Few things generate excitement among people more than an inspiring vision that people have bought into. Whether you lead a church, own a business, or manage a team your people want to be led by a leader who has a vision for where the organization is going. Few people want to be managed; most want to be led.
Most small churches do not have a vision for ministry, and the impact of that is shown in the lack of ministry that occurs in the church, the absence of new members and in decreased giving. Most people want to be involved in a church or other organization where things are happening, and they are not going to be attracted to a place that seems to committed to survival.
In churches that have a vision statement, these statements are often little more than a document that has little impact on the decisions the church makes. They were created because someone suggested it would be good to have one. Once formed, they went into a folder and placed in a file never to be seen or heard of again.
If a church has bought into a vision it should impact every decision the church makes. The first question that should be asked when something is presented to the church is "How will this enable us to fulfill the vision we believe God has given us?" Your planning calendar and budget should reflect your vision, and if they don't then something is wrong.
The vision for every church will be different because every church is different. Each church has different people with different spiritual gifts, different passions for ministry, and serve in areas with different needs.
Your church's vision should be big enough to challenge your congregation. If you can accomplish your vision through your own abilities, it is too small. Brad Lomenick, in his book H3 Leadership: Be Humble. Stay Hungry. Always Hustle, quotes another pastor who said, "The stakes are too high for us to die with a small vision."
Our churches need a vision that will change people's lives, both the lives of our members and the lives of those who are not people of faith. When our vision begins to change people's lives we will also begin to change our communities. If enough churches have big enough visions we will change our world through the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
But it all begins with a vision. What's yours?