Today I am very pleased to present this guest post from Andy Cook and our friends at the Willow Creek Association in Chicago. For any church leader getting ready to cast vision for the coming year today’s post provides practical tools and inspiration to gain the most milage from your vision-cast.
In this month’s Defining Moments (a benefit WCA member churches), Bill Hybels and Jim Mellado revisit a classic Summit talk, “Making Vision Stick” by Andy Stanley. Andy explains three ingredients of effective vision casting:
- Define the problem. What problem is my organization designed to solve? If we don’t do what we do, then what doesn’t get done?
- Offer a solution. Your vision is the solution to a problem.
- Present them with a reason. Why must we do this? Why must we do it now?
The new year brings an incredible opportunity to refresh a church’s vision. Similar to the U.S. President’s “State of the Union,” this is a dedicated time for pastors to breathe new life into their church’s calling and help people focus on what matters most. Around Willow, it has been the launch of new dreams and seismic shifts. At its core, the vision has never changed—to turn irreligious people into fully devoted followers of Christ—yet this has been the occasion to reaffirm that calling with new language and strategies. (Here’s a link to a recent vision talk by Bill Hybels.)
As you prepare to cast vision, here are some questions to consider on your own:
- What is my church’s vision? What is stamped into the proverbial cornerstone as to why it exists?
- Does that still resonate in me as a leader? Do I still get excited about that vision?
- How do I breathe new life into that vision for myself and my church?
- In what ways is my church living out that vision right now? If people were to look at our church from the outside, would they guess that we’re all about that vision?
- What are the settings in which I need to be sharing vision within the next three weeks?
Then, after watching this month’s Defining Moments, here are a few questions to talk about as a team:
- Rapid-fire, have each person share the vision of your church in a brief sentence.
- Now, have everybody rephrase your vision to be more personal or compelling for them personally.
- Where are the areas in which you have sensed vision “drift” in your church?
- Share some stories of times in which you feel you’ve most lived out your vision as a church.
So, how about you? What vision will you be casting in a few weeks? How are you breathing new life into your church’s vision?