Honestly, vision is a word that is overused. For many, the mere mention of the “v” word causes the eyes to glaze over as the reader imagines another round of motivational speeches that amount to very little for the organization. Vision books and seminars are everywhere, and many already have cool phrases on their walls or church bulletins. But does it really matter?
A vision that moves your congregation does.
You see, after awhile every organization expands to the point that its activities and departments can take on a life of their own. So in the church, the youth group has their own unique direction, while the women’s group is going another way. The children’s ministry has chosen their focus and the senior adults have established their own routine. Everybody’s going somewhere, but nobody’s really going the same direction.
The result is a “silo” mentality–everyone doing what is right in their own eyes. Like the people of Israel in the book of Judges, they really need a king. And vision is that king.
When a church identifies its true vision, the first benefit is found in bringing everyone to the same page. Imagine the synergy that could happen if the same passion drove the youth group and the women’s group. Sure, they’ll express it differently and at various volume levels, but when an entire church knows what they are reaching for, they can begin reaching for it together.
Vision statements that try to capture everything we do, actually help us very little. They reinforce the silo mentality because everything we’re currently doing seems to fit under an umbrella that’s too wide to function effectively. When a church knows its true heart and its capacity for effective ministry, its ministries can begin to re-orient themselves around that vision and begin walking together, rather than pulling in different directions.
Vision is critical. It’s absolutely necessary before there can be shared vision. And, shared vision is what brings momentum to the ministries of a church. It’s worth the effort every time!