we experience far too often is that while we are constantly busy, we often feel like we are coasting through life. We always have stuff to do but seldom feel like we are making a difference. So we will move from coasting to engaging gears, moving past meaningless self-centered activity and accelerating new and practical ways of living out our faith. We will be salt and light to our neighbors (Matt. 5:13–16).

Strengthened through our common worship and group engagement, we intend to be difference makers in our local community and world through two key areas of focus: First, being on mission to end hunger, recognizing the call of our Lord, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat” (Matt. 25:35 NIV). Second, being on mission to improving underresourced education centers, recognizing the call of Scripture to “train up a child in the way he should go” (Prov. 22:6). We are going to become a place where it becomes inescapable that to be part of Asbury is to respond relationally and tangibly to these needs in our community and world.

*We intend to do this specifically through relational involvement and service with the Asbury Preschool, Lynn Road Elementary, and our partners in Haiti (Hearts and Hands for Haiti). We will accomplish this through mentoring children, encouraging educators, improving school campuses, and engaging with parents. We see hundreds of unchurched parents and children from the Asbury Preschool finding new life in Christ at Asbury. We see thousands of pounds of fresh produce donated locally. We see not only hundreds of Asbury’s people visiting Haiti and engaging with children there but also sending millions of meals to Haiti. We see hundreds at Asbury serving as lion pals in our mentoring program for children. We see hundreds of backpacks filled with food for children on the weekend. That our Lord might proclaim, “You loved me when you packaged that meal, you walked with me when you grabbed the hand of an underresourced student and served, you blessed me when you received that family into my church” (Matt. 25).

*Jerusalem and Judea (Asbury Preschool), Samaria (Lynn Road), ends of the earth (Haiti) (Acts 1:8).

Church: Asbury United Methodist Church, Raleigh, NC

Pastor: Terry Bryant

Vision Template: Need adoption in harness with geographic saturation

>>>> Buy God Dreams >>>>

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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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COMMENTS

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Recent Comments
Sorry, the author of this content has removed the links at the original source!
 
— VRcurator
 
The hypertext link is broken for the pdf download - can it be fixed? Thanks!
 
— Steve Elliott
 
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
 
— Debra
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Brushy Creek Baptist in Easley, SC has a Vision for Christ-Centered Parenting

Restarting the Conversation for Long-range Vision

When it comes to vision statements, many church leaders have lost interest. And for good reason–most vision statements are generic and useless. I like to say that your church really doesn’t need a vision statement, it needs a visionary state of mind. Yet, there needs to be a way to cultivate that state of mind. Your team does need some ideas on paper to become a sort of “mental charging station” for themselves and other leaders.  Think of a vivid vision statement as “base camp” for the team to assemble around, in order to take “vision casting treks” and “meaning excursions” all day long; that is the daily work of ministry.

So how do you get this vision thing right? What does success look like?  I answer the question for you in my new book God Dreams. More than that, I created a step-by-step guide for church teams.

To inspire you along the way, here is a case study from Brushy Creek Baptist Church in Easley, SC, led by Jim Spencer and Nick McClellan. Before we jump into their “Christ-Centered Parenting” vision, let’s clarify what it is we are looking at.

First, it is a vivid description example of a long-range vision or what I call a “beyond-the-horizon” vision. Many have abandoned thinking long as discipline as a result of the constant changes of culture and technology. But for the church, there are many foundational reasons why leadership should think long-range. Here are twelve of them.

Second, it is only one fourth of what you need to have a complete visionary plan. This is the start – the long-range context to visionary plan. There are three other horizons to develop and the plan is eventually anchored in four immediate action initiatives in the next 90 days. To see the model for visionary planning check out how the Horizon Storyline works.

Brushy Creek Vision: Christ Centered Parenting

Over the next five years, we dream to inspire hundreds of upstate South Carolina families to make Christ-centered parenting their greatest achievement and highest priority.

Brushy Creek’s sense of urgency for the spiritual formation of families is stirred by our culture marked by a fanatical obsession with pleasure and prosperity. Upstate families consistently sail with misguided rudders; they have unknowingly gone off course in the name of recreation and have led themselves toward destructive crosswinds and unforgiving waves.

In the next five years, we will provide our community with gospel-centered, family-friendly, and application-driven programs matched by welcoming, clean, and state-of-the-art facilities. We will be a safe harbor for families to rest at port, as they will find restoration, supplies, and training needed to set sail again. We see an upstate armada of strong parents navigating together through the rough seas of daily living. We envision this fleet of Christ-centered families carrying a gospel banner that will introduce even more misguided men, women, boys, and girls to the good news of Jesus.

God Himself has promised life in His Son Jesus Christ; therefore, we know that the time is now for us to raise our sails, reclaim these wandering vessels, and bring them into port.

Church: Brushy Creek Baptist Church, Easley, SC

Pastors: Jim Spencer and Nick McClellan

Vision Template: Spiritual formation

 

>>>> Buy God Dreams >>>>

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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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COMMENTS

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Recent Comments
Sorry, the author of this content has removed the links at the original source!
 
— VRcurator
 
The hypertext link is broken for the pdf download - can it be fixed? Thanks!
 
— Steve Elliott
 
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
 
— Debra
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Clear Creek Community Church in Houston has an Invitation for Everyone in the 4B Area

Restarting the Conversation for Long-range Vision

When it comes to vision statements, many church leaders have lost interest. And for good reason–most vision statements are generic and useless. I like to say that your church really doesn’t need a vision statement, it needs a visionary state of mind. Yet, there needs to be a way to cultivate that state of mind. Your team does need some ideas on paper to become a sort of “mental charging station” for themselves and other leaders.  Think of a vivid vision statement as “base camp” for the team to assemble around, in order to take “vision casting treks” and “meaning excursions” all day long; that is the daily work of ministry.

So how do you get this vision thing right? What does success look like?  I answer the question for you in my new book God Dreams. More than that, I created a step-by-step guide for church teams.

To inspire you along the way, here is a case study from Clear Creek Community Church in Houston, TX, led by Bruce Wesley. Before we jump into their “An Invitation for everyone in the 4B Area” vision, let’s clarify what it is we are looking at.

First, it is a vivid description example of a long-range vision or what I call a “beyond-the-horizon” vision. Many have abandoned thinking long as discipline as a result of the constant changes of culture and technology. But for the church, there are many foundational reasons why leadership should think long-range. Here are twelve of them.

Second, it is only one fourth of what you need to have a complete visionary plan. This is the start – the long-range context to visionary plan. There are three other horizons to develop and the plan is eventually anchored in four immediate action initiatives in the next 90 days. To see the model for visionary planning check out how the Horizon Storyline works.

Clear Creek Vision: An Invitation for Everyone in the “4B Area”

We hope to establish ten campuses of Clear Creek Community Church in the 4B area. The 4B area is from the Beltway to the beach, from the Bay to Brazoria County, home to 500,000 people, 55 percent of whom consider themselves “nones.” That means when more than half the population checks into the hospital or talks religion around the water cooler at work or completes their census form and they are asked about their religious preference, they choose “None.”

How does a person who claims “none” come to love and trust Jesus Christ? We believe hope swells for people who consider themselves “nones” when they have a trusting relationship with a person of genuine faith who is fluent in the gospel. That’s when a self-identified “none” is most likely to consider the gospel of Jesus Christ.

So we are committed to see everyone who claims a religion of “none” to have no more than one degree of separation between them and a gospel witness who attends a Clear Creek campus in the 4B area, who will invite them into a community of faith where they will have repeated opportunities to hear and experience the amazing love of God in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The only way this saturation of trusting relationships will happen in our lifetime is through planting campuses and churches in close proximity to where people live, shop, work, play, and go to school; where followers of Jesus see themselves as missionaries sent to build bridges into people’s lives with God’s life-changing love rather than religious people judging others or seeking refuge from the world.

We start campuses in the 4B area, we multiply groups into every neighborhood, and we collaborate with other churches. We also plant new churches in the greater Houston area as launching pads for the people who are running into every dark corner of our city with the light and love of Jesus Christ.

As a result, God’s redemption can spread like a wildfire of hope across our coastal plains. And at the tipping point where one person in ten is a genuine Christ follower, then the culture will change: mommas and daddies will stay together, our children will thrive with a spiritual and moral compass to find their way, and people will hold their heads high in the marketplace because they do business as unto the Lord, and generosity will abound so people have what they need and no one will go to bed hungry. If God moves this profoundly in our area in our lifetime, then other followers might take responsibility for people in another part of the city and cry out to God with faith, “Do it again, Lord. Do it here among us, too.”

Church: Clear Creek Community Church, Houston, TX

Pastor: Bruce Wesley

Vision Templates: Geographic saturation

>>>> Buy God Dreams >>>>

Download PDF

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| What is MyVisionRoom? > | Back to Vision >

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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.

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
Sorry, the author of this content has removed the links at the original source!
 
— VRcurator
 
The hypertext link is broken for the pdf download - can it be fixed? Thanks!
 
— Steve Elliott
 
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
 
— Debra
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Harvest Church’s Vision to Bring Rural Relevance to the Mountain West

Restarting the Conversation for Long-range Vision

When it comes to vision statements, many church leaders have lost interest. And for good reason–most vision statements are generic and useless. I like to say that your church really doesn’t need a vision statement, it needs a visionary state of mind. Yet, there needs to be a way to cultivate that state of mind. Your team does need some ideas on paper to become a sort of “mental charging station” for themselves and other leaders.  Think of a vivid vision statement as “base camp” for the team to assemble around, in order to take “vision casting treks” and “meaning excursions” all day long; that is the daily work of ministry.

So how do you get this vision thing right? What does success look like?  I answer the question for you in my new book God Dreams. More than that, I created a step-by-step guide for church teams.

To inspire you along the way, here is a case study from Harvest Church in Billings, Montana, led by Vern Streeter. Before we jump into their “Rural Relevance across the Mountain West” vision, let’s clarify what it is we are looking at.

First, it is a vivid description example of a long-range vision or what I call a “beyond-the-horizon” vision. For Harvest, the timeframe is 10 years. Many have abandoned thinking long as discipline as a result of the constant changes of culture and technology. But for the church, there are many foundational reasons why leadership should think long-range. Here are twelve of them.

Second, it is only one fourth of what you need to have a complete visionary plan. This is the start – the long-range context to visionary plan. There are three other horizons to develop and the plan is eventually anchored in four immediate action initiatives in the next 90 days. To see the model for visionary planning check out how the Horizon Storyline works.

Harvest Vision: Rural Relevance across the Mountain West

Within the next ten years, Harvest will establish, renew, and strengthen the tangible value of “the local church” in communities within the five-hundred-mile radius of Billings, Montana.

Harvest is fueling the rural relevance of the local church across the mountain west by overflowing into rural communities especially where local believers perceive there is a lack of a viable, life-giving church. Harvest started in response to community planners who wanted to give the boot to the presence of the local church. Today we are ready to reboot the reputation of what God’s people mean to a community when we actually live life as though Jesus were living through us. We will accomplish this through culturally relevant worship and tangible community focus, so tangible that people are surprised by the love of Jesus through us.

We started in Billings, which is the trailhead of Montana. Now the Harvest brand will be the trailhead for hundreds of believers to start Christ-centered communities of hope and purpose across our vast landscape.

Church: Harvest Church, Billings, Montana

Pastor: Vern Streeter

Vision Templates: Institutional renovation that brings geographic saturation

>>>> Buy God Dreams >>>>

 

 

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| What is MyVisionRoom? > | Back to Vision >

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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.

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

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Recent Comments
Sorry, the author of this content has removed the links at the original source!
 
— VRcurator
 
The hypertext link is broken for the pdf download - can it be fixed? Thanks!
 
— Steve Elliott
 
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
 
— Debra
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.