The Power of Clarity in Your Church’s Vision

Tears were streaming down his face as he silently wept:

“I can see it so clearly… I just haven’t had the ability to put it into words… which makes people think I don’t know where we are going.”

Clarity is powerful.

One of my most favorite things to do through my work with Church Simple is to help church leaders clearly communicate what it is that they are called to… and then helping them do it.  In this case, the process was incredibly moving.

I am becoming convinced that the church in this country is not lacking of vision… it is the rare church leader that does not have a vision for where God is taking them.  What I think is missing in many churches is a sense of clarity when it comes to that vision: a way to express it clearly, concisely, and with authority.

Vision statements can be incredibly powerful tools to rally your congregation around your calling… or they can be incredibly obtuse statements that make people yawn in powerful new ways.  The difference is how you approach crafting your vision statement, and whether you are making a statement, or calling to action.  I fully believe that we have been called to action by the great commission and great commandment… and should be calling our people to action as well.  With this in mind, here are four qualities of a great vision statement:

  • Vivid.  Paint a picture.  Be clear about where you are going and what it will look like.  If your people do not fully understand what your vision statement is calling them to, you will never achieve it.
  • Inspiring.  I am sick of boring vision statements.  If you want me to fully invest myself in the vision and mission of your church you need to call me to something bigger than myself, something worthy of the time, talents, and treasure that I will be sacrificing in order to make it happen.  Don’t tell me what we are, tell me where we are going… and make it a big deal.
  • Memorable.  The school that I worked with in Baltimore had a vision statement that took up a full sheet of paper (actually they had two, posted on opposite walls… but that is a bigger problem for another time).  If you were to ask teachers, administrators, or anyone involved in the school to recite, or paraphrase, either of those statements you would have gotten a blank stare.  Your vision statement needs to be clear and concise in order for it to be memorable.  Vision statements that aren’t memorable are worse than having no vision statement at all.
  • Preachable.  If you can not point back to your church’s vision statement during your sermon on a regular basis it is useless.  The power of a vision statement is its ability to clearly define who you are as a church and where you are going.  If you are not referring back to it regularly, it may be time to ask yourself whether you, and your vision, are headed in the same direction.

What makes YOUR church’s vision statement great?

If you are looking for more thoughts on church vision, you need to check out what Will Mancini is up to, or buy his book.  Either way, this is too important to not do well.

Read more from Matt here.

Download PDF

Tags: , , , ,

| What is MyVisionRoom? > | Back to Vision >


Matt Steen

See more articles by >


What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
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.
— Dave
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.
— Argaw Alemu
comment_post_ID); ?> Amen!!
— Scott Michael Whitley

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.