Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Vision starts in the carpark

I've been reading the book "Simple Church" and have been impacted heavily by the emphasis on "Keeping church simple stupid." I'm committed to growing in this, a commitment to keeping the vision of my life simple, uncluttered. I simply want to be involved in a church that all about "changing lives forever as we lead people who're far from God to Jesus!"
I want to keep a record of this post by Larry Brey, Assimilation Pastor at Elevation Church. It's an absolute cracker!!!
To see how well a church believes in the their vision don’t start with the Pastor or the staff, start with the guy in parking lot or the lady changing diapers in the baby room. Go and ask them, “why do you park cars?” and see what kind of response you get. That’s where you’ll learn how powerful the vision is in a church; how deep does it permeate through the organization. Is the parking guy just as passionate about his role and opportunity as the Lead Pastor? If he is, now you’re onto something, because everyone in the organization is moving in the same spirit with a singular focus. That’s called unity; as a house divided against itself cannot stand.
At Elevation Church, we’re becoming even more passionate about moving forward with a singular vision and here are a few practical things that have been guiding us along the way.
Check the flow – Ask the guy in the parking lot “why do you park cars?” What do you hope to hear from him? At Elevation we want to hear two things: 1) People are coming here today who are far from God and need to be filled with Jesus Christ and 2) My role as a parking guy is a vital link in the chain of people coming to faith in Christ; they connect what they do to the vision with passion and excitement.
Be slow to appoint – The key to having your vision permeate through the organization is directly linked to who you put in your leadership roles. You need to be slow and put in place only those who believe in the vision of your church. Learning the vision is a process and takes time, here’s a simple filter I am beginning to use in communicating the concept:
A. Understanding the vision – Do they clearly understand the guiding
principles behind the vision?
B. Embrace the vision – Do their actions show they understand
the vision?
C. Communicate the vision – Will they speak it to those around them?
D. Defend – Will they correct someone who is speaking contradictorily of
the vision?
Only appoint leaders who have gone through the filter and will defend the vision. Time on the front end will save a mess at best or a mutiny at worse on the backend.
How are you training – Look at your training systems for every area and evaluate how much time you spend teaching the x’s and o’s of how to perform their role and how much time is spent on vision casting? How often do you do retraining? How frequently will they hear the vision? Is the vision communicated as pieces of information or as a compelling call to action that connects people’s hearts with what they do and the vision of the church?
The biggest commodity you have in your church is vision. It needs to be constantly communicated, demonstrated in the leaders, and always defended. The influential capacity of your church will be determined by how deep the vision permeates your organization.

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