2012 Barna Report: Pastors Are Most Interested in Clarity of Church’s Vision & Mission

As I’ve watched conversations over the past decade, I have observed a growing interest from church leaders in getting mission and vision right.  The latest Barna Group report that studied how pastors plan to improve their churches in the coming year affirms this.  David Kinnaman, who directed the research study put it this way:

“Most pastors are open to changing their ministries, yet many of them are struggling with the foundational questions of mission and vision. In other words, they want a clear direction to pursue, not necessarily just more ministry resources, like facilities, equipment, technology or ministry tools.”

Here are a few bullets that highlight important takeaways from the Barna research.  You can read the full article here.

  • The highest priority for pastors is assessing their church’s mission and vision.(59% said they definitely will; 88% probably will)
  • The second priority is to assess the church’s reputation in the community.(38% said they definitely will; 72% probably will)
  • Conducting an assessment of spiritual transformation in their church is an important goal. (22% said they definitely will; 50% probably will)
  • Measuring demographics and spiritual needs in their local community will be a priority. (31% said they definitely will; 62% probably will)

This report continues to expose the growing interest in and need for vision consulting as higher priority is being put on vision clarity by church leaders.  It also reinforces one of the points I mentioned in a previous post, 2011 Vision and Strategy Church Trends where I observed that we are seeing a shift in priorities and needs of church leaders. It is a shift that is moving away from packaged campaigns and programs towards the ability to navigate organic and culture-savvy solutions. Indeed, help in clarifying vision has become the most common reason for a pastor to pursue a consultant.

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Will Mancini

Will Mancini

Will Mancini wants you and your ministry to experience the benefits of stunning, God-given clarity. As a pastor turned vision coach, Will has worked with an unprecedented variety of churches from growing megachurches and missional communities, to mainline revitalization and church plants. He is the founder of Auxano, creator of VisionRoom.com and the author of God Dreams and Church Unique.

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comment_post_ID); ?> Thank you Ed for sharing your insights into the Church Growth Movement. I have my reservations with Church Growth models because it has done more damage than good in the Body of Christ. Over the years, western churches are more focused on results, formulas and processes with little or no emphasis on membership and church discipline. Pastors and vocational leaders are burnt out because they're overworked. I do believe that the Church Growth model is a catalyst to two destructive groups: The New Apostolic Reformation and the Emerging Church. Both groups overlap and have a very loose definition. They're both focus on contemporary worship, expansion of church brand (franchising), and mobilizing volunteering members as 'leaders' to grow their ministry. Little focus on biblical study, apologetics and genuine missional work with no agenda besides preaching of the gospel.
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comment_post_ID); ?> Thank you for sharing such a good article. It is a great lesson I learned from this article. I am one of the leaders in Emmanuel united church of Ethiopia (A denomination with more-than 780 local churches through out the country). I am preparing a presentation on succession planning for local church leaders. It will help me for preparation If you send me more resources and recommend me books to read on the topic. I hope we may collaborate in advancing leadership capacity of our church. God Bless You and Your Ministry.
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