Thursday, May 8, 2008

Vision of the Church

I like Jim Herrington's definition of vision - "Vision is a clear, shared, and compelling picture of the preferred future to which God is calling the congregation." Clear – so that people understand it. Shared or it leads to disunity. Compelling so it motivates the congregation to action. To be honest, we've been less clear on the vision for our church than on our purpose or values. When we say that we are encouraging the development of fully-devoted followers of Christ, what does that look like in practice? How does Calvary do that any different than other churches?

As part of our recent processing developing a strategic plan for priorities over the next two years, we've had some excellent discussion on our strengths and weaknesses, as well as some opportunities we have at this time, as well as some threats that must be guarded against. These discussions at our Wednesday evening services have included a broad cross-section of the congregation. A key benefit of doing this has been a better understanding of some things we could be doing better. From a high-level perspective, it was encouraging to see that there was strong unity among the congregation and a set of top priorities for improvement were identified. At the same time, there was not consensus on what 'success' in our mission would actually look like in the future. We could definitely benefit from a vision that was a bit more clear, shared, and more compelling to action. Fortunately, doing just that is one of the top hopes for our Pastor on his sabbatical next year. One thing we know is that we God is able and willing to do amazing things in our community and in our hearts - and we long to be used by Him to make a tremendous positive impact on our community. Next time I'll share some aspects of our vision that seemed to be clear.

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