Originally posted March 1, 2011
A recent post by Seth Godin contains a nugget that could add rocket-fuel to church leaders across Canada casting vision to those they lead.
In his brief, but insightful post, Godin wrote:
A powerful marketing tactic: tell me exactly when I’m going to get it.
“This project will be done noon on Tuesday.”
“You’ll get the shipment at 4 pm.”
Fedex has made billions shipping packages that didn’t even have to be there fast, they merely needed to arrive at a time that we knew about in advance.
What Godin has hit upon is that people respond best when given more than a statement about good intentions; they respond best when those intentions are undergirded by firm mile-markers.
This is what impacted so many of us in doing the research for our 2010 book, Going Missional; Conversations with 13 Canadian Churches Who Have Embraced Missional Life. This book, co-produced by The Leadership Centre Willow Creek Canada and World Vision Canada, tells story after story of Canadian church leaders who moved their congregations in bold new directions by casting visions supported by meaningful benchmarks.
For example, at New Life Church in Duncan, B.C., God was stirring something in the heart of lead pastor Mark Buchanan. He wanted to see their church build a relational bridge into the region’s Cowichan First Nation band. But what moved the congregation to action was not simply a passionate vision; it was a plan supported by mile-markers.
When casting vision Mark added, “Our first step will be to help churches in our region better understand the Cowichan community. We’ll do this by hosting a series of ‘Understanding the Nations’ workshops.”
With that kind measurable clarity, more than 1000 people responded. The vision gained traction, and the first step in a long journey was celebrated.
I’ve learned from effective leaders that when you’re casting vision for your congregation, your people need to know not only what hill you’re going to take, but also what the early mile-markers of progress will be.
It’s worked for FedEx; and effective church leaders have seen it translate into huge Kingdom wins.
How have you incorporated mile-markers into your vision casting?