by Scott Wilson, Church leaders
I don’t waste any time before communicating our church’s vision to people who walk through the doors.
I don’t wait until a person wants to volunteer, or become a member, or until he or she is hired on staff. I work hard to communicate our main objectives clearly and immediately, so every person who visits our church understands exactly who we are and what we’re about.
When someone comes to our church for the first time, I invite them to a newcomers lunch where I share our vision with them first thing. “We are helping people become fully devoted followers of Christ … ” I tell them. No secrets. No hidden agendas.
There are three reasons I do this.
First, it helps people who don’t have a vision get a vision.
For some people, the vision and mission of our church might fall a little flat. It doesn’t resonate with them deeply, but they’re not opposed to it either.
And for those people, I want to help them discover what their own vision and mission is for a church home. People who don’t have a mission or vision for church (or for their lives) will live confused and sad, never knowing which decisions are the right ones to make.
So before they can fully commit to our vision, they need to know their own vision. This information helps me to pastor them well.
Second, if the vision resonates with people’s hearts, great. They’ve found their home.
After I share the vision, certain people know that they know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that our church is their home. There is no confusion, no hidden agenda, no missed expectations or unnecessary disappointment.
They know exactly what we’re working to offer, and it is what they’ve come to receive. They see exactly how they can fit into the larger picture, what skills they have to offer, and how they can serve.
Everyone who is there wants to be there, and is a contributor.
Third, if the vision doesn’t connect with them, they know this isn’t the church for them.
I believe wholeheartedly in our vision and mission, but I also know it isn’t for everyone. Of course I want people to connect and find their home at my church, but more than that, I want people to connect and find a home somewhere. And in order to do that, they have to resonate with the vision.
If the vision and mission of our church doesn’t resonate with them, it doesn’t do them any good, or us any good, for them to stick around. Both parties will end up disappointed, and the community can’t thrive in the long run.
So what I love to do for these people is help them find a community where they will be able to connect.
It is not easy to discover your vision personally, or for your community, and it’s even more difficult to communicate it to others. But the more clearly you can communicate your vision, the easier it is for your community to thrive, and for the people in it to thrive as well.
What is your vision? How do you communicate it?