Last night, I had the opportunity to do some vision consulting for a church.
It was an amazing experience for me as the consultant, engaging with a leadership team that had a heart for their church and their community.
The workshop that we worked on was the Kingdom Concept exercise from the book Church Unique by Will Mancini. This exercise deals with discovering the uniqueness of the church. Here is a diagram of the Kingdom Concept from Mancini’s book.
The Pastor split the Leadership Team into 3 groups. Each group was made up of staff + board members and they were given a set of questions that dealt with one of the circles from the diagram above.
Each team made a presentation with a summary of the answers from their questions. After each team presented, I facilitated a discussion with the whole group and added other ideas from the discussion to the white boards.
After the presentation and discussion, I gave everyone a few minutes to look at the whiteboards, praying for God to help them see the overlapping themes from the three circles. The center point in the overlapping circles is the church’s Kingdom Concept.
Here is the Local Predicament whiteboard:
Here is the Collective Potential whiteboard:
Here is the Apostolic Esprit whiteboard:
This leadership team discovered that their God-given uniqueness revolved around the following ideas:
This church has many different communities within several miles of the church location. Their is economic, educational, and social diversity within their neighboring towns. And their church represents that diversity. They discussed how their congregation is made up of business CEO’s, recovering drug addicts, soccer moms, poor families, suburbanites, struggling single moms, etc. As they discussed this, they realized that they naturally celebrate that diversity within their church community. It is Jesus that gathers this rag-tag group of people together, and sends them out into the world. While some churches, the people look all alike and desire to be all alike, this church sees their diversity as a strength. The reason why this works for this church is their willingness to be transparent with one another, admitting their brokenness and their need of healing from Jesus.
Another unique item from their discussion was despite all of their diversity, relationships flourish within their congregation. Because there are so many types of people in the church family, someone new to the church can always find someone like themselves to become friends with. And even taking it a step further, the leadership shared that people also tend to seek out relationships with people different than themselves. With their willingness to take off their masks, people are finding authenticity which allows the relationships to grow. The leadership team shared story after story of how relationships have been built inside and outside the church. Many of those relationships were started through the various outreaches and ministries of the church.
Passion + Empowerment
Another unique theme about this church is their willingness to empower people within their church to do ministry, to live out their passions. Each of their outreach ministries, from a food-program for children, to taking care of orphans in the Ukraine, were started and ran by people from the congregation who had a passion for these ministries. While many churches create hoops for people to go through for people to get involved in ministry, this church makes it easy for people to live out their God-given passions for changing the world.
The leadership team went around the room and shared stories of situations that energized them in leaders. A common thread was when people in their congregation took next steps in their journey of following Jesus. Often times the testimonies that were shared during worship services were the big miracles when God took a mess and did something amazing. But as the leaders shared their personal stories, they were also energized by the “baby steps” that people took. This church sees part of their uniqueness as helping people take their next step, whether large or small, on their journey of following Jesus and living out His calling as Missionaries in their communities.
The team will take these ideas and begin to use them as a basis for their upcoming discussions about Mission, Values, Strategy/Practices, and Measures (from the Vision Frame in Church Unique).
I love leading sessions like these for churches. Personally, I get inspired when churches discover the vision for their church. I’m not sure if it is my Training and Development experiences from my days in the business world, or the Spiritual Gift of Apostle, by I find myself in my element when doing Vision Consulting.
OK – here is the big announcement…
I have decided to start a Vision Consultant company titled Ignite Church Vision Consultants.
While I am in the initial stages of development for what this will look like, I am looking forward to helping more and more churches discover their God-given church vision. I hope to consult with 1-2 churches a year while I continue to lead the amazing people at Journey Church. Please pray for me as I take the Next Steps into this adventure that God is leading me in.
If your church would benefit from the consulting, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.