Vision casting is essential now that local churches are returning to in-person activities. It’s time to ask “Why?” and “What?” before asking “Who?” and “How?”
Associate Director Congregational Vibrancy
Is your church ready to live out a God-led vision?
We believe the time is now for congregations to embark upon a journey of vision casting. Over the last year, survival was the goal for many congregations, but now we see pandemic restrictions shifting. Congregations are gathering for in-person worship, and faithful United Methodists across Michigan are asking, “What’s next for our church?” This is a pivotal point in the life of every church, and decisions made in the coming months may determine the ministry of the local church for years to come.
Churches are choosing how they will respond to the “resurrection” to full activity.
Some churches will choose to return to beloved ministries from years past. Others will take on new programming and outreach based on circumstances and the interests of congregation members. But will these decisions be guided by a vision of what those churches can do in the name of Jesus Christ?
“When there’s no vision, the people get out of control, but whoever obeys instruction is happy.” This Common English Bible translation of Proverbs 29:18 may seem amusing at first. But the truth is that where there is no God-inspired direction, the people of God do not move forward together. Clear purpose and vision bless entire communities. When congregations commit to forming and living by a vision, worship, discipleship, programming, and outreach are shaped with purpose and effectiveness.
Faithful leaders have discovered that such clairty cannot be developed and “owned” by a congregation through a few Saturday morning workshops. Purpose and vision rise from a Lenten-inspired journey, a deep and thorough examination of a congregation’s gifts, values, and surrounding community – who they are and who they are called to become neighbors with – and what needs to be let go to allow love to guide them. It is only then that leaders can develop compelling strategies and authentic measures for accomplishing their mission.
Church leadership clarifies vision by asking “Why?” and “What?” before asking “Who?” and “How?”
If you and your congregation have sensed the urgent need for vision clarity, invite the Michigan Conference to assist. Openings for participating in a Church Unique Vision Framing Consultation in 2021 are limited. Contact Gary Step, Associate Director for Congregational Vibrancy, for more information.