Your Church’s Powerful Vision is Powerless until…
Updated: Mar 9, 2019
by Doug Paul
Let’s start here: Churches have made enormous strides in the last 10-15 years in moving away from generic, carbon copy vision. We’ve seen thousands of people use Auxano’s Vision Frame process, identifying and living into their unique call to BE THE CHURCH in the place God has placed them.
These days, it’s a little more rare to find people importing vision from churches like Saddleback or North Point; rather, they choose to learn from those who have gone ahead, but dig deep into the sacred journey of finding God’s dream for the group of people God has entrusted to them for such a time as this. And the vision you see coming out of these churches is nothing short of courageous, inspiring and a taste of Kingdom-come.
”Despite a powerful and unique vision, the vision of most churches remains utterly powerless.”
There is a sense of divine purpose, calling and a mission worth dying for. People are sacrificing for the vision; giving of their time, talent and treasure. You know the Spirit is moving and working. But if you talk to most of these leaders, there’s something a little…off.
Perhaps this describes the experience you’ve had before? Despite having extraordinary vision, you aren’t quite able to kick that unique vision into full gear. It’s almost as if the car is stuck in 3rd or 4th gear; but you just know that car is made to be in 5th gear, flying down the road going wide open. You know the potential, you can feel it deep down in your bones, but it’s just not there yet.
It’s like a deep and abiding sense of being stuck. That’s what it is. It’s stuck-ness.
The vision is big enough, bold enough and brave enough, and while there is some forward movement, it feels like molasses going up a cold hill in January. What’s hard is you just know in your heart there’s move of God afoot, he’s shown it to you, but right now, it feels a lot more like chasing a boulder down a hill!
Well this is our sneaking suspicion: Most church’s spend so much time on their own unique calling that they forget that part of their primary calling as a church is to help equip and release each person into their personal calling. In fact, we’d go so far as to say that your church’s vision is powerless until each person’s unique calling is unleashed.
”Most church’s spend so much time on their own unique calling that they forget that part of their primary calling as a church is to help equip and release each person into their personal calling.”
Think about a bicycle.
A bicycle has two pedals and a chain that helps propel that bike forward. But imagine going up a hill and you were only using one foot and one pedal on that bicycle. Would it move forward? Sure (kind of!). It would be awkward, clunky and hard. But you could get it to move forward.
But bicycle’s were made with two pedals, for two feet, working together to propel it forward.
The same is true of your church.
Does your church have a unique, corporate and communal calling? Absolutely. (We have a long, demonstrated record of belief in that!) But the church is ONE BODY, and that Body has two feet. One of those feet is the communal vision. But the other foot is the equipping and releasing of the people of God to be the people God created them to be from the foundation of the world.
When you combine a unique Church Vision with releasing each person into their unique calling, that’s when we start getting full-vision, movement potential. And here is a practical piece of that: We need to empower your people to reach their dreams vs only recruiting them to serve your church’s dream. Your vision as a church needs to be big enough to do this and you need a strategy to execute it.
”We need to empower your people to reach their dreams vs only recruiting them to serve your church’s dream.”
If it’s corporate vision only, we know this leaks every 28 days. Whole cottage industries exist to help teach leaders different communication and motivational tactics to keep the vision in front of people. But if the primary motivation is coming out of Personal Calling and this intersects with your communal vision…my gosh. It’s suddenly WAY easier to keep people locked into the vision. The motivation is coming from a completely different place because something deep inside of them has been unlocked.
Somewhere along the way, in all the talk about church vision and church growth, the peak of spiritual formation for people turned into people saying to themselves, “I hope this church has a big enough dream for me to play a role in.” This isn’t bad, right? God has done amazing things through that. It’s not bad. It’s just not God’s best.
What we’re saying is we need to respect the imago dei in the human being sitting in front of us enough to believe that God has given them to something since the creation of the world to do, their Ephesians 2:10 Calling, and we must commit to bringing it out of them.
Our guess, and maybe we’re wrong about this, is that you’re a lot like us: You got into ministry because you experienced the life-altering, gobsmacked spiritual transformation that the Gospel promised! The Holy Spirit started changing you into the person God originally created you to be…and once you tasted that change, that freedom, that joy…you wanted it for everyone else.
It probably wasn’t about plugging people into the matrix of the church volunteer system that was made you want to get into ministry! You knew that God had a dream for each person’s life and because of the Gospel, he never had to give up that dream.
Here’s the BIG SECRET: If you help people discover their personal calling and equip them to live into it, the Holy Spirit just might use your church to unleash a movement of God.
Want a picture of what this can look like in real time? Check out this video that someone captured on their iphone a few Sundays ago:
Interested in hearing more about what this can look like for your and/or your church. Have no fear, Younique is here! Here are two really great options for you: