Painting a clear and compelling vision is key to any renewal. If you get your vision right, you will empower and equip your advocates, educate your bystanders and disarm your critics. Vision helps you start, maintain and continuously expand the growth of your parish. It helps you overcome supposedly insurmountable obstacles and will get you from the unsatisfying status quo to where you could and should be because it is where God wants you to be.
However, vision doesn’t stick without constant care and attention. Here are 3 areas you can focus on:
- Reduce Complexity
Your vision statement should be two to three sentences, not paragraphs. If it is too complicated to embrace, nothing will change. Here’s our vision statement: “Make Church matter by growing disciples among unchurched Catholics in North Baltimore and influencing and equipping other churches to do the same.”
Following this vision, we have focused our attention on our weekend experience and we stopped doing lots of things that we used to do that didn’t have anything to do with our vision.
- Repeat Regularly
The best place to present and constantly repeat your vision is the pulpit. You can even create a whole message series around vision because the Bible is full of great visionaries. Repeat it in all your various forms of communication.
- Celebrate Systematically
What is celebrated is repeated. We decided to drastically reduce the number of our events during the week, but we still purposefully host others such as our “Cornerstone” leadership dinners which are occasions to celebrate what we have accomplished with some of our key volunteer ministry leaders and to look at what is ahead. We have created a worship night for our ministers as a way to say thank you and provide encouraging spiritual input at the same time. We celebrate our adult catechumens through a short video testimony where they share their stories with the congregation. Their stories in turn inspire the rest of us. Our missionaries in Haiti and Kenya are coming back this weekend and there will be celebration dinners for them. In our “Wins Meeting” on Monday our staff share some of the wins they have witnessed over the last week.
Seeing a vision become a reality requires more than a single burst of energy or creativity. It requires daily attention and commitment, but it is absolutely worth the effort.