Vision is Always Visual: Illustrate the Process

Illustrating your church’s process is vital. The simple process is more likely to resonate with each person if it is visual. People are more likely to remember it. Consequently, people are more likely to experience the reality of the process if they can recall it.

Recollection increases movement. It increases the likelihood that people will progress through the stages of commitment. People will not live out something they cannot remember.

The process must be the vision for discipleship in a local church. The process says, in essence, “This is the kind of people we believe God is calling us to be, and here is how He is going to transform us into that type of person.” It is personal. It is something each person can internalize and own. The process can become the personal vision for each person in the church.

And vision is always visual.

People are able to live out the vision if they can see it. If there is a visual illustration for the process, people know where they are in the process and where they have yet to go. If they can attach the process to something that is etched in their minds, they are more likely to embrace it.

The process must become etched in the minds of your people.

A visual illustration increases clarity; therefore, church leaders should use one. The visual illustration may be a diagram, or it may be a metaphor that gives people a mental picture.

Choose a visual illustration for your process. Get some wise and creative people around a table and come up with one. Or borrow (steal) one from another church. However you do it, just be sure your visual illustration has the following components:

  1. The illustration should be reflective of your process. The illustration must fit. If your process has three steps, then your illustration should reflect that. If your process has four steps, your illustration should reflect that. Ensure that the illustration is an expression of the reality of your process.
  2. The illustration should show progression. Remember the simple process is about moving people toward greater commitment. The genius in the baseball diamond illustration started by Rick Warren is that the diamond shows movement from base to base.
  3. The illustration should help simplify. Don’t choose an illustration that makes your process seem complicated. Here is the rule: If you have to explain a lot of symbols and hidden meanings in your illustration, it is too complicated. The point of your visual illustration is to help people grasp the reality.

Adapted from Simple Church (B&H Publishing Group, 2006).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Eric Geiger

Eric Geiger serves as the Vice President of the Church Resource Division at LifeWay Christian Resources. Eric received his doctorate in leadership and church ministry from Southern Seminary. He is also a teaching pastor and a frequent speaker and consultant on church mission and strategy. Eric authored or co-authored several books including the best selling church leadership book, Simple Church. Eric is married to Kaye, and they have two daughters: Eden and Evie. During his free time, Eric enjoys dating his wife, playing with his daughters, and shooting basketball.

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COMMENTS

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Recent Comments
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)
 
A great question! Unfortunately, the Church Unique Kit is no longer available in print form. We are working on revising it and updating it into an online experience, but that project is at least six months out. An alternative is to come to an upcoming certification class. There is one May 15-18 in Houston, and October 23-26 in Atlanta.
 
— VRcurator
 

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