In my final post in this series I wanted to focus on my single biggest takeaway from my North Point partnerships: A compelling vision is powerful but easily forgotten.
You won’t hang around North Point long before you realize the value of constant vision casting. “Vision leaks” according to Andy Stanley. North Point’s vision is “creating a church unchurched people love to attend.” That is compelling and emotive.
I discovered three significant benefits to a church’s vision being saturated throughout the team:
1) Creates Unity
People tend to cheer for each other more and compete less when they see that together they are accomplishing a shared vision.
Every staff member (more than 300 at North Point) should be able to quote the church’s vision verbatim. You might say, “Yeah, but NP’s vision is short and simple vision statement!” Exactly. “It’s not portable until it’s memorable” – Andy Stanley.
Each staff member/volunteer should be able tell you the part they play within that vision. There is something energizing about walking the halls and talking at staff meeting knowing that everyone is on the same page pursuing the exact same goal. It’s incredibly unifying.
2) Provides Clarity
When the vision is clear it helps make the “no” and “yes” easier. It makes budgeting, staffing, and programming direction clearer for everyone.
As I’ve said before, one of the greatest gifts a leader can provide staff, volunteers, and church is clarity.
3) Encourages Momentum
When the vision is clear we know what to celebrate.
When the vision is unclear people will celebrate different things. What gets rewarded gets repeated. There are lots of things we could celebrate at church (attendance, offerings, mistake-free services, facilities, people signing up on ministry teams, etc.). We usually celebrate the success of the ministry in which we are involved.
A clear vision allows us to celebrate together when progress is made toward a shared vision. That’s when momentum can be “felt” throughout the entire church.
Knowing that vision “leaks”, when was the last time you reinforced the church’s vision with your leadership team? With your key volunteers? With your church? When was the last time you equipped them to be “vision casters”?
Two great books on this topic are Andy Stanley’s Visioneering and Will Mancini’s Church Unique.