Thursday, November 13, 2008

Forward March

If you have been following this post all week, you know I have been presenting sections of Will Mancini's book, Church Unique. First, the idea of the Kingdom Concept was introduced Tuesday; then, the Vision Frame was examined Wednesday. Today, the Vision Integration Model is the topic. If you haven't read the others, take a few minutes to go back to them.

The Vision Integration Model helps you deliver the vision that you developed in the Vision Frame. Behind the Vision Integration Model is one of the most important assumptions of the book: the success of advancing vision is directly proportional to the degree to which the vision is first aligned and integrated.

Alignment - the ironic part of advancing vision is that the most difficult and most defining work happens pre-movement. Alignment is the critical work that must be done early in the rollout of the vision. Just like a car that is out of alignment and cannot drive safely or at normal speeds, the church which finds itself out of alignment has severe limitations to missional effectiveness and efficiency. Alignment has four stages, but they look different in established churches (more than fifteen years of history) and entrepreneurial churches (less than fifteen years of history).

Attunement - what alignment is to structure and communication (the hard stuff of an organization, attunement is to human emotion (the soft stuff of the organization). Attunement is the attraction and emotional connection in the heart of the follower to a given organizational direction. Leaders must create a climate that produces real, dynamic, emotional resonance for your vision.

Integration Model

The Integration Model is not a system theory, but a conversation starting point. Mancini starts by looking at the church through five perspectives: leadership, communication, process, environment, and culture. For each perspective, he presents three principles for weaving vision into the life of the church. The result: 15 integration principles that will fuel your leadership team conversations for months. Here is a very simple outline of the five perspectives and their respective principles:
Developing Leadership - How will you use vision to recruit leaders, develop leaders, structure people, and divide your attention among the right leaders?
  • Staff: get people who get the vision

  • Structure: let strategy determine structure

  • Engine: lead leaders

Intentional Communication - Daily, your church is the steward of thousands of moments of truth - communication. Members talking to a neighbor, someone driving by your facility, ministry emails, staff business card left on a desk - the church's vision is distributed countless ways. The discipline of church communications must be approached with a tremendous amount of intentionality.

  • Attention: grab attention or hold nothing

  • Brand: communicate visually

  • Awareness: broadcast your position

Duplicatable Process - at some point your vision must transcend your skills and be deposited into the basic reproducible habits of the entire congregation. It's not about what you can do, but what you can duplicate.

  • Assimilation: help people attract people

  • Evangelism: Accessorize the mission

  • Multiplication: decide how you duplicate

Compelling Environments - the missional leader must constantly show that the church gathered is actually a time of preparation for "being the church" outside of its walls.

  • Worship: refocus Jesus, together

  • Connect: integrate everything relationally

  • Serve: serve inside out

Conscious Culture - the missional visionary is also a cultural architect. Transforming the future is made possible because the cultural perspective is held in conscious view.

  • Scripture: reveal God's signature

  • Folklore: retell the story

  • Symbol: mark defining moments

The Integration Model gives you a working vocabulary for pulling your unique vision together. The vision will not move forward unless it ties into and brings together leadership, communication, processes, environments, and culture. If it does, your Church Unique will capture your culture and build a movement that flows into your community with contagious redemptive passion.

The book is Church Unique. The author is Will Mancini. The message within is a powerful tool that will change your vision process, and by implication, the way you do life in a church. Get it today, dive into it, and buckle up for the ride!

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