The Vision Thing

If there is one thing we as pastors and churches should be doing right now, it is clarifying the vision and mission for the future of our churches. Pre-covid 19, the decline in the SBC and in evangelicalism has been well documented year by year. In 2019, baptisms dropped another 20% in Louisiana, Bible Study attendance was below 100,000 for the third straight year, and more churches closed for good, bringing the total in Louisiana to 125 since 2015. Covid-19 may be fast forwarding our decline as churches slowly reopen with smaller crowds. Vision and visionary leaders are desperately needed for today.

In his book The Vision Driven Leader, Michael Hyatt lists the pitfalls of vision-less organizations. He says, without vision we…,

  1. Are unprepared for the future
  2. Miss opportunities
  3. Suffer scattered priorities
  4. Waste money, time, and effort

Here is the positive impact of 2020. The last eight months have helped us think hard about the future, consider new opportunities, prioritize ministries, and sharpen our focus. Now is the time to clarify the vision.

Are you crystal clear about the vision, missions, and values of your church? And are you communicating it in a clear and compelling way in this season of uncertainty?

Of course, Jesus has given us as church leaders a head start, with the global vision to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19-20). We can’t and shouldn’t try to improve on his vision. However, we can contextualize it for our church specifically and communicate it in a compelling and moving way to the people we lead.

How do I clarify the vision for my church?

  1. Get clear on the vision of Jesus for the world found in the Great Commission.
  2. Get alone with God and ask Him for a clear vision for your church and community.
  3. Jump ahead three to five years and imagine a better future for the people in your community through Great Commission obedience.
  4. Write a three to five paragraph script of what that future looks like in the present tense.
  5. Share that vision with your leaders as though you were inviting them on a journey.

Writing about your church in five years, try starting like this: “________ Baptist Church is filled with people who are new to faith in Christ.” What else can you imagine for your church and community?

For additional clarity on vision and writing a vision script, check out Michael Hyatt’s great book, The Vision Driven Leader: 10 Questions to Focus Your Efforts, Energize Your Team, and Scale Your Business.

If you’re ready to get more strategic as a leader in this new day, check out the Multiply Louisiana Cohorts, kicking off in 2021. Connect with a network of other pastors and ministry leaders who are honing their vision, developing a strategic plan, raising up leaders, and looking afresh at their communities and churches through historical and demographic data. Connect with an Informational Meeting for Multiply Louisiana Cohorts, here: https://louisianabaptists.org/get-strategic-in-2021-connect-with-a-multiply-louisiana-pastors-cohort/.