Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fuzzy Vision?

Will Mancini's Church Unique serves as a map that will help you discover and live a vision that creates a unique church culture in your ministry setting. The book outlines a process that will help you discover, develop, and deliver your unique vision by creating your own Vision Pathway. The clarity and practical application you will realize through this process will take you to new levels of effectiveness and to a lifestyle of visionary leadership.

In yesterday's post I noted that the Vision Pathway contrasts sharply with strategic planning. In the brief table below, you will see how author and consultant Will Mancini makes this clear:

Classic Strategic Planning vs. Church Unique's Vision Pathway
Vision as content vs. Vision as lifestyle

Mission as statement vs. Mission as missional mandate

Values as statement vs. Values as missional motives

Strategy as plan vs. Strategy as missional map

Measurement as goals vs. Measurement as missional life marks

The first step in developing your unique vision is to discover your Kingdom Concept. The Kingdom Concept is the simple, clear, "big idea" that defines how your church will glorify God and make disciples. The Kingdom Concept is what sets you apart from every other church: it's how you develop follower's of Christ for God's ultimate honor. It is where your church's unique experiences flow as a body of Christ.

The best way to find your Kingdom Concept is to look at the intersection of three circles that represent aspects of your church's God-given uniqueness.

Circle One: Local Predicament

Your community has all kinds of specific challenges. Do you know what they are? Defining your local predicament answers the question, "What are the unique needs and opportunities where God has placed us?" Understanding your local predicament is about having an intimate grasp of the soil where God has called you to minister.

Circle Two: Collective Potential

The second circle looks at the collection of individuals in your church and answers the question, "What are the unique resources and capabilities that God brings together in us?" What possibilities of cooperative potential are lying beneath the surface of your Church Unique?

Circle Three: Apostolic Esprit

A church's "apostolic esprit" is the area of focus that arouses an energetic style in its leaders. Apostolic anchors the missional mind-set: the understanding that we are "being sent." It is the empowering and direction of the Holy Spirit linked to the human side of passion and vitality that springs from team morale. What particular focus most energizes and animates your leadership team?

The three circles are simple yet profound. The real secret is not in looking for new things, but in finding fresh meaning in the familiar. It's the work of scrutinizing the obvious. The power of the Kingdom Concept is in the overlap of the three circles.

Again, the resource is Church Unique; the author is Will Mancini. If your church is struggling with fuzzy vision and uncertainty, the need is immediate!

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