In light of Carey’s excellent post over at Life Matters (that you ministry people really should check out), I decided to ramble on about what I’m thinking right now. Carey discusses that vision statements for local churches are basically the same; where churches find a lack of clarity is in their strategy for how to make that vision a reality.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this since the Orange Tour came into town. In the past several days I have had about five conversations about ministry strategy in church, answering questions starting with what, why, and how. As I’ve asked my own questions beginning with the same words, I’ve found it interesting to listen to answers based on church personality and demographics currently in motion. Strategic decisions aren’t being formed based on the desired end personality/demographic.
In another conversation regarding Andy Stanley’s Making Vision Stick, I heard of another pastor who doesn’t believe casting vision and strategy is biblically part of the roll/calling of a pastor. My mouth dropped open when I heard this. I thought Jesus cast vision and strategy with the Sermon on the Mount and subsequent kingdom teaching culminating with the Great Commission, but maybe I’m wrong…
I figure if the pastor isn’t casting vision and keeping strategy before the congregation, who is charged with that? How will people know where they’re headed? How will they buy in to what we want to accomplish for the kingdom? We’re lazy people, and if someone isn’t keeping the goal in front of us, I’m guessing we’ll never reach the goal. After all, where there is no vision/strategy, people will make up their own and rarely will people be traveling down the same track.
I’m still torn on the thought that there might be several strategies that work. I may be naive, but I think that there could be better ways to do church than others. I feel that this is especially true if we plan goals based on always keeping everyone happy (worship, service times, venues, family ministries). If that is our practice, will we ever grow? I’m not sure we will. I think we need to decide who we are and need to operate from that in what we choose to do or not do for that matter. That seems like a strategy that just won’t work in the long term.
Again these are just my rambling thoughts on paper and where I am right now…. And please, I want to hear your own.
How about you? What is shaping your church’s strategy right now? Why are you making the ministry choices you make?
If you read through this and you’re a volunteer or a church member, do you know where your church is headed? How has vision been cast to you?