A Strategy that Directly Fuels Your Mission and Vision Produces Passionate People

One of the dreams of almost every leader is to see every person within an organization motivated by the same mission and vision.

The reality is very few organizations—and very few churches—function that way.

Most leaders have had an unsettling feeling that they might be the most passionate person about their mission, and wonder how on earth to get dozens, hundreds or even thousands of others on board instead of wandering off on their own course.

Well, you can change that. And it’s simpler (and more challenging at the same time) than you think.


Why Strategy Trumps Mission and Vision

If you really want people on board with a vision, your strategy is critical.

In fact, strategy trumps mission and vision. A great mission and vision with a bad strategy will fail.

Stripping everything back to basics will reveal why. (And I’ll use the mission, vision and strategy of Connexus Church where I serve to illustrate it.)

Mission = what we’re called to do. (To lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ)

Vision = why we’re called to do it. (To create a church unchurched people love to attend—this is why we started it!)

Strategy = how we’ll accomplish it. (The steps we’ve chosen to lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus)

If you don’t clearly know how you’ll accomplish your mission, well…that’s the problem isn’t it?


Why Anything Goes…Doesn’t

Most leaders have people pleasing tendencies (I blogged about the problems with that here).

That means most of us have a hard time saying no when people ask to start a ministry or program.

The challenge with that of course, is that they often want to do things that they’re passionate about, not the things your organization or church was created to do.

So most church leaders end up with dozens or even hundreds of programs that run off in just as many directions and are sometimes only remotely related to the core purpose of the organization. Are programs like “Pets are People Too” or “Men Who Bike in Spandex Recovery Group” really central to the mission of the Church?

I’m not saying God doesn’t use them, but are those truly the best and most strategic ways to lead people into a growing relationship? They could easily be side projects people at your church engage in, rather than demand a line in the budget and organizational energy.

When you allow programs and ministries to spring up randomly, you get a misaligned organization that’s off mission.

And as anybody who has tried to shut down some of these random ministries knows, sometimes these programs can behave like fortresses. They very passionately defend their right to exist.


Engagement Is Directly Related to Involvement

And that leads us to the main problem.

If you remember only ONE THING about this post, remember this:

What people become involved in becomes their mission.

Did you hear that?

Get someone involved in something and it becomes their mission. It becomes their cause. Their rallying cry. What they wake up thinking about.

People are most engaged with what they’re involved in. 

What people become involved in becomes their mission.


So…Only Do Things That Directly Align With Your Mission and Vision.

So how do you create a great strategy that fully supports your mission and vision?

Only do the things that directly align with your mission and vision. 

If you only offer a handful of things that directly fuel your mission and vision, people will become passionate about your mission and vision.  

So at Connexus, we only do a few things.

  • A weekend service that your unchurched friends will want to come back to.
  • Great family ministry environments for birth-college built around small group and large group time.
  • Starting Point—and environment for adults to begin exploring their role in God’s story.
  • Community Groups—strategic mid-week gatherings of 8-12 adults who gather for accountability, belonging and care (okay…and cake).
  • Partner with two or three local and global partners around issues of compassion and justice (foodbanks, missions etc).

When people ask what else we do…we tell them that’s it.

When they ask how they can be involved we tell them serve, give, invite a friend and be part a community group.

That’s it. That’s our strategy.


And Guess What?

That doesn’t have to be your strategy, but here’s the transferrable principle:

When you have a simple strategy that supports your mission and vision, people get passionate about your mission and vision.

They have no choice but to be. Because it’s all you do, and when they get involved, they become engaged.

It’s easy to understand, but it does take guts to implement.

Read more from Carey here.

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Carey Nieuwhof

Carey Nieuwhof

Carey Nieuwhof is lead pastor of Connexus Community Church and author of the best selling books, Leading Change Without Losing It and Parenting Beyond Your Capacity. Carey speaks to North American and global church leaders about change, leadership, and parenting.

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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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