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); ?> I like it Mac and do agree with your opinions on the matter. Thanks much
— winston
comment_post_ID); ?> In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
— Russ Wright
comment_post_ID); ?> "While I understand the intent behind this phrase" Expound please. What do you understand to be the intent behind that phrase?
— Ken

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